Thursday, Nov. 15 was notable for being the first snowfall of the school year as well as the semester’s first show by Adagio, Brandeis’ premier dance company. The casino-themed show, “Take a Chance on Dance,” had a full house. Parents and fellow students came into the Levin Ballroom, anticipating what was in store. When the lights went off, people thought it was a technical error, but they soon realized it was part of the show and grew even more excited. Soon, the hosts of the evening went onstage and introduced themselves. Throughout the evening, they appeared before every dance to make Seinfeld-esque jokes and also introduced the following act. 


TIP TOE: Dancer Melanie Rush ’20 can be seen here as part of “Liability,” a modern piece choreographed by Liv Molho ’20.


While the performances were all unique, some elements were constants in every performance, including colorful lights in the background that changed to reflect the mood of the music. The most memorable and effective use of this element was during the act “From the Ashes,” during which the song “Phoenix” by Fall Out Boy was accompanied by a fire-engine-red background. Each ensemble had coordinated outfits; at times, it felt like Adagio was a well-choreographed fashion show. The most stunning outfits belonged to the dancers in “Red Rover,” who all wore red dresses with matching red lipstick. As they moved to “Red Rover” by Paper Airplanes, their red dresses twirled, adding more beauty to the performance. Another group with snazzy outfits performed “Upside Down,” in which the dancers wore all black with gold bow ties as they snapped their fingers and grooved to the jazz-themed song.

Groups other than those in Adagio also performed. Before the intermission, Hooked on Tap took to the stage and tapped to “Ease on Down the Road” from the musical “The Wiz,” and the Brandeis Ballet Club performed “Waltz of the Flowers” from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” The ProtoHype Dance Crew from the University of Massachusetts Lowell electrified the stage with a set titled “A Trip to Venus.” They danced to an array of outer space-themed songs, such as “E.T.” by Katy Perry and Kanye West. While most of Adagio’s groups were predominantly female, ProtoHype had a decent number of male dancers. The dancers had a lot of chemistry and the routine involved an ample amount of acrobatics. The whole audience exploded in cheers — they were definitely the highlight of the evening.

The last performance of the night was “Bring on the Men.” A tribute to classic jazz culture, this performance was Burlesque-themed, and the dancers wore black leotards with fishnet stockings. While most performances were free of props, this performance incorporated a chair, which the dancers sat in and twirled around. The audience enjoyed the routine, applauding thunderously at the end.


RED ROVER: Three dancers hang in the air with impressive form during the “Red Rover” piece.


“Take a Chance on Dance” delighted everyone in the audience. The show owes its success not only to the amazing dancers, but to the enthusiastic audience, whom the show enchanted. Spectators cheered for friends, whistled and laughed at the hosts’ jokes, and even booed at jokes they didn’t find funny. This event goes to show that an audience is just as important in setting the ambience as the performance itself. People left the ballroom to trek through the snowy night, glad they took a chance on dance. 


—Editor’s note:  Yvette Sei ’20, is a Photography editor of the Justice, and was a choreographer and performer in Adagio.