Adagio stars ignite the stage
This years Adagio Dance Company spring show was titled “Dancing with the Stars,” showcasing talent that was enough to blast anyone watching into space. While the individual dance numbers did not adhere to a common theme, it did feel like we were watching stars up on the stage of Levin Ballroom on April 17.
Among the performances, there were a few dances that stood out to me most over the course of the night. One of them, titled “Sowing Darkness Into Light,” choreographed by Frankie Marchan ’19 and Matthew Jadd GS ’20, was set to a song unexpected in a modern dance show — “Fire On High” by Electric Light Orchestra. The dramatic music perfectly fit the dance’s themes of battling with your inner demons and conquering mental illness. I was also very impressed with the dancers of “Express,” choreographed by Haley Director ’20, danced on chairs with high heels on!
Two dances, “Teeth” choreographed by Sam Jean ’19 and “Start a War” choreographed by Rachel Lese ’21, both made the bold choice of having two teams of dancers instead of the usual single tableau. The teams “fought” each other with their dance moves, sometimes from across the stage and sometimes face-to-face. It must have taken an especially long time to coordinate and it was enjoyable to watch them bring narrative into the dance number.
Another dance that incorporated narrative as well as pantomime was “Devil’s in the Boardroom,” choreographed by Lissa Sangree-Calabrese ’19. This dance was meant to display the evil nature of capitalism. The dancers moved like demonic automatons in motions that mimicked operating fax machines and passing along big stacks of paper. It looked like a lot of fun up there!
The closing number, performed by the Adagio Dance Ensemble (the audition-only portion of the group), was choreographed by Genevieve Bondaryk ’19 set to “Feelin’ Good,” sung by Michael Buble. In this breathtaking dance, the group mastered something that some other groups struggled with, which was having all the dancers coordinate and move in sync. But this is understandable, as Adagio is an event for dancers of all backgrounds, talents and levels of experience — and at the end of the day, their hard work outshines any missteps.
Another enjoyable part of the show for me was the costume design. While many groups stuck to black leggings paired with matching t-shirts or leotards, a few others chose unconventional costumes that separated them from the rest. For example, in the dance “Hit Hard,” choreographed by Renee Korgood ’20, the dancers all wore cut-off jeans and black t-shirts, and I was impressed by their ability to move so fluidly in them. All of the dancers of “I Got You,” choreographed by Emily Glovin ’19, wore flannels tied around their waists, which made for a cute casual-but-coordinated look.
Some more elegant outfits made their way to the stage in dances like “Realize,” choreographed by DeBorah Ault ’22, in which dancers sported shiny leotards under flowy magenta skirts. One very glamorous look was featured in the number “Bailar,” choreographed by Director, whose performers wore sparkly, sheer turtlenecks with dark bras underneath.
The emcees of the night, Chris Calimlim ’19 and Conor Amrien ’19, were goofy and cringe-worthy in the best way possible, leaving the audience groaning with laughter with every pun-heavy introduction they gave. I also enjoyed the lighting of the show, which was often colorful, flashy and enhanced the dance numbers (except, at times, when strobes and blackouts were not timed correctly with the moves).
But what impressed me most of all about this ensemble is the diversity of people includes: In skin color, body type and gender presentation, as well as style and skill of dance. Adagio is a dance company for anyone who wants to express themselves through dance, and I loved watching such an inclusive group of artists.
— Editor’s Note: Editor Gilda Geist ’22 and editorial assistant Sarah Katz ’22 performed at Adagio.