Before Dancing Globally, I hadn’t been to a modern dance performance in years. It had been so long that I honestly couldn’t really even remember what to expect. When the lights dimmed, I looked over at my friend in the darkness and grinned, with the excited feeling of being on the first side of a mystery.
As soon as the curtains opened, both of us could tell we were in for something exciting. The first performance, probably my favorite of the four, featured a semicircle of dancers wearing suits. Each dancer had a chair that they used as kind of a prop, and throughout most of the performance, hardly anyone moved very far away from their chair. This is part of what made the choreography so creative: not only were they interacting with the chairs in unique ways, they also managed to make it feel as though they were interacting with each other—and with us, the audience.
My favorite part, though, was the suit aspect. Throughout the performance, they removed aspects of the suit one by one—the jacket, the hat, even the pants—all except for one standalone dancer at the very edge.
The costumes ended up being a standout part of the entire night; the third piece, for instance, was completely different, but still striking in part because of its visual aspect. The dancers were performing against a backdrop of projected flowers, and they all wore vibrant, colorful outfits. This gave me the semi-subconscious impression that maybe the dancers themselves were meant to represent flowers, or something like flowers. This interpretation was reinforced toward the end, when three of the dancers stood under a stream of water that looked like an actual spring from the natural world, transplanted onto the stage.
The final piece was definitely more somber than the rest, with shaded, semi-uniform costumes and dim, melancholic lighting. However, it was still entrancing to watch, in part due to the constantly shifting nature of the choreography and the “scene” unfolding on the stage. It was definitely a powerful closing piece for the night.
Dancing Globally was a welcome representation of the work being done in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, in part because of its sheer variety and in part because of the balance it was able to strike between engaging and thought-provoking. Overall, the night was definitely a success, and I look forward to attending more dance performances in the future.