REVIEW: Dance Mix 2017 The Galaxy Edition

What a night. I started walking over to the Power Center with my friend five minutes before the concert started to find a building packed with students. Before the first group took the stage, the organizers announced that this was the second sold-out concert in a row.

 

Some sold-out concerts don’t feel sold out. You can spot empty seats and the audience is tame. Not so for this young, rambunctious crowd that hooted and hollered names of friends in the dance groups all throughout the event. Between the energy of the audience and the students moving around on stage, the 2.5 hour event felt like taking a shot of espresso.

When things get hot and heavy on stage

First off, I have to apologize at not being able to keep track of the names of the groups. Every group that took the stage was incredibly talented in their own unique way. Alas, I did not have a program with me during the concert so I could not tell exactly which group was on stage at a particular time.

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t imagine it’s easy to fit a wide variety of student acts into one concert, but Dance Mix 17 pulled it off through smooth transitions between more traditional ballet (top left picture) and decidedly modern hip-hop (top right picture), as well as dancers that both to the melodies of ballads and rock songs alike.

One of the highlights of the group was Revolution and their stringless yo-yo performance. Countless students walked across the stage slinging their plastic yo-yo’s like divine beings levitating rocks. Those plastic yo-yo’s flew across the stage and around the slingers and every trick drew fresh cheers from the crowd. Even the tricks that failed still felt like successes, and I was definitely not the only one entranced by the performance.

 

Later, Photonix performed in the dark with glow sticks, producing images like the one you see in the header photo of this blog. Towards the end of the performance, they unleashed hundreds of mini glow sticks into the audience.
The audience being composed almost entirely of students, everyone went wild.

Another highlight of the night was a Bollywood rendition of Top Gun (by Michigan Manzil I think). The story was a cliche telling of a young fighter pilot who loses his friend in a fight, but this isn’t a Hollywood film and the performance was one of the standouts of the second half of the night.

The Bollywood-esque peformance went through half a dozen wardrobe changes without a hitch, in addition to props and set pieces, and above all it was entertaining as heck.

Rounding out the rest of the night were performances by EnCore (picture below), Outrage, and FunKtion again.

I’m incredibly glad I was able to attend this event, and if you’re reading this blog and didn’t go this year, you NEED to attend next year.

PREVIEW: UMMA’s Student Late Night

UMMA’s Student Late Night

On Thursday April 4th from 8-11 pm, the UMMA will host the annual Student Late Night. Since September, the UMMA Student Programming Advisory Council (SPAC) has been planning for this multi-media evening. The venue will be jam packed with activities, performances, and prizes.  WCBN Radio will be DJ-ing all night; live music  includes Music School senior Peter Felsman and friends who will accompany a performance by Cadance Dance Company.  The Ann Arbor Art Center will host an art-making activity. The SPAC has arranged a scavenger hunt throughout the museum, featuring pieces from the permanent collection. But there will also be ample opportunity to explore the visiting exhibits by El Anatsui, Florencia Pita F/P Mod, and Francis Alÿs. There will also be  a photo booth for you and your friends as well as free snacks and refreshments. The evening is partially  sponsored by Arts at Michigan and a number of local businesses and restaurants whose goods are up for prizes. Come get your UMMA gear, including buttons featuring images from the permanent collection, and so much more.

Bring your friends! In the meantime, check out the SPAC’s blog The Annex. See you there!

REVIEW: Cadence Dance Company

Cadence Dance Company

This Saturday, Cadence Dance Company performed an evening length combination of pieces and it was fantastic. The student dance group consists of all female dancers who have backgrounds in ballet, lyrical, and modern dance as well as choreography. Each piece was a collaborative design, performed by two, four, six, or all of the company members at once. With the sounds of Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Brandi Carlile, Ellie Goulding, RJD2, Bass Necter,and more, the music ranged broadly over throughout the evening. The Cadence performance intermittently included cameos from other student groups such as Dance 2xs, Salto, and Rhythm Tap Ensemble. At the very end, all of the student groups combined to perform one large and energetic dance to finish the evening. It was an exciting, well rehearsed, and elegant performance. Of all the dance, I must say my favorite was a tribute to  David Bowie calle d”ode to The Pale White Duke.” The  dancers were  in vests and ties acted as marionettes to the sweet sound of “Station to Station.” Ahh David Bowie…really what could be better to move your body  to?

PREVIEW: Cadence Dance Company

Cadence Dance Company

This Saturday, student dance company Cadence will present a creative and exciting evening length performance. A lyrical and modern group, the pieces will reflect those styles of dance. Co-presidents Annie Markey and Elyse Brogdon have been working for months to prepare for this evening. In collaboration with their 12 other teammates, the company has created ten pieces to perform this weekend. The dancers will be joined by opening student groups Rhythm Tap Ensemble, Salto, Dance2XS. With the last group, Cadence will be performing a joint piece. The  choreography is all original work by students and will showcase a range of styles including tap, ballet, lyrical, modern, and hip hop- all on one stage.

Cadence is an entirely student sponsored organization that has been on campus for almost eight years. The dancers come from all parts of the university, auditioning every fall and practicing all year to create one evening length performance. Co-prez Annie Markey said, “The great thing about Cadence is that its kind of like a coop. The group style changes each year depending on whose in the company. Technique level has increased so much in the past few years and we have a lot of beautiful dancers now. I’m excited for younger dancers to have more of a role and a voice next year after I graduate.”

Cadence performs at Saturday January 26th at  7 pm in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater of The League. Tickets are $7 at the door or $5 presale. Email Annie at acmarkey@umich.edu for tickets. Or, even better, go for free if you pick up a Passport Voucher with you MCard at the LSA building. Can’t pass that up.