At times, it seems as though there are a million dance groups on the UR campus. However, few have the incredible talent of Louvre Performance Ensemble, a ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance group, which was clearly displayed in their show “Reverie,” on Sunday, April 15 in Spurrier Dance Studio. Their opening show was also performed in Spurrier on Saturday, April 14.
The room was filled to capacity with an excited crowd, dying to see how Louvre would follow-up their unbelievable fall show. The dancers certainly did not disappoint.
The show began with the dancers sleeping on stage with various props, including pillows, blankets and some stuffed toys. A narrator explained the concept of reverie to the audience, by saying that it’s a place “where you will never know if you are awake or asleep.”
The theme continued with a short solo or duet dance between every number, where dancers would wear nightgown-esque costumes and seem to be in the throes of a dream, reading a storybook or playing with their teddy bear.
These short pieces were performed to “Cristofori’s Dream” by David Lanz, as were the introductions for both Act 1 and Act 2. The lighting during these interludes was always soft and mysterious, and keeping the theme throughout the show made the performance far more interesting and unique than most dance events.
The dance numbers were set to a wide array of songs ranging from Avicii’s “Levels” to “Dreaming With a Broken Heart” by John Mayer. The numbers did tend to lean toward being a little slower and softer, but when the songs were upbeat the dancers of Louvre had no trouble keeping up.
One of the most beautiful numbers was by guest choreographer Samantha Johnson ’11, and was also the senior number. The dance was set to “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan. This number was incredibly emotional, which the audience clearly picked up on. Senior Emily Hart’s facial expressions were heartbreaking and, combined with the intense choreography and heartrending music, made it impossible to not be effected.
Another dance that exhibited Louvre’s range was a number choreographed by freshman Rebecca Tran and set to “Les Vautours” by John Metcalfe. The costumes were black with feathers and masks, which instantly grabbed the audience’s attention. This number showed off the technical abilities of Louvre, combining remarkable dancing with characterization and acting skills. The dance consisted of six girls, broken into two groups of three, though it eventually became an all-out “battle” between the dancers. It was a different side of Louvre, the only number not set to a pop song, and really displayed the fact that they could do the classics as well as their more modern numbers.
The closing number to Act 1 was also fascinating. Set to “This Bitter Earth” by Dinah Washington and Max Richter and choreographed by junior Sarah Canny, it featured the dancers all moving as one, with one or two breaking out at a time. However, watching the dancers move together was the most beautiful thing aspect of the piece. The mere fact that they didn’t stumble over each other while dancing so close to each other was astounding — adding in the fact that they were able to perform an extraordinary number at the same time made this dance unbelievable.
Louvre once again pulled off an incredible show that displayed the talents of all 13 of their members, while still being able to create and stick to a theme. Few groups could do this — virtually no others could do it so well. Louvre continues to impress, and it seems that it’s destined to keep doing so.
Howard is a member of the class of 2013.