Spring often brings an air of nostalgia — with the changing weather, the approaching graduation, and the anticipation of new summer adventures — and Louvre’s performance of “X” on April 7th fits right in. The lights went off and a line of shadows holding hands walked onto the dance floor in Spurrier. The scene, you could say, was set.
The first piece, “Vibes,” was fun, sassy, and upbeat. Technique was not the focus; rather, it felt more like a celebration among the members before the meat of their show began.
The nostalgia truly began with the second piece. Between every dance was a recorded testimonial from an ensemble alumna, which provided a sense of consistency throughout the show. Some of the dances were accompanied by current members performing excerpts of the respective alumna’s own choreography from her time in Louvre.
My favorite was the excerpt from alumna Emma Shockley’s (‘16) piece from the production “Cirque,” though I wish they had shown more as it was the shortest excerpt they performed.
Last, but certainly not least, came the senior duet, performed by Emily Trowbridge and Nicole Gorski. I was worried that this dance would feel like a piece made for the tween category of a local dance competition — and if I’m being honest, it kind of did. Surprisingly, I don’t think that was necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it very well may have been the point. It was innocent, youthful, and cute.
While the seniors were still onstage, the rest of the members entered and simply observed. The dance continued with the other supporting-role members. (it doesn’t feel right to say “background.”) Eventually, just the seniors were left on stage, holding hands and looking at each other, smiling. It was almost as if to give both a greeting and a goodbye simultaneously. As the lights went off, the two shadows hugged, in a moment of unchoreographed emotion.
It truly felt like the dancers just couldn’t resist smiling, and although I don’t even know any of the members personally, I found myself smiling as well.
This was a showcase and there technically was not a theme besides being dedicated to the ten year anniversary, but I couldn’t help but notice one. Well, I guess it wasn’t so much a theme of the performance, as it was of the ensemble itself. The emotional connection among the dancers on stage, as well as the passion heard behind the voices of the alumni, was utterly stunning.
The words “family” and “passion” were used to describe the Louvre community far more than once. All of the graduates claimed that the ensemble was key in shaping their years in Rochester, more so than anything else. In the more emotion-driven dance pieces, like “Yesterday” and “Bravado,” it felt like all the dancers were experiencing something together, supporting and lifting each other up both literally and emotionally. The more energetic pieces, like “Silhouette” and the finale, “X,” showed a more laid-back relationship.
It was almost as if the dancers were performing for each other and inviting the audience into the experience.
A graduate of a dance studio in my hometown myself, “X” reminded me of the reasons why I continued dancing for so many years. And on that note, I think I’ll go call my old dance teacher.