Intricate choreography performed by 41 dancers gifted with grace marked last Saturday’s performance in Strong Auditorium by the Ballet Performance Group.
Each dancer, in lively, vibrant costumes, leapt, twirled and spun magnificently through two acts and a total of 14 songs.
The first act tended toward classical ballet, with pieces such as “Waltz and Toreador” and “Pas de Deux,” choreographed by BPG Advisor Pamela Wilkens-White. This portion of the show proceeded slowly and was fairly repetitious in its movement.
However, there were parts of the first act that did stand out. “Pas de Deux,” a duet performed by President and senior Jeanette Neri and freshman Dan Allen, showed off Neri’s impressive talent and flexibility, especially in her fishtail dip, where one leg is curled back while the other leg is pointed straight up with the rest of her body pointed towards the ground. Allen showed some stage presence but seemed stiff and rigid most of the time. He should have been allowed to show off his talents more, rather than have Neri clearly outshine him.
The first act ended with a more modern piece, “My Immortal,” by Evanescence, choreographed by Carly Starn. This was an enjoyable piece of interpretative dance. “My Immortal” is a slow song, and it was interesting to see the performers’ expressions and hand gestures react to the peaks and valleys of the song. It was also the perfect segue into Act II.
The second act was comprised of modern songs choreographed by various members of BPG. Most of the songs required an intense amount of energy and coordination, with dancers running on and off stage and forming circles and other shapes. The colorful costumes helped add to the general fun factor of each song as each twirl sparked a flash of color begging the eyes to dart from one dancer to another, as if daring them to be disinterested.
“Santorini,” by Yanni and staged by Neri, was truly impressive. The bright blue dresses begged for attention as dancers spun and kicked their way through the song. But most memorable was the sudden appearance of a bright yellow light in what appeared to be a general hodge-podge of disorganized dancers on the left side of the stage.
Soon, the dancers formed a ritualistic circle around the light, as if to pray, worship or lift up the light to a higher being. This symbolism helped increase the enjoyment to what was already a field of visual delights.
Unfortunately, the lighting detracted from what was otherwise a spectacular show. The Music began before the lights came on, making the dancers difficult to see. In addition, the spotlight did not follow the dancers correctly.
At points, the spotlight would lead the dancers and at other times would showcase no dancer at all. Without the lighting issues, the show could have been fantastic.
I look forward to their next performance, but hopefully I will actually be able to see the performance then.
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