Ever wanted to just groove, have fun, or simply tap your foot to your favorite tune?
That feeling is exactly what dancers of UR Ballet Performance Group (BPG) instilled in the audience at their recent show—an impulse to dance.
Strong Auditorium was packed last Friday night for BPG’s spring show. The name, “Forever Wild,” taken from Lana Del Ray’s hit single “Young and Beautiful,” aptly described the dancers onstage.
The show, in typical BPG fashion, was an exotic amalgamation of many different dance styles.
BPG was started in 1996 by a group of classical ballet students here at the UR. Although the group retains the name, it has moved to incorporate a variety of dance forms including jazz, hip-hop, tap, acrobatics, and rhythmic gymnastics.
Throughout the year BPG encourages and fosters creativity among its members. Each of the dances in the show except for the classical ballet pieces were choreographed by the students
“Anyone who wants to choreograph auditions for the show,“ senior and BPG President Sarah Davis said. “We look at the pieces and hope to choose the ones that will make the best.”
Sophomore and Fundraising Coordinator Alana McGovern choreographed and performed a solo contemporary piece called “Youth.” As the title suggests, the dance depicted the transient state of adolescence and how the phase shapes us as humans. McGovern also choreographed another contemporary piece called “What Kind of Man,” which portrayed the opposing feelings in a tempestuous relationship.
“Watching others produce something on stage that you created is an incredibly rewarding feeling, ” McGovern said.
From hip-hop to contemporary ballet, the members strive to assimilate a variety of styles in their dance and create something new. All the pieces in the show had completely new choreography and popular soundtracks which the audience could relate to.
“I tried to bring something new to BPG that was a bit different than our usual numbers, but still lots of fun,” senior and Vice-President Ainsley Vande Creek said. “My inspiration for this dance came from the song itself as well as the dance community.”
Creek choreographed a hip-hop piece on the sassy number “Gold” by Kiiara, as well as the senior dance together with senior and Outreach Coordinator Lauren Birnbaum and senior Selena Lilley. She drew inspirations for her dances from the LA-based cinematographer Tim Milgram.
This organization is like a family to most members. Many join the group as freshmen and stick with it till graduation.
“BPG has given me so many friendships—there’s something about dancing together that just brings a group close together,” Creek said.
BPG encourages its members to venture beyond their past experiences and provide a safe and supportive environment. Students can be a part of the executive board right after their first semester which encourages growth of their leadership qualities.
“I definitely didn’t have leadership positions before I got to college,” Davis said, ”but people [in BPG] saw leadership potential.”
The group brings dancers from all backgrounds together and motivates them all to grow as individual dancers.
Everything good ends somewhere, and the old must make way for the next generation. Keeping that in mind, the seniors performed their last dance on Uncle Kracker’s “Follow Me” before embarking on their new journey ahead.