Boyer College of Music and Dance presented its Global Dance and Music show on Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m., which was comprised of four pieces. Giving context to the night was the slogan, “Selected works from our diverse artistic community.”
“I thought the show gave a lot of different spectrums of entertainment – emotionally and visually,” said Michael Nguyen, a graduate student in the dance department. “It was a great show.”
“I thought [the performance] presented a really diverse range of offerings,” said Julie Johnson, a first-year Ph.D. student in the dance department.
“Moving Past and Through,” a contemporary piece, started off the show. Accompanied by a single drum, which added a somewhat tribal effect, it featured three female dancers moving with one another. They moved from one side of the stage to the other, and although they all started dancing individually, they came together at the end and finished in sync.
The second piece was called “Undercurrents.” Before the lights came on, there was a slow, low humming. As the humming got louder and higher, the lights came on and there were three dancers on stage, two of which were lying down in a sleeping position and the third – who was responsible for the humming – was sitting up with a wooden box in front of her.
As her humming continued, the two sleeping dancers started moving and getting up very slowly. They were moving as if the humming was controlling them, which added drama to the piece. The dancers remained in contact with each other. At one point, the male dancer picked the female dancer off the ground and and held her as she danced.
The humming became chanting and the dancers continued to move in the same loose, snake-like way. The dance ended with all three dancers curled up, lying on top of one another.
The next piece was danced by six ballerinas, dressed in navy green leotards and light skirts that flew out as they twirled. A harpsichordist playing classical music accompanied the dancers, who were smiling brightly throughout the choreography. As the dancers did double pirouettes and chassés across the floor, they moved together and kept their ballerina postures. They all assembled at the end, took their bows, then ran off stage.
The final dance piece was a Macedonian Folk Dance. This added a new element to the show, since participating audience members performed it. Karen Bond, the graduate coordinator at Boyer, called the audience down to teach them the folk dance. About three quarters of the audience participated.
Once everyone was standing in a circle, Bond spent about five minutes teaching the dance, then the music came on. Audience members became excited when it was time to move, starting the piece by walking in a line. As soon as the footwork came in, there were a few minor crashes, but people were in good spirits.
After dancing for a few minutes, the music stopped. Bond thanked the participants and thus, the performance was finished.
Freshmen dance education major Leslie Cornish said she came to the performance because she wanted to meet some of the other dancers in her program, and said some of her professors strongly encouraged it.
“I think it was very interesting to see the different genres represented,” Cornish said. “The live music was an additive to the performance, so I really liked that.”
This was the first show of the fall semester presented by Boyer. The next show will be Call Me Crazy Dancers’ “Day for a Dream” – part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe.
Rebecca Zoll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.