Put on your red shoes and dance the blues

by Beacon Staff • February 22, 2006

Along with the departure of Emerson Dance from the Majestic Theatre, next year's senior class will be the last to have participated in the BFA dance major.,After 30 years, Emerson Dance is preparing for its final show. Next year will mark the very last performance of the program.

Along with the departure of Emerson Dance from the Majestic Theatre, next year's senior class will be the last to have participated in the BFA dance major. These remaining seniors, however, made their final performance in the Cutler Majestic Theatre one to remember.

The first number, "Ludic," was a joyful and strange romp through childhood. Using music from some likeminded sources, Amelie and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the dance begins with a lone skirted "child" coming onto the stage.

She is soon greeted by two boys who tell her a strange riddle and invite her to join in games with their friends.

The intricacy of this dance was amazing to behold-it felt more like many dances occurring on stage at once and one's eye hardly knew where to look.

The second number, "If It's Not OK It's Not the End" included some stunning synchronization on the part of the dancers, though the costume designer, Ellyn Miller, must be complimented as well for the graceful movement of the silken dresses, the hems of which seemed to accent the every twitch of the dancers' legs.

The last number of the first act was "This . And That," choreographed by Marlena Yannetti, whose credits include the Broadway and national touring companies of The Unsinkable Molly Brown and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Her choreography allowed the performers to weave in and out of the dance as they pretended to be the elite of high society.

Though the piece started puzzlingly with a single burgundy chair pushed seemingly magically onto the stage in a moment of wondrous stage craft, its similar disappearance, though this time with a elegantly posed dancer atop, led to a smile of bafflement and laughter.

The second act was marked by two other wonderful pieces-"El Revuelo" and "Magdalene Heartbeat." The almost tribal nature of "El Revuelo" made pulses pound faster and the ragged costumes of the five dancers add to its Mesopotamian nature. This small tribe of dancers weaved around each other, carefully working with their partners' movements.

The intensity of "Heartbeat" spoke in every movement of the dancer, even as it was echoed by the music. Two tables were used to great effect as were the aprons tied to womens' dresses.

Though it is hard to see beyond the intricacies of the movements on stage, this piece seemed to speak of womens' role in society, a point accentuated as two dancers wearing dresses and aprons are pulled to the ground by two others wearing trousers.

Every number in this show seem to echo this notion of dual natures-one to entertain and appeal to the visual senses, one to think of and stimulate the brain.

But by far the most impressive dance of the entire show lies at its end-"Lightbulb Theory," originally performed by David Dorfman Dance in 2004, showcased the talent of both the performers and the technicians.

The careful combination of music and spoken word put together a powerful story. Toward the end of the number was a joyful dance in which the cast displayed its amazing skill at synchronization once more. The well-placed lights and carefully chosen costuming stood out as well.

The breathtaking mark of the finale lies in a simple pull of a rope, at which a bundle of light bulbs fall from the rafters to hang like glittering stars above the dancers.

EmDance's final performance was well worth the wait. It is only a shame that future generations will not be able to see what thirty-one years of dance instruction might have led to.

If you missed this most impressive performance, make sure to check ECTV's schedule for the EIV video production of EmDance.