The Berkeley Beacon

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rockettes and Zombies: EDC graces the stage

By Asta Tall / Beacon Correspondent
December 6, 2012 at 1:27 am


Emerson Dance Company’s performances started with energetic neon dancers, ended with zombies, and had everything in between. An amalgamation of body shapes and dance styles graced the Paramount Theater stage of Emerson Dance Company’s fall showcase, “5”, on Sunday night.

The night was full of high-energy dances including“Party Rock Anthem” and “Smooth Criminal.”A variety of styles including tap, jazz, and modern dance were on display throughout the hour and a half showcase, which featured 18 pieces in total.

The EDC’s variety of talent and skill were exhibited in the students’ choreographed congas, rhumbas and foxtrots, covering topics of military, death and break ups.

Gabriel Nesser tackled the complicated topic of ending relationships in along with the song “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Alicia Zola’s piece “Good Luck” involved Nesser being physically abused by females that he had wronged. 

Boyko Dossev, a Boston Ballet Company Dancer, choreographed the piece “Jumpin ‘Jack.” The piece showcased Kurt Joyce as a suave man surrounded by beautiful dancers. His body seemed fluid, displaying the confidence of an experienced dancer, and his confidence was through the roof. 

The standout piece of the night was “Rivna Kärlek,” choreographed by John Lewis, a sophomore visual and media arts major. The dancers appeared to surrender their bodies fully to the characters of the story.

“‘Rivna Kärlek’ was my way of sharing my thoughts and feelings with others and was a tribute not only to the men and women in service of our country, but their families, for their dedication and sacrifice,” said Lewis.

Instead of having a strict choreographed dance, Lewis wanted the dancers to give themselves to the story and chose to only organize half of the dance. 

“When I originally pitched the piece to the selection board, I told them that the dancers I cast would need to leave the counts behind and let the characters of the story use them as a vehicle in which to tell the story to the music,” Lewis said. 

During the Kärlek performance, a coffin, swathed in the American flag, was brought on stage and a solider’s wife draped herself over the casket. A single spotlight shone on the woman and her dead lover. The audience was left in the dark feeling the loss, pain and grief. 

“I say it was inspired in someway by nightmares, because as I grew up my father would be deployed for extended periods of time.” said Lewis. “I suppose I always feared that I would one day be told I lost one of the closest and most important people in my life.” 

Norelle Cretarolo, a sophomore communications major, said she felt Lewis’ emotional performance was highly effective.

“He did a great job choreographing ‘Rivna Kärlek’ and telling a touching story through dance,” Cretarolo said. 

Emerson Urban Dance Theatre brought hip-hop to the stage with its tap rendition to Dr. Dre’s “I Need a Doctor,” before breaking it down to the beat of Britney Spears in a piece by Caroline Praderio. 

Cretarolo mastered the balance of seduction and confidence with ease and fluidity as she danced in her own piece “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” as a Rockette. Later  she transformed into a cowgirl for “Daisies,” choreographed by Lauren Kelly. 

“The whole company put in a lot of time and effort all semester making “5” the great show that it was. Everyone serves a different part in putting the show together. It’s like we’re a machine, and the show is our product,” said Cretarolo. “It was the best way to celebrate five years of passion, commitment, and our big family.”


Tall can be reached at asta_tall@emerson.edu.