Emerson dance groups get their groove on

by Beacon Staff • April 23, 2008

Emerson Dance Company, Emerson Urban Dance Theater and Emerson Dance Team created a trinity of moves last weekend when they joined forces for the EDC's Spring Showcase held in the Greene Theatre. The 10 pieces spanned the artistic gamut from classical ballet performed en pointe to hip-hop to typical musical theatre.

Since Emerson no longer has a dance major, it is not surprising that the contingent that remain are not as highly trained as they used to be.

However, while the smaller training program may affect their technique it does not dampen their drive. Both performances had student directors, producers and composers, with the exception of the choreography for one of the EDC pieces.

Because of Emerson's history with musical theatre it makes perfect sense that several of the pieces had a decidedly vaudevillian air about them. With choreography that at times bordered on miming they paled in comparison to the contemporary work that was done.

Musical theatre pieces are excellent in their place of advancing a plot in a romanticized version of the French Revolution, but in a concert dance setting they can come off as slightly more juvenile.

The stark contrast to the pieces pranced in high heels was the energy of EUDT's "Whatever U Like." The urban experience with twenty dancers in shredded costumes and exaggerated eye makeup left the room with more energy than any other performance that evening.

EUDT had their own performance in the Multi-Purpose room of the Max Mutchnick center in addition to their collaboration with EDC. The company was started in 2006 by then freshman Michael Love who had an interest in rhythmic and hip-hop dance.

EDC director Michael Lupacchino, a marketing communication major with a dance minor, said that the groups collaborate frequently since many of the dancers work with both companies.

It was the third performance that EDC had this year in addition to X-Dance, which several of the members from both companies participated in.

"The fact that we had the Greene was one of the reasons we collaborated," he said. "Few groups get the Greene so we said we have to do a joint show."

Marlena Yanetti, the advisor for EDC, said she was surprised at the caliber of performance.

"I didn't know what to expect, but I was so pleased with the quality of the work and the dancers," she said. "It worked really well."