Dancers performing “A Simple Song” (Photo: Alexa Rios, The Puma Prensa)
by Alexa Rios, staff writer
The 2021 “Euphoric” Winter Dance Show was the first show of the season, and it did not leave any stones unturned. Since COVID-19 made it almost impossible for any performances to be held live, this was an amazing start for the Advanced Dance Team and the Junior Dance Team.
“Siento La Tierra,” choreographed by Dana Borunda, was an upbeat start to the show. Paired with a lively song—upbeat with a strong message of dancing and being free—the dance was very flowy and felt confident. One of the noticeable elements was that some of the drum sounds were accented with quick dance moves. The dancers interacted dramatically with their, especially when they pounded the floor rhythmically with their fists.
The dance I was most excited about was “Starlight,” choreographed by Haven Koehler and Taylor McGarva. As McGarva said herself, “I was most excited for the duet because I’ve never gotten to perform one in front of a crowd, and I got to do it with one of my best friends, which made it even more fun.” It did not disappoint from the audience’s perspective, either. I loved it from the moment it started to the very end. Their movements were swift, quick, and bouncy. The music was upbeat, and their dancing reflected that. I loved some of the touches to the dance, such as the beginning where each of the two dancers appeared briefly in their own spotlight only to disappear in darkness when the spotlight shone on the other. Eventually, the lighting shined equally well on the glimmering costumes of both, making it seem like they were basking in the limelight together. It showed the bond of their friendship with each other.
Another dance that stood out for being the only ballet number was “A Simple Song,” choreographed by Gemma Morley. This song was perfect, and the costumes complemented the dance flawlessly. The dance consisted of fluid movements that were technical and elegant. The dancers moved gracefully across the stage, and it was mostly a slow dance but maintained a light airy feel to it. As the song’s tempo increased, the dancer’s movements did, too. This created a distinguished dance, which paired with the lighting, created an amazing display.
“In My Dreams,” choreographed by Meleah Yee, was a dance with an interesting story behind it. As Yee explained, “‘In My Dreams’ is based on someone experiencing a dream that becomes stranger over time.” “The key message behind [the dance] is the feeling of acceptance,” Yee said. She added she “was motivated by her own personal experiences and feelings in [her] own dreams.” As the name suggests, this contemporary piece has a very dream-like and buoyant feel to it. The reason for this, as Yee puts it, is “to communicate the concept of it being a dream.” It starts off feeling airy and eventually has tense moments leading up to the end where “the ‘dreamer’ was woken up.”
A favorite among a few of my friends who went along with me was “Goodbye,” choreographed by Kayla Clark. It had a slow-tempo song with morbid undertones on top of the obvious elements of melancholy. The dancers wore all black with the backdrop being red, making them look like shadows. The dance was fluid, incorporating both strong leg movements and brisk arm movements. I loved how the song starts to cut out, and the dancers stumble around until the end where they descend down gracefully.
Along with the advanced dance team, the juniors also put in quite a show with “My Own Person,” choreographed by Charlotte Harper. It was a simple dance, but they definitely showed their talent for synchronization. One of the elements that stood out to me was the background, and how the movements changed to better fit the changing backdrop. An example of this is that the beginning of the dance has a cheery, sunny look to it while near the middle, the purple backdrops give the dancers the look of silhouettes, which I enjoyed.
There were plenty of other amazing dances, but these were just my favorites. It was an amazing performance. Both the Advanced Dance Team and the Junior Dance Team did a fantastic job of portraying a “Euphoric” tone. I highly recommend going to the next show as I know it’ll be just as good as this one.