The Leesville dance department’s fall show, “Traditions,” showed off the talents of all dance students, as well as the fun style of the Leesville Dance Ensemble.
The dance, performed on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, started slowly, with a performance from the Dance Ensemble and choreographed to a song from the highly popular Fiddler on the Roof. Though I’m not normally a fan of slow, more interpretative dance, I enjoyed this one because it was different and actually fit the music.
Other performances weren’t as impressive, but that’s to be expected when comparing normal dance classes to members of the Dance Ensemble. Each period had a dance in which all students participated. It was impressive to see dances with so many people choreographed with enough creativity that they still adhered to the theme of traditions.
Most of the excitement, as usual, emanated from the Dance Ensemble. They showed a great ability to adapt to both slow songs and fast, modern music. They even managed to incorporate this year’s dance fad and “Jerked it,” based on the New Boyz song, “You’re a Jerk.”
Other notable performances included a collaboration between the dance and drama department in April Grossi’s solo. Bailey Jones, senior, narrated a story of a young woman struggling to be noticed in the midst of New York’s grandeur, and April Grossi, senior, danced to express the woman’s emotions. This dance/acting combination was particularly moving and creative.
The most fascinating part of the dance was what Ms. Hoban introduced as “Flash Mob” style dancing, wherein the dancers direct the audience in performing a dance. Shortly after intermission, Ms. Hoban and a set of dancers led the steps in the interactive dance, and all audience members stood up and danced awkwardly.
What started out as funny (imagine a crowd packed full of parents and students learning a series of dance steps) turned into an impressive way to engage the audience. The show ended with an upbeat song, and audience members stood up to join the dance as soon they saw their favorite dancer grace the stage.
By the end, all dancers stood either on stage or in the aisles. Almost all audience members stood with smiles plastered to their faces, trying their best to stay in sync.
Overall, the dancers’ enthusiasm proved contagious for both me and the audience. Last year, I wrote about the need for more collaboration between departments for dance-specific performances. This year, the amount of creativity and hard work was readily apparent in the variety of performances and the depth of talent available, especially in the Dance Ensemble. Make sure you attend the spring concert—I certainly can’t wait.
Pierre Lourens served for The Mycenaean in 2008-2009 as a staff writer. In that year, he took on the project of creating the first online edition of The Mycenaean. The following year, he was a co-Editor-in-Chief with Amy Kreis.