Chosen by The Arts Council as well as by professionals within the community, the routines of Friday’s Critic’s Choice Dance Showcase highlighted the talents of nine different Boston College dance groups.
The event was held in the O’Neill Plaza Arts Fest tent and celebrated distinguished pieces of choreography from MASTI, PATU, the BC Irish Dance club, the Dance Organization of Boston College, Sexual Chocolate, Fuego del Corazon, Dance Ensemble, The Golden Eagle Dance Team, and Synergy.
Because the purpose of the showcase was to present the most outstanding work, many of the afternoon’s featured dances were performed earlier during the year at other shows, particularly at the Annual Showdown competition, which takes place every April and is the biggest dance event on campus.
Indian dance group MASTI opened, performing the routine that won it first place in the cultural category at Showdown-an honor that the team has received twice in a row. In ruffled blue skirts and silver tunics, MASTI danced to a mash-up of traditional bhangra beats and contemporary pop and electronic sounds. Jason Derulo’s hit single “Talk Dirty” even made it into the medley. Its ability to deftly mesh these Eastern and Western elements is, in large part, what makes MASTI’s choreography so fresh and appealing, no matter how many times viewers see the group perform.
Although a majority of the other groups in the Dance Showcase also repeated what they had planned for Showdown, including PATU, Synergy, and Fuego del Corazon, they all managed to step up their game and perfect their dances, given the extra few weeks to practice and rehearse.
PATU’s set was alive and spirited, with the seven leopard-print and fringe-clad dancers furiously moving their hips, flipping their hair, and clapping their hands to the sounds of drums. While PATU’s performance at Showdown at the beginning of the month was noteworthy, Friday’s was even better, as the team tapped into and exhibited energy that it hadn’t before.
Fuego-BC’s Latino dance team and the champions of this year’s Showdown in the dance category-flaunted the hot moves, daring stunts, and vibrant flair it has become known for, but with even more precision and intensity. As the male dancers flipped the girls over their heads, swung them under their legs, and twirled them in the air, the crowd couldn’t resist cheering. The routine allowed Fuego to prove not only its authentic flair, but also its sense of technical professionalism and ability to consistently raise the bar.
Sexual Chocolate and BCID both presented the audience with something other than they had at Showdown. Wearing t-shirts printed with their team nicknames-of which Dulce Delicious and Boston Cream are two examples-the boys of Sexual Chocolate stomped on the stage with so much force that someone in the crowd shouted jokingly, “Don’t break it!” While Sexual Chocolate is usually known for its funny, clever skits framing its choreography, the team performed at the Dance Showcase without one, allowing it to emphasize the power, exactitude, and originality of its steps.
BCID similarly benefitted from the opportunity to display its talent with a stripped down routine. Although the group opened to a brief, heavily percussive intro, BCID mostly let its tapping speak for itself by dancing without a music track in the background.
Although a majority of the groups featured at the Dance Showcase competed at Showdown, both DOBC and The Golden Eagles Dance Team did not. The latter did a dark, Maleficent-esque routine to Lorde’s “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” The theme of the dance worked well for DOBC, enabling it to be creative not only with its black tulle costumes, but also with its evocative choreography-the dancers centered their moves around a single gold crown, which they all fought over, commanding attention.
Every group that took the stage successfully owned it, proving the physical talent and the personal drive of BC’s dancers. With skill and enthusiasm, they presented their routines. After the hour’s end, it was clear that the dancers earned not only the critics’ approval but also the crowd’s.