Taking the stage with poise, each dancer owned the stage with every smooth step. A moving spectacle, Boston College Dance Ensembles’ Roulette held the house on edge throughout the night, as it engaged the audience with varied and visually stimulating dance performances while maintaining a level of energy and enthusiasm from their first spin to their last.
The opening performance, “Luck be a Lady,” choreographed by the Dance Ensemble Officers, showcased all members of the Ensemble and highlighted the complexity of their performance. The dancers took to the stage with glowing personalities that, coupled with their colored tutus, made for a commanding start. The dance was dynamic with many moving parts, utilizing the entirety of the stage. The troupe’s ability to gracefully drop to the floor allowed for the girls behind those front and center to add flourishes with arms, legs, and quaint jests to add even more movement to the performance. The joy present in the eyes of the dancers infectiously invigorated the audience.
“Hotel California,” choreographed by Carissa Burns, MCAS ’17, brought a commanding performance to the Eagles’ famous song. The dancers donned red dresses and elegantly moved in front of the red backdrop. The production behind this piece is indicative of the simple, yet effective design and use of stage seen in the rest of the show.
The next performance, “Waking Up,” choreographed by Olivia Duddy, MCAS ’17, uses light to impressive ends from start to finish. Bathed in a light golden hue, the dancers brought life to the slow song, while creating an aura truly embodying the titular process of waking up. The lights, which dimmed and intensified at key points enhanced the movements of the dancers, creating a more visually striking image on stage.
The first guest dance group, BC Irish Dance, truly owned the stage with a powerful performance. After several seconds of synchronized tapping with the song, the music stopped leaving the five dancers alone on a quiet stage. Robsham echoed with the sounds of stomps and clicks, emanating from the troupe’s shoes. The cohesiveness between the dancers made a melody of beautiful sounds and stomps as they owned the stage through their own dancing prowess.
After intermission, “Six En Pointe,” choreographed by Kelsey Ortiz, LSOE ’16, displayed the always impressive technical skills of pointe. Deft movements and seamless transitions with the music made for a stunning level of precision as the dancers moved synchronistically about the stage en pointe. Never faltering in the face of the demanding dance, the dancers exercised a different kind of stage presence as the audience looked on. The dance exuded a subtle contrast to the loud personalities of other dances.
Synergy performed toward the end, employing their numbers to a mix of songs and dancing styles. The hip-hop company moved every part of their bodies, stretching and bending, creating another interestingly complex set of advances around the stage. As its name suggests, the energy is not simply poured out on stage by the group, but coalesced into a unified force. The shared movements of so many create a beautifully harmonious image.
In a sentimental moment, the Dance Ensemble seniors came onto the stage to offer up a final performance. Aptly named “Starting from the Bottom,” the seniors’ performance was rife with sisterhood and amiable affection.
The final dance, the titular “Roulette,” again brought the entire ensemble to the stage. Much like the beginning, the troupe dressed in costume, this time as showgirls, to conform to the Las Vegas theme. The dance was another flash of quick and smooth movements, and girls kicked, spun, and waved while adhering the larger movements of the ensemble. As the final piece, the dance captured the nature of the show as a whole. Much like a river, there was larger current to follow, and plenty of room for smaller tributaries to branch away and reintegrate later. Each dancer exuded her own personality, while uniformly fitting into the larger context of the dance.
Dance Ensembles’ Roulette took the best aspects of dance and showcased them in quick and poised fashion. The production of the show was simple and striking, all aspects done in such a way that the movements of the dancers were not only more visible, but augmented through their design. The duration of each dance was refreshing as they seemed to be structured to be the perfect length. Never overstaying its welcome on stage, each dance seemed to have a story to tell. Stopping after that story was told made their endings all the more poignant.
Featured Image By Taylor Perison / Heights Staff