Robsham Theater was abuzz with anticipation of the Dance Organization of Boston College’s (DOBC) performance of SHINE. The immensely talented group delivered an evening of stunning dances. Showcasing everything from ballet to hip-hop, DOBC had a nearly-full audience overcome with continuous deafening cheers. The audience never knew what to expect next, and each dance was a surprise that created a beautiful and captivating show.
The show opened with glittering sequins and a well-synchronized dance entitled “Diamonds,” which set the tone for a night of fun and enjoyable performances. A number of dances were set to well-known, crowd pleasing pop songs, like Calvin Harris’s “How Deep Is Your Love,” that the audience embraced immediately. With its dynamic and seamless formations and bold attitude, the dance cultivated an entertaining vibe, complete with the over-the-shoulder smiles they tossed to the crowd. “Cheap Thrills” was all fun and let the dancers shine individually with their special skills, which showcased the delightful array of talent of the group. Many of the dances started and ended with silhouettes of the dancers in low, colorful lighting, which tied all of the numbers together amidst the extraordinary variations.
The show also featured some especially emotional routines as well. “Ruin” was a dramatic, raw number that was well-attuned to the song’s wistful lyrics. Choreography featuring the sharp split, jump splice, and the powerful moment taken to stretch tall and look up to the ceiling created a shocking and awesome effect. In a similar vein, “Human” displayed a calm ferocity and a short lift section which demonstrated the group’s immense strength and flexibility. When the dancers exited and filtered back onto the stage with energetic choreography, they created a dramatic effect that the audience found stunning.
A striking number, “Retrograde” featured a tortured demeanor amidst artfully jarring, sparse choreography. As the dancing became increasingly agitated, the dancers twisted around each other in circles and embodied a chaos that gripped the audience. And in a totally different style, “Loosen Up” had a faster tempo and a series of fiery lifts that fit nicely with the number’s effortlessly disheveled aesthetic.
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The show also had two guest performances by Boston College Irish Dance and Synergy Hip-Hop Dance Company. Both groups brought well-executed and thrilling routines to the show, and the audience loved the artistic variations they added to the night.
The second half of the show brought even more stylistically diverse dancing, which opened with a hip-hop routine called “Team.” The dancers killed the routine with tough stances and a fearless attitude, and the result was nothing short of sensational. Another routine, “Salty Sweet,” was a rhythmic and sassy tap dancing number, whose intricate choreography was performed effortlessly. The dancers portrayed an easy confidence that was enhanced by stylized upper-body movement, and again surprised the audience with another amazing style of dance. In yet another turn of events, “Dock of the Bay” served as a lovely tribute to summer. The nautical vibe of the song was accentuated by the cleverly constructed dock platform in the center of the stage, and it always featured someone dancing delicately on top of it. The number was playful yet mature, and was a uniquely themed moment in the show.
Another class of dances featured exceedingly graceful choreography, one of which was an ethereal ballet number entitled “Samson.” The pirouettes and arabesques were especially statuesque when done on point, and the choreography featured swells and stretches that matched the heartfelt music. The number ended with the dancers filing back onto the stage in chain turns, and the end result was breathtaking. “Make Us New” was another dance that showcased the group’s elegance and simplicity over solemn piano music. The fluid choreography seemed to ripple across the stage as the stage and fluctuated between dynamic and unified formations, and an effortless split lift that surfed one of the dancers over the rest of them left the audience awe-struck. And “Stay” utilized artfully frenetic dancing that advanced toward the audience and settled into the stage gracefully. The emotional number showed strength amid grace, and was another beautiful moment in the show.
The whole dance group appeared in their dazzling conclusion number, “Shine,” which featured theme-appropriate music and high-energy dancing that ended the night with a glorious finish. SHINE lived up to its name with its command of all that glitters, but the dancers’ immense talent and love for their craft was what shined especially bright throughout every last dance of the performance.
Featured Image by Savanna Kiefer / Heights Senior Staff