On the Rocks did well to include this intelligent and provocative dance piece into their exciting showcase of the best of St Andrews talent. Fate: In Three Parts reached into our fascination with what could have been, what is, and what might be, this obsession with destiny articulated by seven incredibly talented dancers. On entering what is usually Club 601, the audience was immediately struck by the unconventionality of the set design, brilliantly curated by Amy Seaman, which did not have a definite front or back. Arranged in a square around eight metal pillars to which vibrant red cord was attached, the audience was confronted with an unexpected decision that saw the stage marked by the viewers themselves. This gave the audience agency, we too were curators of the space in which the dance unfurled, growing and changing with each dancer as they moved in a distinctly contemporary style.
Many events in St Andrews get sold out in the first few minutes they are released. However, there are also a number that do not get enough recognition at all just because they belong to smaller societies. This past weekend I attended Dance Societies Ball, ‘Live and Let Dance’ and I was very impressed with what was to offer.
Once upon a time, the lights of the Byre Theatre dimmed and the opening notes of Alice in Wonderland drifted out over the audience and pulled us down the rabbit hole into a wonderland of dance. The annual DanceSoc Showcase began with a brilliant introduction piece performed by the teachers and committee that tantalized me with snippets of each style of dance about to be performed that evening. Too quickly, the words Beginners Jazz flashed on the screen along with a video introducing the class. I love the idea of this quick overview, but as someone who didn’t have a program, it would have been nice to have the name of the class and their dance stay up a bit longer on the screen.
For all those who have somehow missed watching a showcase in the past, the DanceSoc Final Showcase is a spectacular display of talent and heart as each dance class offered at the university gets to perform a piece highlighting their individual style while maintaining the theme of the entire show. This year, the theme is Once Upon a Time, which will encapsulate our favorite stories from the Wizard of Oz to Boy meets World in 27 dances with more than 9 different styles represented. Hannah, the show’s director, insists that anyone, regardless of personal experience with dance, should come along to marvel at the familiar characters taking shape on stage and enjoy this unique way of experiencing old stories.
It has always amazed me how expressive the human body can be: the slow curve of the back, the fold of the legs, even the flip of a ponytail can convey the bitter sorrow of heartbreak or the uncontainable joy of freedom. There is such power and tension in each sinew, in every aching stretch of muscle and the name Surface Tension was perfect for this beautifully well-choreographed, emotionally charged showcase of 5 incredible dances.
The last performance by Dance Soc was this weekend and it was not difficult to understand why it was a sell out event. The night offered great entertainment with beautiful dances by over 150 dancers in 21 dance numbers.
With the first week of revision almost through, we are all needing a bit of a break. Something that can relax our minds if only for a few hours and so that is why you should look no further than the annual DanceSoc show. I sat down with Kayley Donnelly, the creative director of this year’s show, and she let us in on the secrets of the show. I was surprised to discover the show features twenty-one dances with over 150 dancers performing. ‘There is such diversity in the styles and music in this year’s show’ Grace Turner, DanceSoc Show Convener, tells me. With something for everyone, there is contemporary, jazz, hip hop and even highland!
I’ll be the first to admit that I am possibly the least qualified person I know to speak about dance. Despite years of lessons, my pliés were shocking, I never quite got the hang of fifth position, and my pirouettes posed a danger to myself and others. My career as a prima ballerina came to a rather abrupt halt when, after being relegated to the back corner for yet another recital, I decided to try my hand at contact sports, and that was that. However, having seen some amazing DanceSoc performances in the past, I jumped at the chance to review Impulse/Un(Conscious). St Andrews is home to some incredible choreographic and dance talent, and last night was a small but brilliant showcase of their hard work and creative flair.
Last night’s Carnival Ball organised by the Dance Society and the fearless ball convenors Rebecca Ameson and Sanna Sartori, was a veritable success. Themed after the famous Carnevale di Venezia, the much-anticpiated ball promised a night of Venetian masks, free ice cream, and of course, endless dancing. (Preview here!)
Is there a part of yourself that you’re hiding? The part that loves to get groovy and dance the night away? Don’t lie, I’ve seen you out at the Lizard. Well, prepare yourself for a night where that dancer inside can be free to bump to the tunes! DanceSoc (remember the sold out Prohibition Ball last year, yea that was them) is proud to present The Carnival Ball!