I had never been to one of our Spring Dance Concert’s in the past. And all I can think is that I have missed out on a lot! It turned out to be such an amazing and fun event that I have even told family and friends about it so they can prepare to go next year! This concert occurs annually, and is presented on the main stage of the Rice Auditorium in early May. This year, the even took place on May 9, 10, & 11. Thanks to Denise Visuano, I had the opportunity to attend this even on May 9, the first day, and I did not expect to see many people, since the event was to take place for an additional two days. However, I found out soon enough that I was wrong.
I arrived at the auditorium before 7 p.m., and before 730 p.m. rolled around, the auditorium was basically full! And just like my colleague, Bonnie mentioned in her post, while it was “a rather sweltering experience” in regards to describing what it felt like inside the auditorium, as soon as the show started, I forgot about the heat. The auditorium became dark all of a sudden and beautiful, colorful lights lit the stage. Soothing music came to play and the performances began. But before I begin to describe some of the performances, I first want to share with you a little something. I hope no one laughs at me, but as silly as this may sound, I felt like I was in New York City, attending a Broadway show (although I have never been to NYC or been to a Broadway show). The overall atmosphere of the Spring Dance Concert made me feel that way. Perhaps it was the dark auditorium, the astounding dancers, or the different and beautiful backdrop colors that were used for each song. All I can say is that if you have never attended any of these concerts in the past, you really should. Honestly.
Moving on….I should point out that while all of the performances were AMAZING, a few really “stayed with me”—if that makes any sense. First, there was the dance, Tainted. It all started with relaxing, yet ‘springy’ music, with a light, almost white backdrop color. One dancer, dressed in white, was animatedly dancing on the stage and just when I thought that the performance was over, the music changed to a creepy, almost scary melody. “Oh my gosh”, I thought, “What is going on?” Soon enough, four dancers emerged, dressed in black who began to dance around the girl in white. I must quickly point out that while each dance is left up to be defined by each viewer’s thoughts and opinions, I came to believe that Tainted represented a dance of good versus evil, or something of that sort. I say this because after the dark music came on, there seemed to be an obvious struggle between the girl in white and the girls dressed in black. In the end, the darkness won, and the girl in white became the fifth member of the “tainted” group. At the end of the performance, I literally said aloud, “Oh my gosh!” and I could hear those around me gasp and murmur. It was a great performance!
There was also some other great performances throughout the night, such as Ka Loke, Boom Bap Tap, Men Dancing: Climbing The Corporate Ladder, and Maholo E Hilo Hanahkahi (Hilo Medley), just to name a few. Each of these performances, while all different in regards to music and dancing, were entertaining and quite fun. This is what I enjoyed the most from this Spring Dance Concert—the fact that there was so much variety. Each performance told its own story, some to be interpreted by the viewer, and others obvious in the message they wanted to portray to the audience.
Another performance that I extremely enjoyed was The Owl and The Serpent. While the auditorium and stage were completely pitch black, at the right edge of the stage, stood some lit up flowers. That’s right, flowers with lights! At this moment, I felt like a child at a circus, extremely excited for whatever was to come next. Soon enough, three flowers began floating, jumping, and dancing across the stage, back and forth. And the crazy thing was the fact that I was not able to see whom or what was controlling these moving flowers. Later on in the performance, there was an array of other colorful and bright creatures that took over the stage, such as snakes, cobras, an owl, and two other creatures that to me, somewhat represented humans? Perhaps my interpretation is wrong, but nonetheless, there was an abundance of colorful, bright, lights throughout this performance. I now want to share with you that when I was skimming through the program, I saw that this performance was composed of four acts and I began to wonder why it was so long. However, after all was said and done, I knew that it had all been worth it! If I could, I would watch this performance repeatedly.
Overall, this event was great! And because of my experience, I highly recommend that you attend this event next year if you have never attended one in the past. All of the performances were wonderful and I enjoyed each and every one. I was left on the edge of my seat after each performance ended, simply because I was excited to see what came next. And what can I say about the dancers?! I didn’t even know that a person could move the way that they did! There were instances where I was amazed at the flexibility that some of the dances required. All in all, the makeup, choreography, lighting, costumes, and music were unforgettable.
I would also like to take the time to commend WOU’s Department of Theatre and Dance, along with any other sponsor’s and volunteers who made this event possible. I would also like to thank this year’s guest artist, Paula Weber, for “providing a one of a kind opportunity for students in the dance program”.
By Antonia Rojas