Fall Dance Club performance shines, when it ain’t rainin’

This semester’s JSC Dance Club performance was Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. It was also a big step up from last semester’s dance show (though Liz Beatty-Owens’ miraculous Earth, Wind & Fire hula-hooping was sorely missed). That salacious assault on Shakira’s “She Wolf” still haunts us. This year, sunshine triumphed: it was the joy of everyone in the whole darn theater, the genuinely smiling dancers, the loving, bodacious catcalls from the audience, that alleviated the gloomy performances.

Not that all the performances were gloomy – I don’t think even half of them were, and those that were a little on the rainy side were still nicely choreographed and passionately performed. But people would go out of these shows naturally higher than they already do if the material was a little happier. That’s why the second act of the show was so much more exciting.

The song makes all the difference. Something over-intense like “Jungle” (“In a dark room we fight/Make up for our love… My head is a jungle/Jungle”), chilled lyrics over easy, minimalistic music, seems like surgery compared to something like Prince’s brilliant “Kiss,” which never gets old, especially with dancers like these.

The JSC Dance Club is very talented. If one of these dancers doesn’t have it in physics, they have it in passion. It’s a pleasure to watch any of these people on the stage – but it’s much more pleasurable to watch them on the stage celebrating life instead of drowning in it (“Some Nights”), even if they almost move as pretty underwater as they do in the sun.

The most naked moment of the show – in terms of meaning, friends, not of clothing, which can never be too sparse in these shows – came during the Lady Gaga song, “Bloody Mary.” The dancers were split in half. Half were cold-faced scientists. Half were lolling goth puppets, controlled by these scientists. Lady Gaga was singing, “Love is just a history that they may prove/And when you’re gone I’ll tell them my religion’s you… I’ll dance, dance, dance, with my hands, hands, hands, above my head, head, head/Like Jesus said.”

Put the song with the dance and the message seems to be that these dancers are being controlled by science, or something like that: point is it’s hard to look past the stone-cold scientists. But one of those scientists cracked a smile, and it stuck. That smile was the crack of sunlight at dawn. That good-humored dancer suggested that maybe inspiration or passion or life or whatever isn’t a cold bastard in a lab coat: maybe it’s fun. Maybe it’s being alive.

The times these dance shows are best are when the performances are the most alive, the most fun: Those things go hand-in-hand. The JSC Dance Club is truly extraordinary. The audience members know it. We’ll show our love no matter what. More of us were sober this time, and yet there were more cat-calls, a testament to the awesome might of the Dance Club if ever there were one. I just want ‘em to peel back the clouds and let that hot sun shine, man.