Dance club performance well-rounded


Amelia Machia

Cody Logan and Carolyn Larabee dance to “Crazy in Love”

This semester’s Johnson State College dance club performance, a campus event always highly anticipated and well-attended by the JSC community, was well-rounded and found a good balance throughout dance complexity, energy level and song selection.

The show opened with a high energy mash-up of burlesque songs, dominated by the Christina Aguilera tune and choreographed by Lien Vo. It was a good way to introduce the night and get the audience interested, without overshadowing the rest of the show. Vo made use of chairs as props, which were well integrated and not too distracting.
“Voulez-Vous” by ABBA, choreographed by Ellen Hood, was one thing: fun. It’s clear that Hood knows what it means to perform and construct a dance routine well, but thankfully her choreography doesn’t take itself too seriously. However, this wasn’t one of those pieces where you watched it, were a little confused and had one of the dance club members sheepishly justify it—saying “it’s supposed to be fun.” You just knew by the way that the dancers presented themselves that it was indeed fun, both to dance and to watch.

Jenna Bora choreographed and danced to Kelly Clarkson’s “Heartbeat Song,” which was the only solo piece of the evening. Through great use of the stage and lots of pink lighting (designed by Nick Ray), Bora passionately asserted, as Clarkson does, that this was in fact her heartbeat song. I say let it transpose into her ownership because after having the courage to get up there alone, I think Clarkson should probably just sign over the rights.

One of my favorite group pieces of this semester, and throughout my entire time at JSC, is “Run Boy Run” with music by Woodkid and choreography by Becca Aranda. It was an extremely effective group piece that felt very purposeful and thorough. I went to the second night of Danceland just to make sure that I actually liked this piece as much as I thought I did, and wasn’t just initially dazzled by Samantha Gunn and Josh Poland’s captivating, flashing light design. One of the things that I appreciated the most was the uniformity of the dancers. Usually in dance performances you are tempted to find your friend or watch the best dancers. Aranda’s piece wasn’t like that because what the group was doing was so much more interesting than any one person, and she choreographed it in a way as to not put emphasis on any individual. This, combined with simple costuming, great pacing and the appropriate lighting made this piece easily one of the best, if not the best.

Taryn Colby’s choreography to “Wicked Games” by Parra for Cuva ft. Anna Naklab was another group piece that stood out as very functional. Colby combined a series of interesting dance moves that weren’t excessively complex, which allowed her large group to maintain synchronization.

Also notable is Carolyn Larabee’s duet with Cody Logan to “Crazy in Love” by Sofia Karlberg with choreography by Larabee. The duo performed a satisfying number of interesting lifts and told a dynamic story with their vibrant stage presence.

The Vermont Youth Dancers and Lamoille Valley Dance Academy both made guest appearances, showcasing the impressive talent of Vermont’s youth and further diversifying the show.

Danceland was well structured by the dance club officers, and run smoothly by Stage Manager Katie Finegan and Assistant State Manager Sawyer Masure. All of the music was at a comfortable level, with Ben Steele as sound designer. Overall, the club has set the bar high for the spring semester, and for future performances to come.