By Antonia Spano
DeSales University held their annual Dance Ensemble Concert from March 17– 19. The concert had six numbers choreographed by professionals in the field.
Senior dance majors performed the first number, “Wanda,” featuring all women. The costumes consisted of black and white colors, with the dancers’ hair up in a bun. The set was a simple black background and white lights to highlight the stage. The dance itself consisted of many elegant jumps; running and rolling around the stage to the upbeat music of Wanda Jackson, from which the number gets its name, and a number written by JefreCantu Ledesma and Gregg Kowalski.
“Here I Am” was the second dance and was set to Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Little Suite.” It told the story of working class people going to work. The set was formal coats hanging on wires from the ceiling, with dancers putting them on their nude leotards during the dance. The formal coats and the classical music matched perfectly.
The movements depicted themes of daily struggles in an urban community. The lighting helped with the timing, showing the beginning and end of the day. At the close of the number, the dancers took their jackets off, returning to their nude leotards.
Julia Mayo, the artistic director of the show, directed “Lagniappe,” a dance set in three acts. In her message in the program, Mayo states that she “was inspired by [her] Louisiana upbringing.”
The music was composed by Kenji Bunch and featured violins in an upbeat melody. The dance featured five women in purple dresses with green underneath and one man in a gray leotard. The setting was purple with a sunrise background and a bench. The dance had three acts, which told a story of their own.
The first act was a ballet done in partners where the dancers fought over the bench and led by junior Emmy Sparr. The second act was a love story of a man and a woman meeting on the bench. It had an exciting and happy tone. The last act returned to the themes of the first with the dancers watching the lovers and Spaar getting everyone to dance again.
“Concerto Grosso” was first choreographed and performed in the 1940s by José Limó. The work itself is copyrighted and is set to Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto #11 in D Minor Opus 3. The background was black to match the tone of the music and the costumes were black and tan, with the females’ hair in buns. The ten dancers performed the traditional and folk dances together in unity. The dancing fit the time period in which the music was composed. The movement went from elegancy to showing struggle within the music.
Choreographed by Angela Sigley Grossman with the help of the dancers, “Flight Risk” had a black, celestial background to set the dance in outer space. The costumes were all black with green neon lights. The dance had natural and animalistic movements that were either slow or quick to show the rawness of outer space. The music was a mix of electro and techno sounding.
“The Bluebird of Happiness” had upbeat music with the female dancers wearing pastel-colored dresses, making the dancers look like royalty. Starting with the song “I Wish I Were a Princess” by Peggy March, these characters seemed to come from a higher class. The music throughout the number was upbeat, including March’s song.
The first act ended with one girl giving birth, with the second act having the girls parade on stage with dolls in their hands. Two other girls fought beautifully throughout the dance. The third act had the girls tiptoe in a circle and had them crawling on the floor. It ends with a dancer alone on stage with a doll thrown to her from offstage, metaphorically forcing her to take care of a baby.
Overall, the concert was filled with beautiful pieces, with favorites being “Bluebird of Happiness” and “Lagniappe” due to lighting, fun movements and the music that accompanied them.