Get ready to be surprised this weekend as diSiac Dance Company presents its spring showcase, “Wired.” On top of a high level of technique that’s consistent throughout all 13 pieces, diSiac adds originality and innovation to the showcase that really make the production worth seeing.
As always, the company is not afraid of new ideas — this time the show features Justin Bieber, dubstep and lights. The company presents a wide range of genres, from interpretative lyrical and contemporary to fun hip-hop and acrobatics. This season’s showcase is a good balance of down-tempo and upbeat pieces, and while the fast-paced hip-hop pieces are sure to get the audience rocking to the beat, it is the slower, more melodic pieces that really show how diSiac stands out. And unlike in many other dance shows, no single piece seems to suffer from lack of practice. From the start, every dancer seems secure in what he or she is doing. Every piece is solid in its dance technicality, music and choreography synchronization.
One of diSiac’s lyrical pieces is especially impressive: “Set You Free,” set to “Sigh No More” by Mumford and Sons and choreographed by Maeve Drablos ’13, is about the relationships — the wires — that bind us to each other. This piece is an example of great synchronization between music and choreography: The dance flows with the music’s rhythm and gives emphasis to the powerful emotions of the music itself. The ebbs and flows of the dance correspond to the ebbs and flows of the music; when the pace of the music increases and thus becomes more dramatic, so do the movements of the dancers. The choreography is a fluid, dynamic combination of ballet, contemporary and jazz, expressive to the degree that the movements seem almost spontaneous. Dancers swing to one side and drop to the ground, only to rise again, sometimes gradually and other times very swiftly, with emphasis given by intermittent leg flicks and abdominal contractions. But all this doesn’t require that the audience be at all familiar with dance genres to enjoy the piece: The gush of emotions, both relaying a sense of healing and freedom, naturally reaches the audience as the piece reaches its climax. It’s cathartic and emotionally lifting.
If “Set You Free” exhibits deep personal emotions of freedom, healing and love through fluid and graceful movements, “Dysphoric,” choreographed by David Wang ’14, presents a completely different interpretation of the word “Wired.” This piece, danced to a mix featuring “Woods” by Bon Iver and “Yonkers” by Tyler, The Creator, conjures a dark and eerie sense of isolation, debilitation, turmoil and disconnectedness from the world. This time the movements are no longer continuous and fluid, but under dark lighting, the dancers almost seem strangely robotic and inhuman. The choreography is extremely powerful but contained: Movements often are broken down with abrupt halts. This piece shows that fast, strong hip-hop and emotional conveyance are not mutually exclusive.
“Warning: Missy Be Contagious,” choreographed by Austin Giangeruso ’14 and Russell Dinkins ’13, is a fun, flirty hip-hop piece that balances out the more heavy pieces. Danced to well-known pop songs such as “One Minute Man” by Missy Elliot ft. Ludacris and Trina and “Ring the Alarm” by Beyonce, the piece tells a story of a highly fatal disease called “Missy.” Since everyone is “wired” to each other, the epidemic spreads fast, striking down one dancer after another until there is no one left dancing on the stage. While this piece is not as emotionally rich as some of the others, it definitely lightens up the mood and entertains the crowd.
The piece, however, could have been better presented without the bright yellow costumes. In this case the costumes don’t seem to bear great relevance to the content of the piece and instead detract from it. Most of the lyrical and contemporary pieces keep costuming to a minimum, which allows the audience to focus on the actual choreography. Bright costumes can sometimes greatly enhance uplifting pieces, but when this show attempts bright and fun costumes, they are often either overdone or tacky and subtract from the overall consistency of the show.
The highlight of the show comes with the last piece, “Daydreaming with the Light On,” choreographed by Rafi Klein-Cloud ’11 and Brian Jeong ’11. This piece is the ultimate proof of diSiac’s creativity and makes up for the minor blotches in costuming. The piece starts with a dancer playing the role of a teacher, dancing to a pre-recorded lecture in biology. She dances to the lecturer’s speech itself, without any music. While this is already mind-blowing, the piece gets even better as other dancers join in and show off their b-boying, breaking and acrobatic skills. The piece continues to escalate until — BAM! — the lights come on and the dubstep takes hold. This last surprise alone is worth attending the show.
All in all, “Wired” reminds us once again that diSiac is not just about technique or flashy music remixes. It synchronizes the two with great ingenuity and hard work, bringing its performance to a whole new level of successful experimentation.
4 out of 5 paws
Pros: Flawless technique; impressive coordination of choreography and music.
Cons: Distracting costumes.