No one pays attention to the group of dancers gathered in the rafters at first, until four members of diSiac Dance Company vault through the aisles of the Berlind Theater pumping their arms to Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.”
That’s when things start to get interesting … and colorful.
Never having been to a dance performance on Princeton’s campus before, I was beyond excited to see CHROMA, a performance with the “intent of welcoming color and light” into diSiac’s generally “dark aesthetic.” The program itself boasted a mosaic of color and talent, coupled with insanely skilled and diverse members to create a spectrum of contemporary and hip-hop movements.
The company has members ranging from freshman to seniors, with every single person functioning as an invaluable asset in creating a production that comes alive with the depth of what it means to be human. The range of emotions that evoke friendship, liveliness, and power persevere throughout a two-hour show that is filled with high-intensity music.
I’ll be honest: I cried during CHROMA. I cried because of how beautiful some of the movements were, how gracefully each dancer moved in sync with the others, and how every person I watched on stage performed as if they were born to be on that stage, with glistening eyes in the audience following their every step. Separated into two acts, the show introduced familiar music and themes that were fascinating to watch. The opening number, “Change is Everything,” showcased a duet accompanied by other dancers leaping between the shadows of light and dark. "Human" featured a piece with all girls in reflective jewel tones mimicking robotic and feral movements to represent the wide span of human experience. My friends and I gaped at the ability of the dancers to not only move to the choreography but live it.
I’ll be honest: I also yelled during CHROMA. How could I not? At the very beginning of the show, a loud, booming voice rang out from the blacklight and shouted, “Hey Yo Princeton” to grab our attention and silence chatter. The voice called out, “You think you know, but you have nooo ideaaa!” which basically summed up the entire experience. Because watching the people on stage wasn’t the only good part about the show. It was also watching each of the dancers calling out for their friends and giving insight into what was coming with each new number through laughter and hushed whispers. I think I yelled the most as I watched “Flawless,” when dancers unapologetically embraced their roots and wore their hearts on their sleeves to showcase the journey of individuality.
More so than anything, every piece in the show conveyed lightheartedness and simultaneously introduced heavy conversations. The audience was in awe at the burst of “Rainbow Sweatshirts” that ended Act Two with every color previously introduced in the show. It was surprising to see personalities of each dance member thrust into the open, whether it be during a mini-solo or a video depicting a humorous cast-specific rendition of the “Wizard of Oz.” Playing with the technicality of professional dance, the themes of emotion, interaction, and individuality, and the colors of the rainbow, diSiac’s CHROMA won’t be forgotten. The audience will remember the first time they saw in CHROMA.