diSiac Dance Company opened its spring show with dancers moving in semi-darkness to the understated beat of Jaden Smith’s “Ghost.” The production played off of the strength of simplicity, beginning with marketing that got straight to the point about how good the group really is: “drip” was this season’s theme. No other narrative or overarching topic was needed to bind together the whole production as it sped by.
With the exception of a couple of standout experimental pieces, much of the show was, as the program put it, “pure fun.” Heels and pink bodysuits came out. The dancers interacted with the audience by approaching the front row and tossing pieces of their costumes into the crowd. They showed what appeared to be genuine affection for each other on stage, at times huddling together or slapping each other’s backs. The dancers combined these sorts of loose, seemingly spontaneous movements with perfectly precise and synchronized choreography.
diSiac excels at pulling off choreography that appears so fluid and impulsive that it’s hard to believe it’s choreographed at all. This couldn’t help but strike me with particular force in what may have been the main highlights of the show: “Feeling Good,” which stretched across the entirety of Nina Simone’s song by that title, and “Danny Boy,” choreography by Nina He ’21 and Michelle Yeh ’19, respectively. Both of these performances were entrancing in their controlled chaos. In “Feeling Good,” five dancers brought to life the exuberant natural world of Simone’s lyrics using just their bodies. One dancer’s legs tread nothing but air as her partners lifted her off the floor. The singer’s “dragonfly out in the sun” and “river running free” were clearly visible as diSiac’s dancers flew across the stage. The dancers in “Danny Boy” contrasted repetitive and mechanical doll-like movements with wildly free physical expression. This contrast and the sheer amount of disparate movements onstage generated a hypnotic effect, with the viewer unable to tear their eyes away while also unsure where to look. The doll-like performers danced an eerily ambivalent line between the mechanical and the human, and the piece’s use of unusual songs such as “Army Dreamers,” by Kate Bush, produced an uncannily whimsical mood.
The only addition that might have added more variety to diSiac’s choreography would be a piece with only two or three dancers, as many of the numbers involved a relatively large group. Frist Film/Performance Theatre’s venue is small enough that the stage can easily appear slightly overcrowded, in contrast to the Berlind Theatre, which hosted diSiac’s fall show this year.
diSiac performed its show in intervals of two or three pieces. The three filler videos spaced throughout the show were short but hilarious and heartwarming, from a short parodic dance tutorial to a loving tribute to diSiac’s departing seniors. These moments further revealed the friendship and infectious humor that were already visible on stage. It’s hard not to leave a show like diSiac’s with a smile on your face.