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Dance Company shows rhythm, ‘Soul’

Liz Byrum | Monday, December 5, 2005

For such a new group on campus, the Dance Company of Notre Dame has collected a lot of talent. On Thursday and Friday night, this talent was showcased in a performance titled “Soul,” which was presented by the company in Washington Hall.

The Dance Company of Notre Dame, which is comprised of over 50 members, has only been in existence for three semesters. It recently split into two distinct companies, called the Blue and the Gold. It is entirely student-run and is currently led by president Ashley Lucchese. As was evident in the performances this weekend, the dancers put many hours of time and effort into dances, which range from hip-hop and lyrical to jazz and ballet.

“We started preparations for the show during the summer, figuring out the theme and planning dances. Most of the choreography happened over the summer,” Maria Iuppa, a sophomore Gold Company member, said.

The show both opened and closed with performances by the entire company, and the Gold and Blue Companies were brought together for other pieces including “Numb” by Jay-Z and Linkin Park, as well as “Oh Lord, Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Santana Esmeralda.

The mix of music to which the group danced allowed various members to show off their particular strengths. In “Fever,” which was choreographed by Gold Company member Stephanie Kern, a group of five dancers brought together from both companies displayed dancing creativity and intertwined this with their ballet talents.

The Gold Company, led by captain Kathy Nosek, showed their high level of experience with their emotional performance to Joss Stone’s “The Right to be Wrong.”

One of the most entertaining and memorable performances of the night was the Gold Company’s dance to a medley of hip-hop songs titled “Ballin’.” This included pieces by Usher, Lil’ Jon and Ludacris, Missy Elliot and ‘NSync.

The members of the Dance Company are obviously talented dancers, but the wide array of costumes worn throughout the show also proved that at least some of the members are talented in others art forms as well.

The Blue Company, led by co-captain Marti Mullen, closed out the first half of the show to the song “Miami.” Not only were the costumes creatively made out of cut-up Miami T-shirts, the dancers also put on an impressive performance with dance moves that looked like they belonged on a Miami dance floor.

Freshman Blue Company member Monalisa Icaza, who performed in “Miami,” said she enjoys dancing to hip-hop and that “Miami” was fun because “it was kind of Latin as well.” Icaza, who has been dancing ballet since she was three, said that the dance company “is also a way to make new friends”

Fans of any genre of music would have been pleased with at least one performance last weekend. Coldplay fans were no exception, as members of the Gold Company performed a beautiful dance choreographed by Meghan Winger to the band’s song, “Politik.” It was during this performance that the background talent in both costuming and lighting for the night was especially apparent. The colors of both the costumes and the background lighting throughout the song corresponded perfectly with the mood the music set.

The company even succeeded at getting the audience involved throughout the show. A number of dancers filled in the song changes by encouraging the audience to purchase roses for their favorite dancers during intermission, and even had the audience loosened up (literally) during the “seventh inning stretch.”

The Dance Company of Notre Dame is a great way for dancers to continue doing something they love during college. The great variety of music, creative costuming and beautiful performances made “Soul” a very successful show. Whether someone is looking for a way to continue dancing, or just searching for entertainment for an evening, the Dance Company of Notre Dame is a great place to look.