CSU Spring Dance concert brings grace to Playhouse Square

By Chau Tang

What is life without dance? There would be a minimum amount of joy. We dance to not only uplift ourselves but to tell a story. Dance can be interpreted in many ways. The Cleveland State dance concert went on for two days, March 23 and 24 and it was located in Allen Theatre.

The dance featured students from the university’s dance department and featured a special guest, Antonio Brown Dance.

The show opened with a female who wanted to be a ballerina, who was wearing a white outfit with a tutu. She looked very elegant and graceful, which complemented her sophisticated dance moves.

Throughout the production, she was very theatrical yet comical.  People in the crowd seemed to love her. Some patrons even commented on her performance, saying things like “She’s funny,” and “She’s wonderful and graceful,” all of which traits a ballerina should possess.

The graceful dancer would appear throughout the first half of the show. Following her performance, were two other female dancers.

After the ballerina did her comedic act, the two female performers didn’t have music at first as their performance was more of a buildup. Focusing on their dancing abilities, they were very flexible with their bodies, but with the lack of a storyline or music, the performance felt confusing and a bit awkward.

The second act, Sones y Danza para Cuatro, had more flair and energy. To add to the flair of the dance, the performers wore outfits that were colorful. This is particularly true with the female performer’s dress, it was a long white dress, almost ball gown-like with different bold colors.

When Antonio Brown and Kaylin Horgan took to the stage, it was phenomenal. The two danced like they were in so much pain and their dance sent a message out.  

This is especially true for Horgan, who, when the song “It’s a Man’s World” played, danced like no other. Brown also told an excellent story through his movement. During Horgan’s dance, she was rolling on the floor while her body was on the ground, she still danced gracefully, maybe a hint too fast.

The second half of the show was titled “Earth Songs.”

A crowd favorite out of the second half would have to be “The Moth. During the performance, the crowd could see the dancer shaking, trying to break free of the cocoon. To some, it would appear as if she was spazzing out, but she was not. The act seemingly felt like the dancer was trying to convey the feelings of courage and frustration in order to break free. With the clear message, the audience could feel her emotions and energy through the dance.

To enhance the emotions and overall atmosphere of the show, the lighting dimmed in certain parts of the performance, yet the audience could still see the performers. In other parts, the lighting was bright, but it wasn’t overdone.

To also add to the overall atmosphere of the show, was a simply stage design. In the second half, there was a space background that appeared on the big screen. Utilizing the screen in the back, it helped add a sense of location, allowing the audience to see where the story is going. To accent the stage was the costumes. A particularly eye catching costume as a female performer in the ballerina costume. The outfit accentuated her curves, her hair was pulled back, she looked so graceful and pure, as a ballerina should.

The music also fit well with the dancing and overall feel of the show. Though, while it fit well, there was a time when the dance felt like it was a bit fast, the performer even seemingly dancing a bit too gracefully. During this time, It didn’t appear that the dance was in sync with the music.

The dancers looked very comfortable with each other, so the chemistry during the performance was nice. They interacted with one another and during the show, they made sure their facial expressions went along with the music and dance.

While they were giving it their all, there was something that lacked throughout the performance. It would have been more enjoyable if it was clear as to what the dancers were trying to say and It lacked storyline, it also lacked the ability to make you feel overall, as what dance should do.

It was confusing for a while because you would think all of the dances would have a story formed throughout the show, as one. It was especially confusing in the beginning of the show when the first dance performed. There were no storylines nor were there music. The music was slowly incorporated into the dance and the show.

The first act was a little more confusing than the second act. Thinking all of the dancers would connect at the beginning, that wasn’t the case. There was no music nor explanation as to what was going on, so not having those added context clues added a touch of confusion to the performance. While act one was a bit confusing, act two had no such problem. It was clear to interpret what the dancers were trying to convey.

There didn’t appear to be a message throughout the show. Every act seemed to have a variety of genres of dance. While having a different types of dance is a good thing, it didn’t blend well, this making the takeaway message a little unclear.

While there were moments of confusion, the audience overall loved it. One woman in the crowd even yelling, “Yes!” Throughout the entirety of the show. While it’s easy to understand her excitement, it was a bit of an annoyance to other people in the crowd as the cheers made it difficult when trying to immerse themselves in the story. Other members of the audience screamed and hollered.

With the excited audience, at the end of the show, the performers came back on stage and interacted with the crowd and their loved ones.

Overall, all of the dancers were really talented. Each one’s body moved flexibly and everyone seemed like they enjoyed themselves.

Rating: 3/5