By Amanda Romeo
Dance students performed pieces choreographed with the help of the Drama and Dance department faculty as well as the help of four guest choreographers at the annual Fall Dance Concert this past week. Shows ran from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. every evening at the newly renovated Toni and Martin Sosnoff Theater at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. An additional 2 p.m. matinee was added on Saturday and Sunday.
The entire concert ran about 90 minutes including one intermission and short breaks in between each piece for set changes. The show consisted of six pieces which were mostly modern dance, with exceptions of a few percussive pieces. Each piece was cast individually – some consisting of as few as four dancers while others were performed in large groups. There were no solo or duet performances.
The opening piece was “Love and Aversion,” by Hofstra Drama and Dance department’s own Professor Hector. It was created on behalf of the junior class of Hofstra dance majors. This piece was a mix of contemporary and urban dance styles.
Highly dynamic in lighting, movement and costume, this piece evoked a sense of juxtaposition and balance to express a struggle of power between self-love and self-loathing. Contrast in light and costumes of red and blue and silver and gold, were implemented in a way that created a beautiful sense of balance as well as unity between conflicting sides – groups similar and different separated and merged with accord to the music.
Closing the show was an intense and high-energy piece called “The Hunt” – a piece that dancer Demi McWilliams particularly enjoyed. “The Hunt” was a collaboration of the students of Hofstra’s Drama and Dance department and guest choreographer Larry Keigwin.
The piece was curious in that it began with the curtain lowered, partially raised only enough to reveal the legs of the dancers, who were dressed in formal attire. Once the curtain was raised, the formal attire of heels, dress shoes, long dress robes and suit coats were shed as the dance picked up in pace. Music became more tribal and percussive and dancers moved rapidly across the stage with their shadows cast behind them, large and small.
“Quadrabox” was one dance that stood out in particular. Unlike all the other pieces performed at the Fall Dance Concert, “Quadrabox” was not performed alongside any recorded music.
Music for this dance consisted entirely of onstage bodily percussion, done by the four featured dancers in the form of claps, snaps and stomps upon four wooden boxes. The beat continued to grow more and more complex as the dance went on, and while at times the dance felt almost secondary to the beat being created, it was visually intriguing throughout the whole performance. The unconventional accompaniment of the bodily percussion made this piece very fascinating to watch and to hear.
The Hofstra Dance team began work for this Concert in early September, with practice and rehearsals about twice a week. Overall the dances were both conceptual and entertaining, making for an impressive concert experience.