Feverish screams and cheers filled the Lowell Lecture Hall as Robert Rush ’18 and Janae A. Hughes ’18, directors of Expressions Dance Company, came onto the stage of their sold-out show, “Expressions: EXposed.”
“As per tradition, we are going to ask you to scream,” Hughes said. “So if you see something that you do like, you should scream. If you see something you don’t like, you should scream. If you see something, you should scream.”
Throughout the two shows on Oct. 28, the company promised contemporary music, quality dancing, and an all-around party. It delivered on all of that. The show started off slightly out of sync and seemingly unsure, but improved with each performance. Throughout the night, the dancers deliberately interacted with the audience and successfully used the music to portray emotion and keep pace.
The dancing itself started off a little weak, but built up in strength and synchronization as the night wore on. At first, the dancing was often not together and the dancers seemed unsure of their movements. The first-time performers in the “Company Piece” changed that, however, bringing a bundle of energy and incredible moves. The best parts of the night were “Too Much Sauce,” in which the motions were strong, sharp, and together, and “EXP: L$D (Love. Sex. Dreams)” which displayed fluid hand-and-footwork, fast twerking, and emotive energy. The dancers also effectively made use of the entire space. They moved from tight formations to long lines across every corner of the room. During one sequence, the dancers spread out and covered the ground with their bodies, lying in rows across the entire room. Then, they slowly got up through a series of backbend-like movements, with grace and impressive technique. Other incredible tricks included back handsprings, a handstand twerk, and several jump splits, all executed cleanly. The performers successfully created an awe-inspiring piece.
The atmosphere was exciting and sexy, and the interactiveness of the show made it enjoyable. From the beginning of the show, the energy from the dancers radiated from the room. The dancers interacted with the audience by dancing in front of them. In the second part, “Daddy’s Home,” the dancers chose three people to sit in chairs on stage where the performers danced around them. During an intermission, three other audience members showed off their moves. The Emcees, Nani Redford ’19 and Hasani Hayden ’19, were particularly relaxed and humorous. All of this contributed to a fun, light-hearted, and energetic atmosphere.
The music in the show fit very well with the dancing, incorporating many contemporary popular hits. In moments where the music turned psychedelic, the dancers slowed down and moved in connected, fluid motions. Other times, the dancers successfully matched the pace of the music. Some of the titles included “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar, “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber, and “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B.
Other components of the performance, like the strobe lights and the costumes, deliberately added to the show, but did not take away from the dancing. Often, the dancers’ dress was all black or just a solid-colored shirt. The outfits brought attention to the moves that the dancers’ bodies were making rather than distracting from them. The strobe lights added to moments of tension in which the dance moves became sharp with fast transitions.
Although the show began unsteadily, by the end the company put on a magnificent show that featured quality dancing, music, and atmosphere. The dancing was energetic, mostly in sync, and entertaining. The vigorous atmosphere and trendy music definitely contributed to the show’s experience. The music, lights, and costumes made it possible to highlight the actions of the dancers. Together, this created an illusion of a big party, leading up to the last number, which was indeed “Lit AF.”
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