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Eleganza: Unapologetically Amazing

By Raj Karan S. Gambhir, Crimson Staff Writer

With expertly timed choreography, eye-catching fashion, and a diverse cast of confident models, it is no surprise that hundreds of students—seniors and pre-frosh alike—flocked to Eleganza. With unbelievable scale and ambition, Eleganza truly stands as one of the greatest shows Harvard has to offer.

With a wide-ranging selection of outfits, Eleganza lived up to its name as a fashion show. Attire ranged from long dresses and button-up shirts to streetwear to practically nothing at all. Models wore clothing that matched the mood of the music with a cohesion that helped tie the show together. Eleganza’s fashion organizers included styles ranging from sleek to gaudy, understated to loud. Though the clothes were nothing short of dazzling, the fabric could not have come to life without the power of the models.

The stars of the show—the models and their range of outfits—shone bright on Saturday night. Consistently energetic, well-timed, and unapologetically fierce, Eleganza’s models provided not one dull moment. Executing impressive dance moves—like twirling a partner around one’s body—sometimes in high heels, performers displayed a high level of skill and coordination. Beyond the technical aspect, the models knew how to play to their crowd, keeping the audience engaged through the majority of the two hour show.

Some of this engagement of course came through displays of sexuality. Traditionally, Eleganza has garnered a reputation as a sexualized show. Men and women alike perform in minimal clothing and strike suggestive poses to the audience. There was a fair bit of twerking, thrusting, and grabbing. Models were not afraid to show some skin.

While Eleganza’s models struck some impressive poses, the show’s attempt to incorporate a theme of “Dystopia” fell flat. Not until the final act did the show seem to thematically fit into the story it outlines in its program. While Eleganza would have been better off dropping the forced theme, a lack of adherence to the “Dystopia” tagline had little bearing on the overall quality of the show.

Despite the scale and ambition of Eleganza, the show was a logistical and technical success. Staff members efficiently checked in hundreds of students in a relatively punctual fashion. Though a few transitions between songs were awkwardly executed, all in all the sound and light went off without a hitch. The biggest logistical error of the show was the long gap in between the last act and BMF Step, during which many audience members thought the show had ended, and were beginning to leave.

Considering how fantastic BMF Step performed the finale, it is a shame that so many audience members mistakenly missed this show-stopping performance. In addition to BMF Step, intermission performances by the Asian American Dance Troupe and Omo Naija added vitality and variety to an already diverse show. Eleganza’s organizers did a fine job interspersing the Eleganza portion of the show with performances of different tenor and similar quality.

Beyond just the quality of the performance, attending Eleganza is in it of itself an experience. At Eleganza, the fashion show does not stop at the runway. Many students come dressed in outfits ranging from casual to formal to avante-garde. Eleganza is one of the few events of the year where bright-eyed pre-frosh and jaded seniors alike can celebrate what Harvard students are capable of. Eleganza is more than just a show, it is a Harvard institution, one that will continue to excite, inspire, and invigorate students for years to come.

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