The Mercyhurst Dance department dazzled with its fall production “Symphony in Motion.”
The performances were held Nov. 9-11 in the Mary D’ Angelo Performing Arts Center.
The show featured multiple styles of dance, including ballet, contemporary and musical theater.
Dancers were able to smoothly transition between these varying styles throughout the show.
The show started off with a ballet piece choreographed by Michael Gleason to Felix Mendelsohn’s “Italian Symphony.”
This piece was one of my personal favorites of the show.
The tutus the dancers wore were absolutely stunning, and I loved the contrast of the light blue tutus of the corp dancers versus the dark blue principal dancer costumes.
The entire piece had a light tone to it and it was interesting to see the dancers weave on and off the stage throughout the piece.
I particularly liked the fact that there were three different principal dancer pairs in the piece, and the fact that each couple had a slightly different movement style.
It really made the piece unique.
The transition between principal partners was very smooth and it gave the piece an added effect as it took me a moment to realize that it was not the same two dancers performing.
All three pairs rejoining at the end was a great way to conclude the piece.
The second piece performed was called “Aftermath” and was choreographed by guest choreographer Catherine Merideth.
Whereas the first piece was light and airy, this piece had an entirely different tone about it.
Choreographed to represent the #MeToo movement, this piece was visually striking.
The dancers were in long, dark costumes in low lighting and used a mix of both flowy and jerking movement.
This contrast really drew in the audience and made the meaning of the piece more evident.
After intermission, the third piece of the show was called “Influence” and was choreographed by Maria Caruso, artistic director of Pittsburgh’s Bodiography.
To me, this piece was the most striking of the performance.
The choreography was fairly simple in technical terms, but the sharp execution of the movement was incredibly eye catching.
As the piece progressed more dancers entered the stage, and it was mesmerizing to watch as they each performed similar movements at different moments to give the piece a nice flow.
To top it off, the gold long-sleeve leotards were simple, yet added an extra layer to the entire piece that brought it all together.
The final piece of the show featured choreography by Mercyhurst’s own Mark Santillano, assistant professor of Dance.
The piece, entitled “On Broadway” featured short dances from well-known Broadway shows such as “The Lion King,” “The Tap Dance Kid” and “Grease.”
These pieces were all fun, upbeat dances that really engaged the audience.
Throughout the dances you could feel the dancers’ energy from the stage and how happy they were while dancing.
Children in the audience were particularly entranced with this last piece and its upbeat musical theater style.
The pieces were also very humorous and were a great way to end the performance.
If you ever get the chance, be sure to go and see a Mercyhurst Dance show as it is truly worth it.