Last night, 9 April, the StAge was lit up for a celebration of cultures and music as expressed through the medium of dance. Ten acts showcased dance styles from around the world, brought together by diligence and obvious hard-work. It was incredibly successful, as achieved by all the performers high levels of enthusiasm and passion. The show flowed well and was aided by the humorous emcees who kept the energy up throughout.
Having never been to a dance performance at university before, it was refreshing to see people so engaged in something I had never been exposed to.
The show opened with Highland Fusion, part of the Blue Angels, with interesting interpretations of traditional dance mixed with contemporary music. In particular, I enjoyed the use of Bombay Bicycle Club’s “Always Like This”, it made the style of dance more accessible and was quite well executed. This could also be said for the act that followed, as Ballads came out with a mixture of styles including the tango and Viennese waltz. The couple glided around the room to Michael Buble’s rendition of Cry Me A River, the result was entertaining, but it also demonstrated great technical skill.
The two belly dancing performances were impressive and further demonstrated the diversity which motivated the show. Having not realised the it originated in Egypt, it was both educational to me while simultaneously leaving me quite jealous of their isolated hip movements. High energy came from both the swing-dancing performer and the Indian style dance group, bringing smiles to everyone’s faces. The swing dancing was excitable and keen on audience engagement, which everyone eagerly accepted. Additionally, the Bollywood dancers were well synchronised and had a great mix of hip-hop and contemporary pop in their music.
The Celtic group showcased the right way to ceilidh. They were keen and energetic, moving between partners with incredible ease. The group dances continued with the Ballads returning for a mixture of Latin ballroom styles, again made entertaining to a wider audience with mixtures of pop songs like Ei Se Tu Pego, which were excellently performed between four couples. A tough act to follow, the couple who danced the LA Salsa came through with vitality, skill and a really quite fantastic glittery dress. The show was closed by the Saints of Seoul, a modern dance group gaining traction on Instagram and YouTube for their great videography and synchrony. Their dances were loud, unapologetic and really ended the show on a high.
All the performers did an amazing job, bringing together a show that was diverse, inclusive and full of great talent. I had no idea how many different dance groups there were at St Andrews, and was quite glad to see so many of them collected together. This was a great event organised by Shimmy Society, and it left me excited to see what they put out in the future. Catch the last few days of the On the Rocks Festival this week!