UConn Dance Company showcase delivers crowd-pleasing performance

The UConn Dance Company performed their showcase on Wednesday, April 11 in Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. The show was broken up into two parts with guest performances from A Completely Different Note and Husky Bhangra.(Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

The UConn Dance Company leapt, twirled and spun their way into its audience’s hearts Wednesday night. The company’s unique dance style was on full display for a crowd of friends and family gathered at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts during the company’s Spring Showcase.

Throughout the performance, audience members continuously cheered for their friends who were performing. Shouts of “Go, Kirsten!” and “Come on, Bri!” echoed throughout the theater, displaying the crowd’s support for and enjoyment of the company’s show.

Audience reaction to several of the dances was particularly warm, with audience members cheering and shouting many times throughout these numbers. One such performance was “Ain’t No Other Man,” a dance set to the Christina Aguilera song of the same name. The audience enjoyed the upbeat music and energetic dance moves.

“It’s really fun,” Faith Carter, a friend of one of the dancers, said. During the intermission, Carter said “Ain’t No Other Man” was her favorite dance so far.

“One of my friends is in it. I like seeing her dance,” Carter said.

In the second act, the company performed more crowd-pleasing, lively dances. Some of the dances even told stories.

The routine “Year of the Ladies,” choreographed by Rachel Uricchio, featured the song “Cell Block Tango” from the musical “Chicago” and had dancers lip-synching to some of the stories that the women in the song tell. When certain sound effects were heard, like the sound of the pop of gum that one of the women hates, the dancers performed gymnastic stunts, like jumping or flipping.

Perhaps the most well-received dance was “9 to 5,” a dance choreographed by senior Marisa Boch. This number was set to a mix of songs, including Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow (Y2K Remix).”

This dance made use of props and costumes to tell a story. The dancers wore cropped short-sleeved collared shirts with a tie and the classic black Adidas pants with white stripes down the side. The number began with some dancers walking across the stage carrying briefcases. Others followed, carrying newspapers. The instant that the music began, the dancers flung the papers into the air and launched into a dynamic routine that captured the audience’s attention. The routine was inspired by the idea of 9-5 workers who break into dance on the way to work.

The UConn Dance Company’s Spring Showcase also featured some slower, more ballet-influenced pieces. “For Your Precious Love” was one of these routines. Set to the Otis Redding song of the same name, this performance featured graceful, rhythmic movements. Another more lyrical dance was “Everything,” set to Ben Howard’s song “Everything.”

There were also two well-received guest performances during the UConn Dance Company’s showcase. An all-male a cappella group, A Completely Different Note, sang “Sweater Weather” and “Kiss From a Rose.” During the second act, Husky Bhangra performed a dance that the audience really enjoyed.

At the end of the performance, UConn Dance Company President Eric Beltrami thanked the audience for attending the show and promised more great things to come from the company, a promise the audience looked forward to and applauded for.

“I think they’re amazing. It’s kind of really exciting,” human development and family studies graduate student, Lauren Richdale, said.

Richdale’s roommate was dancing in the showcase.

“I think they’re great. They’re fun to come watch,” Richdale said.


Stephanie Santillo is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.santillo@uconn.edu.