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The light’s dimmed, the music began, and within 30 seconds, the dancers transported the audience to a magical Night at The Movies. From Aladdin to Love Actually, Footloose to Harry Potter, this year’s annual LUDanS show was a collection of iconic soundtracks and choreographed numbers that left the audience applauding as they tapped their feet along to the music.
Each year, LUDanS present their annual showcase on campus, with dance styles ranging from ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, tap, and street. With something for everyone, the show is always one to look out for, and this year was no exception. Trying their hand at a themed show this year, and with 38 dances to perform in total, there is something for everyone.
All the dances were choreographed and performed by members of the society. Yet, each took a different approach to the night’s theme. Cold Cup of Coffee by Isi Turner was a particular favourite of mine. Described in the programme as ‘a contemporary piece designed to imitate a film scene where someone is waiting […] in hospital’, the choreography took a distinctive approach to this contemporary style. With the actions cleverly visualising the lyrics in intricate gestural sequences, the music and movement complemented each other wonderfully. Equally, some upbeat numbers were entertaining and enjoyable to watch, such as Dancin’ Fool by Sophie Baker. Based on the jazz number in Copacabana, this fast-paced performance was positively delightful and helped bring out the cinematic magic that inspired the rest of the show.
Those who performed solos and duets get a special mention, as it takes another level of performance to captivate the audience when there’s only you to fill the stage. Catherine Hui’s solo to Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, for example, was the only pointe ballet dance of the evening, but it was well worth the wait. She beautifully executed the performance, allowing her technique to shine through. Likewise, Mr Pinstripe Suit by Georgina Jackson was a tap dance so fast-paced you had to stop blinking to keep up. This number was more impressive as the two girls performed it as a duet, despite being described as a trio in the programme. That old saying ‘the show must go on’ is undoubtedly a moto this dance group exemplifies because without the note in the programme you would never have been able to tell that there had been last-minute changes.
As with all shows, it’s the quirky and slightly out-there numbers that stick with you. Body Language by Juliette Roberts was one such number; her use of Queen to create an abstract dance was enthralling, and her choreography style is so unique it’s impossible to forget. Another routine that stayed with me is Emily Reed’s The Lonely Astronaut, which explores the idea of weightlessness as the astronaut moves through space. The inventive use of contact work so that the astronaut’s feet never touched the ground was enthralling.
Overall, I would 100% attend another one of LUDanS’s shows. While on opening night there were a few stumbles and missteps, it was nothing that wouldn’t be ironed out a couple of performances into the weekend. Their teamwork and talent are admirable, and their dancing is infectious.