Emerging Choreographers Showcase wows

UB dance caps the semester off with artistic flare


The Emerging Choreographers Showcase filled up Katharine Cornell Theater in downtown Buffalo with applause and admiration this past weekend.

On Saturday, the Emerging Choreographers Showcase held a various performances in order to highlight student choreographers, who created the original pieces using various forms of dance. The show traversed through hip-hop, modern, contemporary and even into the swing genre.

“The show was good, so many different flairs to every piece, makes me want to dance,” said Mike Spina, a senior business major.

The crowd response was nothing less than impressed, as audience members enthusiastically clapped and cheered the second lights turned off, which signaled the end of a piece.

From the audience’s reactions, the favorites included the 8 of Clubs, Vanguard, Cirrus, Clyde and Louise and Unveiling Consciousness dance pieces.

Captivating and humorous, with an early 1900s grove, 8 of Clubs opened the show with a boisterous atmosphere – entertaining and sassy.

Empower was a conceptual grounded piece depicting the transformation from helplessness to self-empowered. This was executed through hard-hitting isolations and through the manipulation of dancers’ movements through forceful direction from another dancer.

Movement would progress into an uplifting hip-hop style.

Vanguard embarked on an adventurous world of acrobatic flight. It was an exciting representation of a gruesome fight. The dancers were tough and disciplined, displaying pure athleticism through the countless acrobatic feats that constantly wooed the audience. The crowd applauded insistently after this piece.

Cirrus felt like it had some distant tribal influence when the dancers started out imitating each other movement.

Performing the same set of gestures they went in and out of sync lighting up at certain movements like fireflies.

Luxate quickly grabbed the audience’s attention with dancers’ costumes and its ability to seemingly capture the light.

This performance had a supernatural and mythological ambience to it.

Assemblage was a piece that is exactly what it sounds like.

It is a grouped movement accompanied by live musicians directed by associate professor Thomas Kolor.

“I really enjoyed the part in the piece when the dancers made a visual out of each new pose in unison or combination with each other, really interesting visually speaking,” said Christopher Coulter, a senior business major.

Common Ground was a sassy and intriguing movement that focused on lower bodylines like leg sweeps. The dancers were smooth and nimble throughout the set.

Enter the Infinite was a very aesthetically pleasing piece.

With beautiful lines made from the dancers’ movement this truly made the audience think about time and space and the suspension of it. Incorporating ideas that are rather abstract, like time and space, this piece beautifully articulated this through its choreography.

Clyde and Louise was a choreographic ode to choreographer Allyson Buttram’s grandparents.

It was sad and beautiful as the two dancers, Cody Holland and Kayla Jowski, started out in isolation from each other but gradually moved into more unison movement.

At times the two seemed so happy they appeared they might cry.

This piece had a few moments without much movement but this worked well in creating thought for the audience. This piece was emotional and would transform into a mid-1900s style swing piece.

Unveiling consciousness was by far the most conceptually powerful piece in the show. As mentioned in the booklet, Evan Mathew Stewart and Johanna Taylor dance with their eyes closed the entire duration of the piece.

“That was beyond me,” said Phil Spezio, a senior business major. “I think I enjoyed how disorienting it felt to me the most.”

Initially, the two dancers were depicted as victims to the other dancers around them who were manipulated due to their lack of sight – but eventually they began to use each other to utilize a variety of disorienting movement.

This show caps off the semester for dancers with an exciting showcase from advanced choreographers and dancers alike in the UB dance program.

Giovanni Gaglianese is an arts staff writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com