Zodiaque Dance Company takes audience on dance voyage


“One of the numbers, I was in called ‘Pantheon Rising,’ choreographed by Jon Lehrer, was incredible. Working with him, it challenged me and the rest of the cast in so many ways,” she said. “I loved this piece so much because it required incredible strength, endurance, and athleticism. It is empowering to this all-female cast to be apart of such dynamism.”

The company held its spring performances in the CFA’s Drama Theatre this past weekend from Feb. 24-28. The dance troupe is composed of members of UB’s theater and dance programs and puts on a performance once each semester. The company is in the midst of its 42nd season.

Zodiaque’s choreography is rooted in modern dance, though dances performed numbers containing hip-hop, lyrical, musical theater and ballet styles. The company’s focus on diversity brought out many different styles and genres of dance.

In each act of the performance there were four numbers, plus the bows at the end, which showed a tribute to American jazz dancer, Luigi.

Paul Urriola, a senior music theater major, said he was very impressed with the “Here In This Eden” duet piece, choreographed by Jon Lehrer.

“Senior dancers, Evan Matthew Stewart and Angel Mammoliti left it all on the stage, as this may be the last time the two share the floor for a long time. They were incredible to watch,” he said.

This dance was the show’s only duet, but it left the audience captivated.

Many of the dancers performed in multiple numbers throughout the show, bringing something new to each piece. The performance required each dancer to perform as a character in the routine and the storytelling throughout the night was done through the dancing.

“The piece was set up as an exhibit or experiment. Nine students were selected, all who have some unknown secret power,” said choreographer Rebecca Guile-Wind. “It was set up to observe the transition of letting go of fear, moving into a new light, and revealing their powers.”

While some audience members may have walked into this show thinking it was going to be like an episode of Dance Moms, but walked out realizing that the mature content of the piece was much more than that.

Guile-Wind ended Saturday night with a quote that was also used in the program under her piece’s name.

“If you weren’t afraid of your power, what would you do with it?” she said.

For the members of the Zodiaque Dance Company, their power was on full display during their performances. Each dancer used his or her passion for an art form and created a story that took every audience member on a journey they will hopefully never forget.

Francesca Harvey is a contributing writer and can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com.