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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Talent and tech make Zodiaque’s 49th season a success

The dance company chooses to experiment with technology and genre jumps

<p>Zodiaque Dance Company put on its 49th annual spring performance.&nbsp;</p>

Zodiaque Dance Company put on its 49th annual spring performance. 

Whirling colors and rhythmic movement took to the UB Drama Theatre Stage from Feb. 29 to March 2 as the Zodiaque Dance Company put on its 49th annual spring performance. 

A different group of dancers presented each performance. The groups had rehearsed individually in their respective studios before coming together for spacing and tech week. 

The opening number, “Virus E.,” told the story of an apocalyptic viral outbreak that swept over the dancers, consuming them in epidemic proportions. The dancers set the tone of the performance with jarring, zombie-like movements and harsh lighting, an eerie effect that could’ve only been conveyed by the combination of human skill and the versatility of stage technology.

The performance required two weeks of tech rehearsals and weeks more of tech prep to put together. 23 moving lights were used alongside never-before-seen innovations created specifically for this performance. 

The second number, “Dance Sense,” was a marvel of creation and problem solving for the tech team. Each dancer wore sensors on different parts of their body and interacted with the elements on stage to produce the soundtrack and light display. The tech team had to develop new hardware and software to accommodate the project.

“It was new for the department,” Joyce Chen, a junior theater major and the stage manager for the performance, said. “We had to work with a new professor in the media department to do the mixing.” 

As each act took the stage, the audience was hit with a new wave of awe and dumbfounded wonder. Each parting of the curtain brought a new synergy of technology and talent. 

“The closing of the curtain was like the blink of an eye,” Chen said. “It cleansed the mood so that the thing before you could surprise you all over again.” 

“Front Page” echoed modern frustrations with the state of the world and the media by having the dancers move in frenzied motions as they tore apart newspapers. Headlines professing the desperation of losses scrolled across a projection screen as the stage became a flurry of tattered articles. 

Meanwhile “Trip the Light” had a more carefree energy. A tap dance duet click-clacked their way through a lively compilation of jaunty tunes. 

As the dancers came together for “Z’Bows,” the final number and only piece featuring the full company, the full scope of the dancers’ versatility was put on display. The dancers had the opportunity to present a short routine, showcasing individual strengths, before they all came together to finish off the bows as a collective whole. 

Preparations now begin anew as the company prepares for their 50-year celebration next school year. 

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