Ryerson students have got some serious skills — dancing skills, that is.
On Nov. 23, The Ryersonian attended Ryerson Dances 2013, a dance performance highlighting work by bachelor of fine arts (BFA) students in third and fourth year from the Ryerson Theatre School.
Throughout their four years of study, students undergo intensive daily dance training in modern, ballet and jazz. After months of rehearsals, the training culminates in a striking but fluid mix of four separate performances showcased in Ryerson Dances. About 20 minutes long each, the dance numbers incorporated different ideas, themes, dancing styles and effects to create a flawless show. The performances were truly unique, making the show an absolute pleasure to watch.
In terms of technical skills — form, composure and clean lines — the dancers excelled. In many of the acts, the dancers executed extreme discipline and control. In the final jazz number, Brubeck, the dancers’ extensions were simply superb, and their motions were ever-so fluid.
Emilio Colalillo, a fourth-year dance student, was one of the dancers who stood out in particular. In every performance he participated in, you could see the control he possessed over his body from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. He, along with others, embodied professionalism and knowledge of his craft.
One of the beautiful concepts of Ryerson Dances was the ability of each dance to tell its own unique story. The meaning of each number could be interpreted in many different ways, making each one inspiring and mesmerizing to watch. The second performance, Arteriae Mantises, was utterly breathtaking and, although the story wasn’t explicit, audience members remained engaged. The number was otherworldly, eerie and gritty.
In each performance, the esthetics were terrifically complementary to the piece. The second performance exceeded expectations considering the set was as minimalist as it gets. With the stage dark and devoid of any props, the dancers were the centre of attention as they lurked on the dim stage to ever-so-sensual, yet peculiar, sound effects that mimicked the sound of sniffing, oddly enough.
The third performance, 3TIQET, was also a visually stunning piece of work. The elaborate set design, foggy haze and ominous music all created an ambiance that propelled the audience into a different world.
The performances viewed in Ryerson Dances only further proved and validated why Ryerson’s dance program is known as one of the best in Canada.
If audiences walk away from the show with one thought, it should be a reminder of how talented and innovative Ryerson students are. Furthermore, the amount of hard work and training was highly evident, and for that, we say kudos to all of those involved in Ryerson Dances 2013.
This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on November 27, 2013.