by Vanessa Ullman
photography courtesy of Joseph Lee
You could feel the energy radiating from the stage at the Tsai Performance Center during BU Edge Dance Company’s winter performance. The event showcased a handful of dance groups from universities and studios in the Boston area, with each bringing their own unique flair to the floor.
The BU Edge Dance Company hosted a show titled Breaking Bounds on February 23, and its free admission made for a lively audience. The event also focused on philanthropy that night, as BU Edge held a raffle for small gift cards with proceeds going towards the Dizzy Feet Foundation.
The raffle, from an organization that provides dance and youth empowerment to communities with a less active dance presence, was a moving way to start off the night. The organization showcased a promotional video, reminding the audience of how impactful a dance community can be when given the opportunity, after which the first dancers took to the stage.
The night started off strong with a performance by BU Edge Dance Company. The group featured lyrical techniques to Woodkid’s “Run Boy Run”, a powerful song that highlighted their sharp motions that struck to the beat. The dancers’ flowy skirts contrasted beautifully with the harsh drum beats, and only left the audience wanting more.
The next dances featured other groups both on and off campus. The Dance Theater Group at Boston University’s performance of “Untitled” was filled with abstract motions and was an overall moving performance. Fixation, MIT’s contemporary dance group, wowed the audience with their synchronization and flexibility.
The show maintained a good balance between Edge Dance Company numbers and performances from outside groups. Along with MIT, the Suffolk University Dance Company and the Boston College Dance Ensemble both ventured out to Commonwealth Ave. for the night. While Suffolk opted for a more emotional performance titled “Can’t Let Go”, Boston College chose to go the more traditional route with a high energy Celine Dion number, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”.
Aside from universities, the Boston Community Dance Project (BCDP) and the Emily Stominski Project were in Breaking Bounds as well. “#ChangeRightNow” featured a smaller group of dancers from BCDP, an organization founded in 2011 and has grown over time into a large dance company with a focus on dance scholarships. Their passionate movements were both physically and literally stunning, reinforced by one of their dancers being highlighted in a red outfit next to the others’ black clothing.
Though the Emily Stominski Project was made up of four dancers from across all of Massachusetts, the dancers were able to connect both on stage and with the audience to a degree that was at times both haunting and stunning. It was clear that both BCDP and Emily Stominki’s dancers were excited to perform their dances for a community that was not their own.
While the focus of the night was on the performances, the meaning behind the show and the Dizzy Feet Foundation is what made the numbers come together. Without a proper dance education, training or scholarship, the dancers in such groups around Boston would not have been able to do what they love. Their talents shone through on stage, from contemporary moments like those of the Dance Theater Group to the more graceful numbers of MIT’s Fixation.
Breaking Bounds might have started off as a typical dance showcase, but their commitment to the Dizzy Feet Foundation truly brought it to another level. From start to finish, all of the performances at the Edge Dance Company’s showcase were thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated by everyone who was watching.