By IRENE PANIS
As the lights dimmed and the cacophony of laughter and chatter from the audience faded into silence, different voices began echoing throughout the theater, one after another.
“I wish I danced more,” one voice said.
“I wish I got to say goodbye,” said another.
“What’s going to happen to us?” asked someone else.
“Mom, I’m scared,” the last voice quietly confessed.
From the Ashes, UHS Dance Company’s annual showcase, was more of an experience than anything else. From the discovery of a nearly two-mile wide asteroid bound to hit Earth to the impact of said asteroid to the slow but steady process of rebuilding following the devastation, the show progressed through the different stages of the apocalypse. Rather than featuring a series of discrete performances, From the Ashes made an effort to ensure that the dances melded together to create a cohesive storyline despite the differences in genre.
The changes in emotion, tone and story between each performance did not deter the audience one bit. From languid movements and alternative love ballads to more daring numbers set to pure dance-pop, the audience stayed engaged.
One crowd favorite was “Fire,” a fast-paced performance portraying “destruction before the devastation.” Set to the rock-influenced song “Fire” by BTS, the performance drew loud cheers from many members of the audience. Another favorite, “Two Much Too Bare,” was an endearingly happy-go-lucky number set to “The Bare Necessities” from the movie The Jungle Book that featured the dancers donning trash bags in a post-apocalyptic world.
All of the performances except two were choreographed by UHS Dance Company’s very own members.
“We were definitely inspired by our apocalypse-based theme and by various pieces of music,” Shivani Lamba (Sr.) said, who helped choreograph four of the pieces featured in the show.
“‘Never Be Like You’ was probably my favorite [to choreograph] because it was a fun challenge exploring movements with complicated rhythms. I also really enjoyed choreographing the Bhangra section of our Bollywood finale because I had the opportunity to share a part of my culture with my fellow company members.”
From the Ashes was a truly magnificent show, complete with stunning performances, great music and a captivating storyline.