Danceworx Showcase: Amplify. Dance. Inspire.

A couple of weeks ago, Danceworx hosted their Spring 2011 Showcase: “Amplify. Dance. Inspire.” –and that’s just what they did. Founded in 1984, Danceworx is the oldest student-run dance group on campus. Put on at the Julia Morgan Theater for the Performing Arts, this was their very first 2-day showcase.

The show consisted of a variety of performances. Danceworx itself is made up of dancers who have been training throughout the semester in Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop and/or Tap. The show also featured several groups outside of Danceworx, including [M]ovement Jazz and Swing, Sriracha, Velociraptors Generation 2, Cal Wushu, TruElement, and Abba Modern.

The Showcase represented the best of Berkeley's dance groups. Danceworx, [M]ovement, Sriracha, Velociraptors Generation 2, Cal Wushu, TruElement, and Abba Modern all made appearances.

Though the “annual emcee competition” was too gimmicky and way too corny for me, I was impressed by the unique performances – mostly by the uncommon groups. [M]ovement Swing did a lively piece called “Swinging Across the Universe.” The partners were in sync and the tricks were on point – it was very exciting to watch! What absolutely touched my heart as much as it pleased my eyes and ears was the performance that opened the second half of the show: Anna Horrocks’s Tap piece to “Hey, Soul Sister.” The tap dancers lit up the stage and their musicality was apparent. I could tell the dancers were enjoying what they were doing and they made it look so easy! It was such a joy to watch – one of my favorite performances of the night.

The wide variety of dance styles made it so that you could never be bored.

[M]ovement Jazz had great execution with technique. Their piece, “Good Luck,” showed their grace and natural performance abilities leaving the audience with high expectations early on in the show. In the second half, “Roots of Existence” was another awe-feeling piece. The choreography flowed beautifully and the girls felt their way through every move. I enjoyed seeing such distinct lines and amazing turns throughout their pieces.

The girls get a slight reprieve from all that dancing.

My favorite performance of the night was from Cal Wushu. Now this group is a sight to see. If you’ve never heard of them and don’t know what they’re all about, well it’s time you take the time to do so! Specializing in Chinese Martial Arts, these individuals are highly disciplined and execute extremely difficult choreography with conviction. There was never a boring moment – they kept my jaw dropping throughout the routine! Movements were sharp and tricks were both intense and crowd-pleasing. I could feel their high energy as showcased their unique talents and livened up the entire theater!

High flying limbs make for some spectacular visual imagery.

On a more personal level, a special piece called “We Will Remember You” was choreographed and performed by The Sophomores of Danceworx. These girls, now seniors at Cal, have been dancing together since they were sophomores. Their heartfelt contemporary piece showed how much they’ve grown together throughout the years as they felt their way through every move in their last dance together on the Julia Morgan stage and in the Danceworx Showcase. They share a unique bond on stage and the chemistry they have was definitely visible for all to see.

How to Woo a Girl 101: Just Dance!

All of the Danceworx groups did a great job in showcasing their creativity and own choreography. From the sexy, sultry performances of “Femme Fatale” choreographed by Dahlim Kim and “Dangerous” choreographed by Sylvia Lin to the new-age boy group and crowd-exciter, “Future Love of the Space Cowboy” by the Manley Men of Danceworx, the night was full of fierce faces, legs in laces, and last but not least, body rolls in all the right places. The crowd was full of family and friends cheering on their favorite dancers with full support. The energy the audience emitted bounced right back off the dancers and made every dancer perform to the fullest. It was a successful two-night showcase for Danceworx and a culmination of so much hard work put into the semester. Though key individuals are leaving this close-knit, dance group, I look forward to what the Danceworx family has in store in the next school year!

Encore, anyone? All photographs by David Brill.

Samantha Dizon
BARE Reporter

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