By THUY TRAN
Leotards? Check. Pink tights? Check. Bobby pins, hairspray, pointe shoes, icy hot, band-aids? Check, check, check, check, and check. Where exactly was I going, you ask? To one of the best dances Stanford has to offer.
Cardinal Dance Fusion is the first time that the Cardinal Ballet Company officially comes out of winter hibernation and on April 4th and 6th, it dazzled Stanford with all of its many talents. As a freshman, I was new to the CDF experience and thus easily caught up in all the glamour and drama of the show: the stress and pain as well as the never ending laughter and joy of performing. Dancing in four of the six Cardinal Ballet numbers, I was prepared for inevitable foot cramps and a flurry of quick changes.
With a smooth jazzy tune, “Pas de Duke”, an original piece by guest choreographer Robert Sund, opened the show. A combination of synchronized group movement and adorably choreographed partnering beautifully displayed the technical and artistic elements of Sund’s vision. Each time I watched during rehearsal or from the wings, I could not stop smiling. I have never seen so much sass in one piece!
Performing in Katherine Disenhof’s “Hey Ya” along with four other dancers, I played my part in the piece by interpreting the both thought-provoking and humorous undertones of the dance. Merging the ballet aspects with more lyrical stylings, there was not only an emphasis on precision of movement but also fluidity. Despite my confidence in the dance, I was relieved that the audience responded playfully and good-humoredly to the suggestive allusions towards Polaroid pictures and “bad behavior.”
Immediately afterwards, I changed from my all black ensemble into a bright white tutu and pointe shoes for Cardinal Ballet’s adaptation of the garden scene from the ballet “Le Corsaire.” By far the longest piece in the show, it showcased a corps de ballet, a difficult yet engaging pas de troix, and a dramatic finale. Behind all the dancers’ enthusiastic smiles was veiled concern at facing one of the most difficult dances of the performance, especially for those in the pas de troix. However, as we completed the finale, the smiles became those of well-deserved satisfaction as we felt pride in our work despite the aces in our calves and arches.
From white and gold tutus, the company and I changed into dark blue costumes during intermission for “Primavera,” a piece by Colette Posse. A universal crowd pleaser, it combined the serene and idyllic with the powerful and dynamic. Bathed in blue light, the dancers formed intricate patterns and formations with the choreography increasing in difficulty and vigor in accordance with the transitions of the music. As someone intellectually stated to me, “I swear, when I was watching this dance I saw, like, math equations and stuff.”
Following Dil Se’s performance one of the many showcased by other dance groups, five members of Cardinal Ballet Company were onstage again for “The Rose.” Incorporating sign language, the dancers performed with a purity of feeling towards the music and choreography. While the choreography was not overly technical, the sincerity of movement was touching.
The final performance of the night was CBC’s group piece, “Til Enda”, choreographed by Sanjay Saverimuttu. I sensed that the audience was caught somewhat off-guard by the dance’s synthesized music and unique choreography, but after the show, many students displayed an appreciation for it’s exploration of a new dimension to the conventional notion of “grace”.
The show was a whirlwind and like all things at Stanford, over far too quickly. As I have come to learn, CDF is a colorful showcase of some of the most invested and genuine dancers on campus who want nothing more than to share their infectious love of dance with others. I am so grateful to have been a part of this amazing production and I can only hope that those who came to see the show enjoyed watching it as much as the dancers loved performing in it. See you next year at CDF 2013!
Thuy Tran (’15, Undeclared) is the Junior Dance Editor of The Stanford Arts Review. While dance is her first love, Thuy finds room in her heart for long naps, basset hounds, and witty jokes.