Dance ensemble this past weekend was a truly inspiring experience. This year's line up featured 10 vastly different pieces; all beautiful in their own ways. 

“Killer Queen,” choreographed by junior Dana Jelenski, took the stage early on and set the tempo of the show. This dance was put to Queen’s classic hit of the same name. 

The five female dancers were dressed in fishnets and black leotards highlighted by red lighting. They had an air of confidence and arrogance that played to their advantage in portraying killer queens. 

While this number was one of the smaller ones, it was very memorable to me because of the women’s stage presence and fierceness. 

The stand out of the show was most definitely “Please Don’t Go,” choreographed by senior Rachel Illiovici. A tribute piece, this number told the story of a drunk driving accident and the impact one woman has on those around her. 

Sirens wailing and metal scraping on metal can be heard as the dark stage lights up, highlighting women dressed in black and one dressed in white. The piece unfolded with the woman in white flitting around the stage being lifted and supported by the women in black. 

As the piece moves on we see the woman in white say goodbye to the women in black, and suddenly we hear a flatline noise that sent chills down my spine. 

The woman in white’s life has ended, and it was her time to go. Sniffles and hiccups could be heard throughout the theater as spectators were wiping tears from their eyes. From the contrasting costumes, to the lighting, song and effect choices this piece was truly moving and was the stand out of the night. Every aspect was hauntingly beautiful, and I didn’t want it to end.

“Uncivil Discourse” choreographed by Salena Elish was the dark horse of the night. At the time of the performance, I didn’t think much of it, but its message has been stuck in the back of my head. This piece began with a bright blue screen showing a compilation of videos showcasing police brutality, arguments among pedestrians and hateful tweets all put to Macklemore’s song, featuring Mary Lambert, “Same Love.”

This performance was simple and highlighted six women individually before they came back together. As the song came to a close they came into the crowd and passed out flowers highlighted on the screen a quotation from President Mark Heckler on inclusivity. 

Once again the blue screen lit up showing a video showcasing Ellen and former President Geroge W. Bush at a football game sitting side by side. Two people with vastly different opinions enjoying one another's company. 

Ellen went on to explain the importance of differing opinions and mutual respect. We live in a highly polarized society where we are so hateful towards others with differing views. We sometimes forget that it’s okay to have differing views and to respect that. This piece has stuck with me because of its overarching message of simply being kind to all.

The other seven dances weren’t standouts but all had solid choreography with the dancers hitting every beat. It was very evident all of the hard work professor Ann Kessler, visiting instructor Salena Elish, and all of the students put in to create a breathtaking show, that resonated with its audience.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.

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