Undignified, the student-led dance group on campus, debuted its second performance since its launch last spring semester. The performance Tuesday night featured numbers choreographed by founder Logan Presnell, members Ja’Shon Burks, Haley Glinz and Desiree Jackson, as well as a guest choreographer Tyler Conrad, a friend of Presnell.
While most of the dances were of a modern style – both hip hop and Broadway – there was a nice smattering of traditional styles as well. Performances included a 50’s-era swing to “Dance With Me Tonight” by Olly Murs and a lyrical dance (reminiscent of a ballet) to “We Dance” by Steffany Gretzinger, complete with a beautiful solo by Emilie Westerfield.
The highlight of the show, however, was a number featuring all four choreographers showcasing their unique talents to a mash-up song of “Get Up Off of That Thing” by James Brown and “Turn Down For What” by Lil Jon. As Burks exhibited his powerful energy, Glinz demonstrated her natural elegance — something audiences have come to expect thanks to her numerous performances in the university’s theater productions. Likewise, in his ever-charming way, Presnell executed a spirited performance.
At the intermission, sophomores Eric Baker and Christiana Hicks performed an original song written by Baker as well as a reprisal of “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals – their winning song from this year’s “Davis Hall Follies.”
Personally, I was not a fan of the intermission. Although the original song by Baker was well-written, it didn’t capture his signature antics on the piano nor Hick’s powerful vocals. Their second song, on the other hand, was simply a poor recreation of their original “Follies” performance. This only added to the disappointment of the recess because both were restricted in their performances.While both Baker and Hicks possess extraordinary talent, I was here to see a dance show – not a concert. The show could have done without them.
Regarding Undignified’s overall production, my only complaint was the lack of energy from some of the performers. During numbers, the overall spirit of the dance was reduced by less experienced performers who – perhaps from lack of interest or confidence – did not give their all for the show. I understand this is a dance group for performers of all experience levels. For that reason, I can accept this detraction from the show. Whereas I truly want to see amateur performers take steps toward learning a new craft and becoming better artists, that, unfortunately, often comes at the cost of excellence.
Overall, I was left with many memorable moments. There was no doubt this was a college performance, but it was a very good one.
Matt Whitney is a senior film production major. This review reflects the views of the writer only.