VDT Brings Elegance and Exhilaration to Atwood with “Euphoria”

Tara O'Donnell, Scarlet Staff

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On November 8 and 9, Variant Dance Troupe and the Clark University Dance Society performed their fall showcase, “Euphoria,” on the Atwood Hall’s stage. The performance was well-attended both nights, and every dance was met with uproarious approval from the audience. Over 80 performers took to the stage with a wide variety of dance styles and songs. The student choreography was exceptional, along with the dancers who brought it to life.

“Euphoria” evoked many emotions throughout the night: heartbreak during Lewis Capaldi’s torch ballad “Someone You Loved” with choreography by Ari Reyes, exhilaration in Lana del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” complete with skilled fan dancing, and downright fear during Brendon Urie’s “Monster,” choreographed by Henley Ballou. The costume choices and lighting played a significant role in the ambiance of the show. Deep blues illuminated the more pensive and downcast songs, while rapid strobe lights contributed to the thrilling nature of the upbeat dances.

One of the stand-out dancers of the show was first-year Nia Alicea. Although a new member of Variant, Alicea is no stranger to dance; she has been performing for roughly 15 years. Alicea was featured in four dances, including Florence + the Machine’s “Cosmic Love.” This was her favorite, praising Olivia Falcone for her impressive choreography of over 70 people. “The big lifts we did were super cool,” Alicea said. Although they appeared seamlessly graceful, “they took serious practice and planning.” Alicea effortlessly exemplified the intense emotional qualities of “Euphoria” during each of her performances.

Some of the extraordinary dances of the show include “Rivers and Roads” by the Head and the Heart, as well as “Motivation” by Normani. The bittersweet nostalgia of the “Rivers and Roads” lyrics were complimented well by the graceful movements in the choreography. The autumnal coloring of the costumes contributed to the folksy, ethereal atmosphere. The audience was collectively captivated by the story unfolding in the performance. “Motivation” also received immediate acclaim from the audience for its commendable and exciting choreography. The song served as a showcase for many exciting moves from the dancers. One of the most impressive aspects of the song was the number of performers onstage at once. Despite the imposing quantity of dancers, they managed to excel individually while still complementing each other’s actions.

Variant Dance Troupe and the Clark University Dance Society put on two incredible shows. The outstanding number of attendees reflects the quality of the performances in “Euphoria.” Its choreography elegantly reflected the mood and emotions of each song. All participants clearly put serious effort into the performance and it was evident to all who attended. “Euphoria” was an incredible experience and highlighted some truly wonderful members of the Clark community!