Written by Sabita Burke, 1st Year English Language and Literature.
With not being a dancer, nor knowing a great deal about the art form myself, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I sat down for this mixed-society show run by the Ballet Soc.
However, I was not disappointed!
The Ballet Society’s annual show featured an airline theme, cleverly indicated by the innovative design of the programmes which were flight tickets. They invited the audience on a tour across the continents in the form of performances inspired by the cultures of Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia.
From the moment that the first dance began, a hauntingly white and slowly delicate Scottish-themed routine, I was mesmerised. This was the number of the night for me! There was something magical about the combination of traditional, dreamily-slow movements with gentle woodwind editions of popular songs and blue lighting, resembling dappled shade. The dancers all showed a grace and poise that appeared to encapsulate the utter beauty of ballet. Admittedly, I was even left in tears at the end of the routine, much to the amusement of my friend.
It wasn’t only the choreography that RUBAL excelled at. With each dance representing a new country, the colourful costumes reflected the world’s dynamism, whilst simultaneously providing an extra layer of beauty and seamlessly adding to the authenticity of the acts. They also chose vivid and varied music in the languages of each of the countries. All of which, alongside the theme of the airplane transporting us to the hearts of these places, brought the journey to life.
The six productions from the Tap and Modern Society provided an element of vitality to the night with their lively dances, creatively choreographed along to songs that we all have that little soft spot for: not least using Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl for a very Irish gig, and Shakira’s This Time to represent South Africa. The Drama Society also featured in the show, glowing with energy and joy in a rendition of the classic American musical Meet Me in St. Louis, one of my childhood favourites. There were also several outstanding contributions from the university’s other societies including K-Pop, Belly Dance, Tango, Swing, and Ballroom, Latin and Salsa.
The absolute array of dances was touching, and I think the beauty of this is that it really makes you appreciate the enormous diversity of the world and how vibrant, dazzling and colourful different cultures and faraway places can be. The emotion infusing the celebration of these diverse nations was fitting as the performance was in aid of the Malala Fund, which champions girls’ and women’s rights to education: one of the most important causes today.
I left the show feeling a sense of wonder and amazement towards the dancers, who all proved to be so talented and passionate about their sport. This was a truly enchanting showcase.
The Ballet Society offers professional classes at all levels, and you can sign up to them (or to any of the other groups featured in this show) at www.rusu.co.uk. You can also find their pages on Facebook or Twitter.