AU’s largest student-run dance organization AU in Motion showed off eight dance styles in its annual fall festival on Nov. 18 and 19. The simple costumes and complex lighting in the performance perfectly highlighted the choreography that the dancers executed gracefully. With 15 numbers in styles including hip-hop, contemporary, belly dancing, traditional African dance, tap and lyrical, AU in Motion guided the audience through the world of dance.
The biggest crowd-pleaser of the night was a high-energy number in Act II entitled “TURN UP!” The hip-hop dance was choreographed by senior Jade Mackie and set to a variety of songs, including Beyoncé’s ever-popular “Formation” at the end, which had several audience members singing along. Seven dancers pumped up the crowd as they performed popular dance moves like the “dab” under flashing, multi-colored lights.
Dancers Tessa Vasquez and sophomore Vyette Tiya had notable solos in the second act, and received thunderous rounds of applause. Vasquez owned the stage with an emotionally raw and desperate interpretation of Mac Marci’s “Can’t Make You Love Me.” Tiya’s performance was almost a polar opposite, as she interpreted a conversation between lovers through the style of hip-hop, set to a sensual mix of Anime’s “Caroline” and Rihanna’s “Sex With Me.”
The festival closed with a powerful tribute to President Barack Obama, titled “Yes We Can.” Eight dancers reached to the sky and bounded across the stage under soft, blue lighting as President Obama’s famous “Yes We Can” speech played over the speakers, along with Will.I.Am’s song of the same title. The most poignant part of the number was when seven of the dancers formed a line and bent their bodies in a way that created stairs. Sophomore Zadie Adams then walked up these “stairs” as she reached up.
Among the riveting contemporary, jazz and lyrical numbers, it was the hip-hop performances that stood out the most. The choreographers, including sophomore Dahlia Chaudhury and Mackie, masterfully designed a performance that captivated the audience. With beautiful choreography, talented dancers and evocative lighting designs, the night was a success.