This Saturday night, the jazz ensemble BC bOp! will host “Dancing with bOp!” as a part of the 2015 Arts Fest. This exciting culmination of live music, vocals and--of course--dance will be a high point of the weekend's festivities.
“Dancing with bOp!” will occur at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 in the Main Tent on O’Neill Plaza. Dance groups to preform will include Masti, Dance Ensemble, Dance Organization, Golden Eagles Dance Team, Phaymus, Irish Dance, Fuego and Full Swing. The diversity of the different groups will be matched with a unique and diverse musical sound.
In preparing for the performance on Saturday, BC bOp! member Brad Bitzer, A&S ’17, reflected on last year's successful show. “Every dance group came with a lot of enthusiasm and it showed with the crowd, which was going crazy after every song.” This year’s show will have a variety of acts, ranging from Irish step dancing to East Asian styled-dance.
BC Irish Dance will be performing “Uptown Funk,” a song that is quite far from the traditional music they dance to. The group performed “Uptown Funk” at their Spring Showcase, and it quickly became a quick fan favorite. “It was one of the most fun dances to perform, because we mix dance moves from the music video with traditional Irish dancing and lots of sass,” said BC Irish Dance member Michelle Principi, A&S ’15. “When you think about the premise you automatically think it would never work, but you're going to be surprised by the final product,” said Bitzer. This fusion of cultures and genres is not new to BC bOp!, and it is something that they have been working for this year as well.
The ensemble will also be dancing alongside Masti, BC’s South Asian Dance Troupe. Masti captain JM Becerra, A&S ’15, explained that this is a special performance and one that is not to be missed. The hard work and effort that goes into both playing the music and dancing is unique to this show. “We are constantly amazed at their ability to play south Asian music for us,” said Becerra. “Joining both of the arts together for the show is truly special and it really brings something for everyone in the audience to enjoy.”
This year, Masti is bringing us a themed show that we won’t want to miss: a big, Indian wedding. “We move from proposals and bachelor parties all the way to the reception,” said Becerra. “Come through to see a distinct look at bOp! playing and singing south Asian music while Masti moves through distinct dance styles like Bhangra, Garba and even hip hop.”
The fusion of culture and genre will continue at the show with Fuego del Corazón, BC’s Latin Dance Team. Fuego member Aliza Perez, A&S ’17, explained that the costumes were chosen specifically for this occasion. “The captains chose something that was fierce, stunning and, of course, fuego (fire),” said Perez. The costume, music and theme were chosen specifically to go along with the storyline of Moulin Rouge.
This feisty performance was presented at Showdown; however, it will take on a new twist with the addition of a live musical ensemble. “We feel not only honored, but blessed and grateful to perform in our beloved school alongside a talented musical group like bOp!,” said Perez.
Not only will Fuego have the opportunity to dance along with bOp!, but so will the classy and exhilarating BC Full Swing. The guys and gals of Full Swing will be bringing “Classic” by MKTO to the stage. This dance was choreographed by two seniors, Gina Whitten, President of Full Swing, and John Campbell, A&S ’15, Vice President. “This was a piece that we choreographed together to be our last performance before we graduate,” said Whitten, CSON ’15.
Whitten, along with all of the members of Full Swing are really excited about this dance and to perform it on Saturday. “The dance is a really cute and cheeky one that creates small pictures and vignettes through dance and formations,” said Whitten. With the growth of Full Swing this year, they are excited to cap off a great year with this exciting performance.
While Full Swing had two seniors choreograph their dance for this Saturday, the Golden Eagles Dance Team had a talented freshman, Leah Lombardi, A&S ’18, choreograph their dance to “Don’t” by Ed Sheeran. While during the football season the Golden Eagles can be seen in the stands with the Marching Band, Arts Fest is a time for them to branch out and show their diverse talents as dancers.
Although this was Lombardi’s first year on Dance Team, it was in no way her first year as a dancer. Her experience as a choreographer served her well when she taught the team. On talking about her choreography, Lombardi explained that, “teaching the choreography proved to be its own challenge, as its style is ambiguous and completely different from anything the dance team had ever done.” Lombardi continued by saying, “At first, getting the girls to feel at ease in the movement, and allowing their emotions to inspire their dancing was difficult; however, over time they were really able to own the choreography. I am so proud of all the hard work they have put into this piece.”
While these teams have been working hard to produce a great show, so have many other troupes. The diversity of dance that will ensue on this night is sure to be exciting and entertaining for all who come. Dancing with bOp! is the final performance of Arts Fest, Saturday evening in the Main Tent on O’Neill plaza at 8 p.m. Students can get in with valid student ID, and tickets are $15 for non-students.
“It’s awesome to look up and see all the seats full, and that gives the musicians and dancers a reason to strive for greatness. Its one of my favorite times of the year and everyone tells me afterwards how awesome it was,” said Bitzer.