Dance Into Spring: The Needed Live Show in Iowa City
On the evening of May 1, Hancher and Ballet Des Moines’ Dance Into Spring concert brought the community together for live dance performances.
With the sun shining bright and a temperature of 84 degrees on May 1, it couldn’t have been a better night on May 1 to enjoy a live show.
Dance into Spring, a show in partnership with Ballet Des Moines drew around 300 people outside the Hancher Auditorium. Couples, parents, children and students gathered outside to set up picnic blankets and lawn chairs.
The Hancher Auditorium has partnered with many downtown restaurants to provide picnic baskets to eat during the show. Customers were able to pre-order these meals to participate in the “Pick a Picnic” portion of the event. Some of these restaurants included Micky’s Irish Pub and Pullman Bar and Diner.
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Hawkeye’s pride couldn’t have been more alive than in the UI Dance Company’s first performance, “And Let’s Go.” The event began with the 13 dancers on stage on a recording by the Hawkeye Marching Band. Sporting black and gold, the dancers owned the stage. Their dance movements mimicked the instruments of the orchestra through rhythmic applause and followed formations usually seen by the marching band.
For the second performance of the evening, the dancers of the Ballet Des Moines were joined on stage by musicians from the Roseman Quartet. This piece, entitled “Sliding Figures (Andante con moto)”, followed traditional ballet styles imbued with characteristic movements following the modern dance genre. It was evident in this piece that all the dancers have a strong bond with each other.
Carlos Quenedit and Katia Carranza of the Miami City Ballet performed the exquisite “Pas de Deux” by Don Quixote. The two dancers performed with flawless technique. Playing in pointe is incredibly difficult, but this duo made him look easy. The sunset brought out the shimmering red details of their black-based costumes. After thunderous applause from the audience, the show held a 20-minute intermission.
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The UI Dance Company then returned to the stage in white costumes, performing the play “De António, de Brincante e Vira Mundo”. With innovative and visceral choreography by Professor Armando Duarte of the UI Dance Department, the piece was exquisite to watch. The lighting design crossed a rainbow of colors, complementing the rainbow umbrella props each dancer was holding.
The end of the evening was one last performance of the Ballet Des Moines. Their piece “In Formation” certainly deserved the standing ovation they received. The partnership work between the three pairs was fascinating. Dancing gave me chills, I never knew how much I missed seeing shows. As the dancers bowed down, the audience roared with applause.
Overall the event was magnificent. I was impressed with all the dancers and the way they presented themselves on stage. Each dancer lights up the stage and performs their movement perfectly. Hancher has also done a fantastic job meeting COVID-19 guidelines. I look forward to the next in-person event to see the art come to life.