Expectations were high for a night with Dance Exposé, and despite meeting and surpassing them, the night still managed to be completely different from what I had expected. Situated in MINE, the audience were either perched awkwardly on the steps down to the dance floor, stood behind them or round the sides. Although fairly uncomfortable this peculiar layout did give the atmosphere a more informal feel. By the time the first energetic number kicked in the place felt almost like a club… but with people who could really, really dance.
The first number had a laid back feel; a showcase of what the dancers could do, with smaller groups performing different routines before dancing in unison at the end. The ensuing routines included a breath-taking duet with Annabel Ling and Ben Harrison to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Give Me Love’, in which the duo were amazingly in time with one another, with some beautiful lifts and interesting themes. Annabel gave an especially committed performance, with each move elegantly polished.
the place felt almost like a club… but with people who could really, really dance.
Another contemporary dance to Chase and Status’s ‘End Credits’ was more energetic and faster paced yet equally arresting, with the boys dressed as doctors, the girls in nightgowns, and a clever move which looked like the doctors controlling the patients’ heartbeats. The tap number was also very well done, with sharp moves and impeccable timing despite some tricky changes of direction including a moving outward-facing circle, all accomplished with style. One of the stand-out performances of the evening was a solo freestyle dance by William Barbarinsa, with the charismatic smile and clear enjoyment on his face making the whole audience smile with him as he effortlessly coasted through impressive moves.
The time in between the dances was unfortunately often a little bit too long, with the night losing some of its excitement. The final, dynamic number was similar to the first, different groups dancing to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Sir Duke’, before some more skilful break dance moves in the middle of a circle of clapping dancers. It was also the assortment of acts which made the evening, including great performances from Circus Society, and Stray Arrows performing some beautiful original songs, and Bhangra Society adding even more variety. A particular highlight was a stirring rendition of Rusted Root’s ‘Send Me On My Way’ by The Songsmiths, expertly arranged and beautifully sung, giving the audience chills. All in all, the evening was a first-class showcase of the amazing talent thriving at Leeds University.
words: Francesca Carnell
images: SilverCut Productions