Opening night – LUU’s ‘Once Upon a Dance’

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LUU’s annual dance show is a chance for Leeds’ numerous dance societies to come together, to showcase their undeniable talents, and to tell a story through dance. The night has been billed as one of ‘fairytale and wonder’, and with months of hard work put in (and countless degrees neglected) the pressure was on to deliver a truly show-stopping performance.

The night comprised of 11 different dance societies delivering 2 performances each, and unsurprisingly this led to a sense of variety that ensured the show was never dull. Naturally, some performances were stronger than others – after all the show encompassed not just a variety of genres, but a variety of skill-levels too. However, for the most part these performances stuck to a relatively basic choreography, which allowed for better execution, and ultimately their technical skill to shine through.

Due to the wide variety on show, it would be impossible to adequately and respectfully review every single act in just 300 measly words. I would however, be remiss if I did not mention a few of my personal favourites. The freestyle hip-hop society proved to be one of the night’s most crowd-pleasing acts, injecting an athletic energy and surprising wit into a performance that was as effortlessly cool as it was deliriously entertaining. Another personal favourite was Modern Dance’s contemporary performance. If any act managed to truly tell a story through dance, it was this one. There’s was a piece that was sensitive and poignant, effectively communicating themes of loneliness and confusion. It may not have been the most overtly dazzling of performances, but it had my inner lit-student giddy with pretentious observations to make about it, and I was utterly captivated.

Overall then, the opening night was a success. The very occasional hiccup here and there aside, every society delivered something quite remarkable, and with two more performances to go, the night only look to get better and better. Tickets are still available behind the union helpdesk; I highly recommend that you buy one.

James Candler

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