Too Darn Hot – A PCS Fusion Dance Performance Review

Danielle Sugrue, Managing Editor

Not unlike a breakfast buffet at the Marriott, this year’s PCS Fusion dance performance suited many tastes, from hula dancing to a Bollywood-inspired solo. Defying all odds, the performance was the trifecta–enthralling, innovative, and hardly reminiscent of previous dance company performances. Although there were familiar faces and a couple familiar songs, the production was authentic and novel, experimenting with more avant-garde technologies and styles, such as the light projection piece inspired by Pilobolus dance company; the LED-incorporating and perhaps seizure-inducing light show; and the stunning solo dance performance by junior Gwen Cox.

There was also comedic experimentation, including the humorous juxtaposition of three seniors – Zach Fishman, Cole Margerum, and Owen Hedrick – twirling to the musical expertise of ABBA; an all-male performance choreographed by senior Ryan Fish which featured gold and black velcro sleeves and pant-legs; and several students adorned in YMCA-inspired costumes dancing to an eclectic array of songs consolidated into a mash-up. Even the emcee, 2014 alum Jessica Sambrailo, did not fail to disappoint with humorous dialogue between performances. As if on queue, every five minutes or so the audience would burst into fits of laughter at the musical choices, dialogue, or even dance moves.

Each time I looked down at my program or even on the stage, I was perplexed by the amount of student involvement — eleventh-grade-choreographers, lighting performed by eleventh-grader Colin Abidi and senior Madeleine Friedenbach and sound commanded by senior Keshav Batish. It became clear to me that the quantity of dances (42 of them!), caliber of choreography and dancing skills, and variation of performances could not be possible without substantial student involvement.

If not the humor and novelty of the performance, it was the pure talent which made the show so memorable. Seventh grader Zack Jot made his debut onstage, wowing the crowd with prodigious moves to the beat of Childish Gambino’s “Sweatpants.” Sophomore Haley Kittleson, freshman Bridget Crowley, senior Abby Crowley, and senior Chloe Jot partook in a number of dances each, but their ‘Too Darn Hot’ performance was most unforgettable. Senior Emmett Madsen introduced his younger brother, seventh grader Henry, to the stage–the Madsen brothers performed in patterned MC Hammer pants to Donny Osmond’s ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’.

In intermission and post-performance, it was the collection of students, performers and viewers alike, all gathered in the hallways surrounding the auditorium which was most stunning. There were arms wrapped around other arms, overall-clad girls, boys garbed in sparkly outfits, collectively a jubilant group of students both congratulating their peers and humbly accepting compliments. It was these few minutes which truly exemplified the performance and its resounding effects upon those involved and those simply watching.

This year’s performance boasted an assortment of dances including waltzes, tangos, taps, and foxtrots, as well as an assortment of talented students. We can only hope fusion dance company shows will be just as good in future years, as they certainly cannot get any better.