19th of November
This week Mine played host to a brilliant exhibition of skill and genuine, raw talent. As the night began, my friend Kay and I made our way down into the belly of Leeds University Union. Careful to make it on time and secure the best seats we possibly could, we quickly realised our timing was off by about 60 people. I hadn’t anticipated the magnitude of the event, but as we stood in line – that stretched the full length of the corridor – it became quite clear that this was a night worth waiting for.
Walking in, the party atmosphere hit you like a wave, as did the massive line of people standing behind you. Drinks were being passed around; a live was DJ playing; everyone was chatting excitedly, and with the friendly Dance Exposé members welcoming you, the buzz was easy to soak in. After about half an hour of waiting whilst most of the audience took their seats on the stairs and ground (or squeezed in around the sides) the show began.
A brief overview of the program was announced, and the first act made their way onto the floor to the thrill of the crowd. The first performance was a Hip Hop/Freestyle sequence to Chris Brown’s ‘Strip’, setting the ambience for a fun and lively night. The girls then took the stage with a performance to Beyonce’s ‘Naughty Girl’. What followed then was an Acapella performance by The Songsmiths, which was brilliant and as far from cliché Glee-ness as possible. After that a contemporary dance performance to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Give me Love’ was performed by a couple, a dance which I think this was my favourite. The two performed with such passion and artistic deliverance, it almost made you want to cry they were so good.
The girls and boys then made it to the floor, adorned in Team GB’s casual uniform. The dance track changed from ‘Chariots of Fire’ into Missy Elliot’s ‘We Run This’, and the accompanying tap dance made you wish you’d worn your own tap shoes, so you could also stomp along with them. Next came a Bhangra section; I am a Bhangra enthusiast, and when the Ministry of Bhangra made their way onto the floor in their extravagant outfits, everyone let their Punjabi alter-ego surface. A contemporary dance by the boys and girls followed to ‘End Credits’, with the boys in Scrubs and the girls in nightgowns. Then the Songsmiths came back with ‘Send Me On My Way’, (which was fantastic) followed by Adele’s ‘Rolling in the deep’. I must say the lead singer for Rolling in the Deep knocked it out the park!
Dance Exposé were then back with ‘Cinema Italiano’, conducting a buzzing latino-hip hop combination. The Stray Arrows then appeared onto the stage: a three person band with a magnificent lead vocalist, who we’ll definitely be seeing in the UK top 40 sometime soon. I loved their sultry indie-rock vibe, singing Amy Winehouse, Lyke Li, and Britney Spears covers, with their own personnel twist on them. They also sang some of their original songs including ‘Bad Energy’, and ‘Brick Lane’.
Dance Exposé then did a compelling performance of Basement Jaxx’s ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ remix with a scenario that was sort of like doctors in a psychiatric ward, trying to contain a patient, very reminiscent of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. An extremely talented hip hop dancer then made his way onto the stage, and Krumped it to ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ by Chris Brown; let’s just say the cheers were louder than the music. ‘Made in America’ was next, performed by Dance Exposé with contemporary flair. Circus Skills society then made an appearance, where a talented young man pretty much levitated a crystal ball in his hands, and made it dance.
Dance Exposé ended the night with hip hop performances of Lady Gaga’s ‘Paparazzi’, and ‘Dirty Picture’ by Taio Cruz. I especially liked the Paparazzi costumes. The night was brought to a fantastic finish by a joint performance of ‘You Can Feel It All Over’; this was truly one of my favourite parts of the night – you could just tell how much fun they were having, and their energy transcended into the audience. The atmosphere was brilliant, as was the break dancing and back flips.
My only criticism however would have to be the choice of venue: I understand the ‘night out’ appeal to Mine, but felt like the setting didn’t do the performances justice, as it was difficult for a lot of people to get a good look at what was going on. I think somewhere like Stylus would have been more appropriate – or anywhere with a stage really.
Overall, it was a great night. I really enjoyed it and was very impressed with the proficiency of skill and talent offered by all the dancers. I especially loved their energy and enthusiasm; if anything, I’m sure they had a great time. I would definitely do it again!
Noha Abou El Magd
Images courtesy of SilverCut Productions