Pre-Revels ’17: Footloose
The official dance category of Revels’17, Footloose, had both, participants, and organisers on their feet during the Pre-Revels events. Spanning from the hip-hop west to the cultural east, Footloose covered a wide spectrum of dancing forms and exhibited the rich culture of dancing prevalent in MIT.
Moonwalk, an event that called forth discrete talent in campus in the form of energetic dancers, took place on the 21st of February in the Library Auditorium. Despite being fashionably late (or perhaps because of it), Footloose failed to displease – the joy of witnessing an embodiment of faithful passion in the participants made it all worthwhile.
The very beginning of the event led to its highlight. A lithe dancer engaged in elaborate turns and extended leaps. His fluid movements and labored techniques were nothing short of ethereal art. The environment was bittersweet, as with each interval of minor third, the dancer lifted the audience’s drooping hearts with amazement. Completely enthralling the hall, the performer covered each inch of the stage with his presence, seemingly all at once.
One of the peculiarities of the event was the persistent recurrence of the track Titanium, by Sia. A number of participants had constructed their choreography around this track. However, they surely lived up to the reality of the lyrics, personifying the idea of standing up to criticism by their powerful moves, making this happy coincidence seem deliberate. After their performance to the slower beats of the song, one of the dancers said, “This means a lot to me because it enables me to direct my frustrations towards something so melodic and creative at the same time.” It certainly did seem like a lot more than hard work had been invested into the dance.
Things took a lighter turn when an impromptu showdown was held. The dancers brought meaning to the event name as they impersonated Michael Jackson, gliding around stage. Other than that, one of the dancers validated the existence of the viral song ‘Pen Pineapple Apple Pen’ by inventing hip-hop moves that miraculously lay in sync with the remix.
One of the dancers who had taken part in the showdown authenticated her dynamism by completely shaking the entire auditorium with her strong and complicated moves. Breaking, locking and popping, there was nothing the dancer couldn’t do. Leaving everyone a bit dumbfounded, she blazed the stage with her presence.
Dance is the best form of self-expression. A lot of dancers brought truth to this saying by completely overcoming self-consciousness and delving into their stories. Having recently gone through a difficult time, one of the dancers visually demonstrated the helplessness of his situation. Using a balloon as a prop, the dancer concocted an act that highlighted the heaviness of emptiness. Literally not being able to pick up the balloon, he helped us all discern the weight of sadness.
While the event was a huge success in itself and quite satisfying to watch, it would have helped if the crowd didn’t only consist of photographers or social media volunteers. The spectral talents of Moonwalk deserved a wider exposure, which hopefully shall pick up in Revels’17.
The library auditorium, on the 24th of February, roared with the sounds of Ghungrus and the colorful glittery bangles. Nachle ve saw participants dance to some beautiful beats and showcase their talent in the field of Eastern dances which included classical, semi-classical, and contemporary forms of dance. This Pre-Revels competition saw twelve MITians show some of their best moves to the audience, who, to not much surprise were mesmerized. With contestants dancing with vigor and passion to the tunes of Bhangra and Bollywood songs, one could easily feel the energy in the auditorium.
The esteemed panel of judges included professors from the CSE and the EEE department and the judging criteria was based on several factors. Apart from the moves; the expressions, the area of stage covered, and props were important too. Rules, though not many, were strict. Contestants were asked to strictly adhere to the time limit and the form of the dance.
The program began at 6:30 PM and each performance was unique in its own. With each participant setting a benchmark, the judges did have a tough time deciding the entries for Revels. The event ended with a dynamic face-off between four Bhangra dancers. Although, only some will gain entry into the final showdown in Revels, each dance performance was charismatic in its own way and worthy of a spot in the Manipal Carnaval.