OLIVER JAMES reviews a magnificent night of dance at the ADC.

ADC Cambridge CU Dance Dance Show Fantasy

ADC, 7.45PM, 21st January, £10/8

It could rarely be said that Cambridge is known for its flourishing dance scene.

From that photo of you doing the macarena in Lola’s to rowers attempting a ‘slut-drop’ towards the end of a swap, most student attempts at dance are best not remembered the next morning.

That being said, CU Dance Society’s annual show ‘Fantasy’ was a sensory buffet and an absolute delight. With an array of performances from every corner of the globe, Dance Soc gracefully enthralled its audience. While kept guessing as to what the next performance could be, patrons were treated with traditional dances from the far East to Latin America. A major highlight was how many of the performers eschewed the strict traditional approach of set dance styles, compounding styles to transcended time and often culture. Break dancing intertwined with Indian and ballet gliding along to dubstep, the sheer array of styles and themes on offer ensured that every viewer left impressed. Furthermore, the inclusion of different dance groups and schools from the city of Cambridge was a pleasant surprise and a major asset to the production.

You'll have a fab night with Fantasy

You’ll have a fab night with Fantasy

In all honesty, the concept of amateur dance is rather scary. Unlike amateur theatre, where nerves and a lack of preparation can be hidden under elaborate costumes and a hint of improv, dance bares all with very little room to hide. As awkward as it may be for those fumbling around onstage while attempting a choreographed routine, it’s just as painful to watch the country’s best and brightest blunder along like a preschool panto. However a sigh of relief in the ADC was audible once the performers commenced as their passion and dedication was unmistakeable. Naming a single stand-out performance is difficult, however this review would not be complete without a special mention to the South Indian dance, Awakening. Along with the intricate hand and footwork, stunning costumes and intriguing storyline, the mesmerising facial expressions were fantastic. When added to the additional challenge of dancing with bells attached to their ankles, these ladies danced pure beauty.

The passion with which each and every one of the dancers took to the stage was contagious. After the initial millisecond of shock, the dancers embraced the rush of the performance and appeared to be loving every minute of it. I doubt there was a single audience member who could hold back a cheeky grin as those before them shone with such elation. A single standout performer, who may prefer not to be named, was a young woman who made a significant error in an early ballet routine. Mistakes happen. The way in which this performer picked herself up, carried on with such professionalism and subsequently performed such a technically perfect pirouette moments before the routine ended was astounding.

CU Dance Society’s annual show, Fantasy, is a stellar production and well worth 5 stars. I couldn’t recommend it strongly enough for both dance enthusiasts and those looking for an uplifting night of quality entertainment. Bravo.