Dance Show 2021: Against the Grain

‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Sometimes you’ve got to go against the grain’. Garth Brooks

With over 20 dance routines by 95 dancers, this year’s Dance Show Against the Grain, showcased an eclectic mix of talent across multiple dance styles. It took the audience on a visually spectacular roller coaster, with dramatic twists and turns in its tone, musicality and movement.

The Lower 6th Commercial Group impressed us with some 60’s inspired dance moves to the punk classic Teenage Kicks by The Undertones, whilst the Senior Dance Company portrayed the impact of the Suffragette movement with a striking ensemble piece, and the Junior Dance Company dramatically closed the show as they performed to The Prodigy’s Fire Starter.

There were some brilliant solo performances. Marina H (L6, A) performed an awe-inspiring solo rendition of choreographer Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances. Her seamless performance brought to life the story of Chilean human rights activist Joan Jara, whose husband, Victor, a singer, poet and theatre director, was tortured to death during Pinochet’s regime. Another powerful solo piece was performed by Alex M (5, Pn), who depicted the story of Malcolm X, immersing the viewer into the activist’s fight for equality. David W (4, M) and Sofiya Y (3, T), performed a dramatic and passionate Paso Doble which captivated the audience. In a demonstration of incredible bravery, Mary C-B (5, C), Maddie C (5, O), Saffron E (4, C) and Mirabelle F (4, Hn) performed beautifully on the bungee. It was extremely impressive to watch them move in such a way and at such height. 

All year groups performed an array of different styles, including ballet, contemporary, acro and commercial dance. Each routine was inspired by the expression ‘against the grain’, which was  interpreted in both literal and abstract ways. Not only did this show entertain at a professional standard but also provided a powerful retrospective of some of the most influential activists across history. 

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