Suffolk University Dance Company debuts new routines at “Sweet Peek”

The Suffolk University Dance Company (SUDC) exemplified fresh choreography and confident dancers at Sargent Hall Wednesday night during their “Sweet Peek” performance, which gave the audience an inside look at some of the routines they will be performing at their Spring Showcase.

SUDC performed six brand new dances, each choreographed by a different member of the team. They kicked off the night with Jax Jones’ song “Instruction,” which the group also performed earlier this fall at Suffolk University President Marisa Kelly’s inauguration. It was an unexpectedly upbeat track for a contemporary dance group, but their high-spirited routine made for a fun beginning to the show.

By the middle of the show, the Company slowed down the tempo and eased into their contemporary dances. The poised performers gracefully glided through the slower, ballet style choreography each song featured.

The choreographers deserve praise for their routines as the group is young. Sophomores Emily Ho, Julia Baker and Adrianne Downey debuted their first ever personally-choreographed routines for the Company, displaying the promising potential of the groups’ young talent.

Each routine put on by the Company succeeded in incorporating creative moves that beautifully brought out the message of the song that accompanied them. For example, every dancer looked radiant and fierce in SUDC’s Secretary and sophomore international relations major Baker’s rendition of Ariana Grande’s “God Is a Woman.” The alluring moves brought out the song’s lyrics about women empowerment.

The Company saved the two best pieces for last as the performance ended on an emotional note, because both songs were worthy of tears. Although the songs were soft, the choreography spoke loudly.

PPE major and SUDC co-captain Sarah Kunnemann packed her rendition of “Be Alright” by Dean Lewis with emotion, evoking feelings of a broken heart. In the middle of her thoughtful routine, each dancer had a small solo while the rest were positioned on the floor. The song discusses the lonely and empty feelings that follow after a failed relationship, and the small solos helped represent that.

The piece also incorporated dance moves with partners, which accentuated the chemistry the small group of dancers have with each other. The ending pose with a line of dancers holding hands was successful in showing that every broken heart will be all right.

It was evident that Production Coordinator and pre-law major Adrianne Downey also put a great amount of thought into her routine for the song “Can’t Let Go” by Adele. The dancers drifted through the moves as if smoothly gliding through the air. As “Can’t Let Go” ended with dancers hugging one another, the routine softly filled the room with bittersweet feelings as the show came to a close.

Ryan Arel/Arts Editor

The choreographers also concluded each routine strongly as the group ended in a pose that matched the song’s overall message. In SUDC Graphic Designer and graphic design major Ho’s routine for “Breathe Me” by Sia, the dancers concluded by leaning on each other, then inhaling and exhaling at once. Their sigh in unison, as well as great partner work throughout the piece, enforced the song’s theme of friends bringing each other up when they are down.

However, although the routines were entertaining and commanding, facial expressions are an important component in conveying emotion in everyday life, and oftentimes dancer’s faces did not agree with the emotions the music and routine conveyed. For the songs that were more powerful or heartbreaking, it would have made for a stronger performance if each dancer had that reflected in their face, especially since they were performing so close to the audience in the table-filled Sargent Hall function room.

In addition to the performance from SUDC, student dance groups W!cked and Pasion Latina gave guest performances to keep the energy going strong. W!cked’s fast paced hip-hop moves to a work-out themed mashup of songs earned cheers from the audience. Passion Latina brought a more formal Latin style of dancing to the stage, mixing up the vibe for a truly exhilarating viewing experience.

SUDC’s Spring Showcase will be held at the Calderwood Pavilion on Feb. 6. The Company will also be performing at Performing Arts Office winter concert at the Modern Theatre on Dec. 5 and at the Boston Celtics game at the TD Garden on Feb. 27.