Repertory Ensemble amazes with Fall Fusion

Beau Benoit

Passionate songs and emotional

choreography united at Brown

Auditorium on Friday when ULM’s

School of Visual and Performing

Arts hosted its Fall Fusion Dance


Using their bodies and motions

for storytelling, members of the

ULM Dance Repertory Ensemble

mesmerized the audience with

each part of the program.

Carley Nail

The first performance, “42”, had

dancers dressed in delicate, white

clothing. The performers appeared

distraught with faces frowned and

grimaced. The music matched the

mood of the performance with depressing

yet powerful melodies

from Mumford & Sons.

Toward the end, frowns turned to

hopeful smiles and the background

music began to swell. The performers

finished with backs facing the

audience, standing tall and feet

planted firmly on the stage, presenting

a clear sense of confidence.

The Latin-inspired “Tango Llorón”

caught many in the audience off

guard. What began as a slow, seductive

tango quickly turned into

a fast and loud collection of music

and dance. The stage lights

accented the change in mood by

going from dull and dim to bright

and flashing. Maria and Gabriela

Picón Barrios created the choreography

for this piece, Gabriela being

a member of the ensemble.

The dream-like “derealization”

began with the sounds of rainfall

while a dancer entered the stage.

Seemingly distressed, she frantically

leaped around as another dancer

entered. The two appeared to be

mirroring each other at times, both

moving with sudden, jarring movements.

An attempted phone call could be

heard in the background throughout

the second half of the piece. It

ended with one dancer on the floor,

beaten and clinging to life while the

other towered over, victorious in

her motives not completely understood

by the audience. Many in the

audience were taken aback by the

drama in the dance.

Anna Pitney, a senior nursing major,

expressed her amazement after

the show.

“The piece that surprised me the

most was the one called ‘derealization’,”

Pitney said. “You could tell

that each movement of the dancers

was intertwined with each second

of the music.”

The final piece, “A Tribute to the

Women of Soul”, was a collection

of smaller, yet intense pieces performed

by various members of the

dance ensemble.

To begin, Jada Owens danced to

“At Last” by Etta James. Dressed

in shades of blue, Owens had audience

members in a trance with

her slow and smooth movements.

The romantic singing of Etta James

paired well with Owens’ display

of affection, such as a hand running

across her leg or a palm on her


Following were Gabriela Picón

Barrios and Victoria Sanchez. The

two danced a tap routine to Aretha

Franklin’s “Respect”. The duo

moved and tapped with forceful,

confident steps. Franklin roaring

out about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T

helped to empower these women

as they performed.

Sanchez, a senior criminal justice

major, opened up about her

experience with dancing both professionally

and personally.

“I’ve been dancing for 17 years of

my life, so that kind of came naturally

to me,” Sanchez said. “But as I

got older, I started being able to understand

my emotions and apply

that to my dancing.”

The final piece brought the entire

ensemble together to dance with

somebody, more specifically each

other. Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna

Dance With Somebody” had

everyone in the audience excited

and grooving in their seats. Sophomore

secondary education major

Anna Blanchard enjoyed each performance.

“I was surprised at how good they

were at being in sync and the way

they could move,” Blanchard said.

The performers were all smiles

at the end. The auditorium roared

with cheers as the ensemble took

its bow.

The ULM Dance Repertory Ensemble

not only entertained with

thought-provoking choreography,

but it also provided a loving

homage to women of soul. With

powerful dance and music, it’s no

wonder everyone was standing as

the ensemble stood in unison to

close the show.