“Philadanco,” The Philadelphia Dance Company performed Thursday night at the Lee Hall auditorium, leaving the audience with smiles and ultimately receiving a standing ovation.
“Philadanco” is a nonprofit organization comprised of dancers, choreographers and staff. The company is celebrated by many for its creativity and preservation of predominantly African American traditions in dance. The company is also celebrating 45 years of artistic performance.
Founder Joan Myers Brown expressed her expectations before the show.
“It’s going to be a really fun concert… People that have never seen or been to a modern dance concert will enjoy it, and people that know dance will enjoy it,” Brown said.
The show promptly began at 7:44 p.m. and nearly all seats were filled in the auditorium. The audience comprised of students, teachers, faculty, children and visitors were in attendance for the show.
After a brief introduction from Dr.Valencia Matthews, dean of the college of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, President Elmira Mangum welcomed guests to the show.
“Please enjoy the performance tonight, we brought them all the way from Philadelphia just for you,” Mangum said.
The performance was divided into four parts, the first segment named “Moan” featuring music from the vocalist, pianist, and civil rights activist, Nina Simone. Songs such as “Good Bait”, “See Line Woman”, “I’m Gonna Leave You”, “Don’t Explain”, “Be my Husband” and “Don’t Let me be Misunderstood” were choreographed by Matthew Rushing and the dancers left the audience hungry for more.
Olivia Wilson, senior information technology student from Tallahassee, Fla., was extremely impressed with the dancers and their ability to communicate a message through dance.
“That was amazing, I could feel the energy and story behind the songs coming off the stage through the dancers,” Wilson said.
The next segment named “Suite Otis” choreographed by George Faison featured music from Otis Redding with songs like “Just One More Day,” “I can’t turn you Loose,” “Lover’s Prayer,” “Satisfaction,” “I’ve been loving You” and “Try a little Tenderness.”
The audience laughed and cheered during “Lover’s Prayer” with the humorous choreography performed by Rosita Adamo and Jah’meek Williams.
The clever choreography, swing of the hips, and connection on stage amongst both dancers left the audience cheering and clapping for more.
The dancer’s ability to remain poised while performing quick and precise choreography left Carolyn Landis, a visitor traveling from Newark, NJ and also trustee of McDaniel College impressed and coined the dancers as “extremely skilled”.
“The movements of the dancers are quite original, it doesn’t follow original ballet but is much more unique,” Landis said.
After a brief intermission, Philadanco performed two more segments named “Gate Keepers” and “Enemy behind the Gate.” According to the program, “Gate Keepers” symbolized soldiers walking toward heaven, searching for the wounded and looking-out to make a safe haven for others to follow. “Enemy behind the Gate” symbolized enemies that live within our midst.
The show ended promptly at 9:30 p.m. and guests made their way towards the next event “Founders Day Kick-off” located directly in front of Coleman library.
“The performance tonight was definitely money well spent,” Landis said.