by Mattie Kahn
When more than 50 undergraduates slipped on costumes Saturday night, they weren’t merely getting into the Halloween holiday spirit. Instead, in sequin, lace, metallic and matte, they were preparing for their roles in Expressions Dance Company’s Fall Show: Execution: Kill. It. The show was comprised of 12 elaborately staged pieces, all originally choreographed by Harvard students.
Each dance portion was set to music, but Execution didn’t rely strictly on Top 40 artists to power the routines. In the case of special guest performers at the 8:30 p.m. show Harvard Bhangra, remixed tunes formulated for Punjabi and Bhangra featured prominently. In the program biography, Harvard Bhangra wrote of a desire to expose students to Bhangra, a discipline of "folk dance conducted by Punjabi farmers in the 11th century to celebrate the coming of the harvest season." Performed in traditional attire, Sher Punjab De (Lions of Punjab) was an unexpected cultural foray for Execution.
Even amongst the 11 hip-hop pieces, there was an exciting amount of variation and no scarcity of energy. Choreographers clearly flexed their skill with complicated routines that were effortlessly and exactingly realized by company dancers. And themes ranged from forbidden love, to loss, to strength, to empowerment. In the midst of this Halloween Weekend’s unexpected deluge-meets-snowstorm, the dancers’ palpable commitment to their craft was a welcome retreat from the blistering cold. The audience would be hard-pressed to ignore Expressions’ self-proclaimed heat. For a testament to just that, spy the insider’s look below: