By Chris Bamford
As the year ended, all the full time dance courses wrapped up and the students prepared for their graduation performances. I was privileged to attend Urban Dance Centre 2010 full time graduation performance – Urban Jam.
Sydney based Urban Dance Centre has been offering a Certificate IV in Dance for a number of years, so they are no strangers to staging a graduation performance. This showed as they delighted us with an evening of dynamic entertainment at Carriageworks – a perfect venue for this type of performance.
My first time at a UDC graduation, I was not able to compare the year’s graduates with past student performances, but overall the standard was quite high and the students showed promise.
The contemporary numbers stole the show, with contemporary proving to be the strong point of the year’s students. Jason Winters’ piece was well executed and the dancers did his brilliant choreography justice. Paul Saliba’s routine was extremely interesting and had every one on the edge of their seats, enthralled. Juliette Verne’s lyrical number was also excellent. Although I had already seen this piece performed at Carnival, it was nice to see the number on a larger stage and I enjoyed it more the second time around.
The group singing fluctuated in standard and was pitchy in parts, but the solo singers definitely made up for it. Hana Tuki, singing a number from Dream Girls, was a standout.
Veronica Beattie’s musical theatre pieces were also a highlight, with clever staging and choreography. I always love a good musical theatre number!
As with most full time courses we see varied skill across the different dance genres. At Urban Jam this was shown through the hip hop performances. The pieces by Rosa Agius and Ilona Fabiszewski were extremely well choreographed with interesting concepts, but there was a noticeable difference in the skill level of the dancers within the hip hop genre. I felt that the students didn’t pull out all the stops, like they did with the contemporary pieces. Having said that though, there were definitely some stand out performers.
All in all, Urban Dance Centre provided a fantastic night of entertainment. The graduates showed talent and dedication and no doubt they have bright futures ahead. I congratulate the UDC staff on another year of quality dance education and look forward to Urban Jam 2011.