“Ask and Tell” by Angelo Martin and Dylan Ochoa impressed me the most from Act I at the fall dance concert. This performance tells the love story of two men in the army. Seated on a chair, a young man expresses himself through the spotlight dancing. He wants to become a dancer but his fears are holding him back. We soon meet another guy, a little older in age, who despises the idea of following orders as is the norm in the army.
The two men soon engage in training while also supporting each other. The attraction between them grows as the dance progresses. The training eventually starts taking its toll on the younger guy but his partner refuses to give up. The older guy reminds the younger guy he is there for him. The younger partner does indicate he trusts his older partner. The younger partner would touch his head just before giving up as if to let his older partner know that he could really use some encouragement to keep going. It is not long before we observe that the younger partner has reached his limits. But his older partner is also determined to save the partnership. He continues to motivate the younger guy to keep going so as to keep the partnership alive. By the end of the performance, the two partners almost kiss each other. But the kiss doesn’t materialize and instead this gesture becomes the farewell between the two partners. The younger partner eventually collapses and his older partner realizes the end of the partnership has arrived. He accepts the fate but not before carrying his younger partner to his final moment. This performance teaches us love is a partnership that requires the two people to have each other’s back.
The performance that impressed me the most in Act II was “On The Rocks”. This is a jazz piece that portrays the sexual tension between men and women in a bar setting. The performance begins with a man showing an interest in a woman. The man takes the initiative by asking the woman for a dance. She obliges and they start dancing together. The dance helps build up romantic feelings between the man and the woman. The song being played in the background aptly captures the mood of the dancing couple. For example, few lines in the song are “My yesterday was blue dear, today I’m part of you dear… it’s heaven when you find romance on your menu.” The bar is crowded but the dancing couple cannot seem to take their eyes away from each other. It is clear they have no interest in anything else except each other. Quite appropriately, the dance performance ends with a kiss.
The couple’s dance performance is followed by a change of music and lighting, inviting the other club attendants to embrace the dance mood as well. The club attendees form pairs with each other and start dancing to the tune of music that is quite sensual in nature. For a while, the dancing couples move in tandem but soon the environment turns competitive. The men and women are separated into two groups and begin engaging in competitive dancing. By the end of the dance performance, many attendants leave the bar with the partner they had just met. Even the bartender grabs the attention of a girl who asks him to accompany her. The moral of the dance performance is that a bar is a place where one goes to find a partner who could be both a dance and a romantic partner.