I watched the IASAS dance preview performed by the selected dancers from ISM in the Fine Arts Theatre along with the other IASAS previews, including drama and oral presentations. The theme of the dance this year was anime, which was conveyed by the choreography, lighting, music, and costumes. The dance was very well presented, it showed lots of practice, and I did not notice any mistakes or flaws in their performance. I was surprised by the beginning and impressed by the use of lighting and technology incorporated into the dance since I have never seen a performance done by students who used technology so well. The video in the introduction was something new and caught everyone’s attention, or the lighting making it seem as though the dance was underwater made the audience gaze in awe.
I really liked how the dancers on the video would interact or interconnect with the dancers live on stage, how when one dancer exited from the stage, they would be on the screen, or when a pushing motion occurred in the screen, the dancers on stage would react to it. I was also amazed at how dance, a completely different art to anime, could be well connected and represented. My favourite part of their dance was the one where, I believe, Karin was a school teacher and conducted the class because the dancers had vivacious movements and exaggerated motions, which is similar to anime, thus showing the theme extremely well. A school-lecturing scene is often shown in anime, especially where students unrealistically raise their hands, directly shown in the choreography. It was also one of the dances where I understood what was happening since some of the dances, although eye-pleasing and well-performed, I couldn’t connect them to a particular anime or anime in general.
The costumes were adorable, I really liked the school uniform and Naruto costumes, and I think they could not have suited the theme better. The choreography also put the costumes and other sets to full potential, which I thought was amazing, since when we perform dances, costumes are one of the last things to think about. The images in the background also helped set the scene, and I didn’t know that they could use images (and video) in dances so well that it would support their dance rather than being an extra feature that is usually unnecessary. There wasn’t any that I particularly didn’t like, but sometimes I did not understand what anime it was or how the choreography related to anime since it seemed like the choreography would fit any theme at all. However, that is probably because, being Japanese, I have a different perspective on anime than the performers.
The music sometimes confused me, too, since some of the music used, although probably soundtracks to anime, didn’t seem to belong to the theme. I think it would have been supported the theme more if they had used more major soundtracks or the theme songs of the anime that people would recognize because half the time, sitting with two other dance students, we were trying to figure out which anime it was, which distracted us from the actual performance. As a whole, I’m glad I watched the performance since I learned a lot, mostly about how technology can support a dance so well since I learned a lot about the performance and choreography of the dancing itself from other Dance Co or Advanced Dance performances before. I would recommend watching this so others, as I already have, because I am sure they will be amazed, although maybe at different aspects.