“They could go on Broadway with this!” the woman behind me excitedly whispered in her thick Irish accent as Elevation, Saint Louis University’s Irish dance team, leapt and spun across the stage. Energetically jigging to both traditional and modern Irish tunes, the dance team thoroughly impressed the audience with their bouncing curls, extravagant garb and boundless intensity.
Accompanied by various SLU-based groups, including Astha A Cappella (SLU’s premier fusion a cappella group combining Western and Eastern musical influences) and Xquizit (SLU’s only hip-hop dance group), Elevation gave an entertaining post-St. Patrick’s day performance. Opened by two quirky presenters, sophomores Carla Gibbs and Jimmy Fabiszak, who not only imitated the recently popular goat parody of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” but also informed the audience of pertinent Irish slang and comically mimicked the dances to come, there was hardly a dull moment.
Dancing to music such as “King of the Fairies Speed 110” by Ronan Hardimon and “Elevation Remix” by DJ Kaotic (which was a mash-up between Edwards Maya’s “Stereo Love” and traditional Irish melodies), Elevation stole the show. Showcasing their hard work, the energetic and authentic atmosphere provided by the performers quickly engaged the audience, transporting them to Ireland and allowing them to experience an authentic Irish tradition.
Some favorites of the night included SLU Step’s reverberating stomps, which sent shivers through the audience and Bare Naked Statues’ (rendition of “Brokenhearted” by Karmin.
Phases of Motion, another on-campus dance group, performed choreography to “Numb” by Linkin Park, while Beyond All Reason, SLU’s only all female a cappella group, covered “Blackbird” by The Beatles. A trio of SLU students, freshman Te Martin and sophomores Johnny Rowell and Ian Thompson, covered Miranda Lambert’s “Look at Miss Ohio” and Ivan and Alyosha’s “Glorify,” accompanied by a bongo drum and acoustic guitars that changed the pace and evoked powerful emotions from the audience.
Each group displayed their unique identity through not only their performances but also their clothes. Elevation was decked out in large embroidered skirts and black tights while Beyond All Reason styled their group shirts with various colored jeans. Decadence accessorized their purple shirts with blazers and vests.
Elevation and the other groups that performed, did not disappoint. They are fun, they are free and they give SLU students the opportunity to experience musical stylings we might not be able to otherwise. And who doesn’t want to support their fellow Billikens?