The University of Sydney is inundated with creative, musical and theatrical performance groups. A plethora of acronyms are practically inscribed on the sandstone. Amongst them, the Movement and Dance Society, or MADSOC, is titanic. With close to 700 members, it is the second-largest non-faculty society after the Chocolate Society. And it’s less than a decade old.
MADSOC’s annual showcase performance MAGNETIC reflected its manifold membership list. Dance styles on display were not limited to, but included: hip hop, R’n’B, ballet and Latin American dance. General executive Amie Liebowitz noted that, “each dance style has [its own] spectrum.” The blending of styles reflected the varied passions of the society’s choreographers.
Scheduled during the University of Sydney Union’s revue season, MAGNETIC came off both as a revue-lite and an anti-revue. In place of a narrative, MADSOC ran a tight medley of dance numbers, which aimed to wow and awe, over a brisk fifty-five minutes. Individual numbers occasionally pursued vague storylines, but these plots often lagged behind the show’s choreography and far more impressive technical aspects. These attempts failed to add to the show, but certainly did not subtract from the night.
Pulsing, organic soundtracks and cool blue and harsh red lights made for a very pleasurable technical experience. Transitions were taut. The display complemented the dancers’ exaggerated movement and precise choreography. While MAGNETIC took place in one of the Seymour Centre’s cosier, more intimate theatres, due to the focus on collaboration and the montage of performances, it was difficult to single out individual performers for praise.
The fire MADSOC lit at MAGNETIC looks set to burn for the rest of the semester. MADSOC will be staging a burlesque night, Sexpress, on October 17, in conjunction with Verge Festival; an annual end of year showcase on October 22, and a performance at the Clubs & Societies awards night.