Venue: Central Hall
Running until: 6th March
President: Fiona Lavelle
Creative Director: Janey Stephenson
The general view of Fusion on campus is one of extreme professionalism and smooth sophistication, substantiated by the slick advertising campaign that has succeeded in creating hype all over the University. In reality, the show sadly falls short of the expectation which it generated.
Good first impressions are imperative, and the video portraying weeks of rehearsal did not set the tone effectively. It had the air of credits or outtakes, and was something that would have been more suited to the end of the performance. An integral part of the allure for many was the promise of high quality fashion, which was delivered in aspects of the show – most notably the opening sequence, where the outfits were appropriate to the theme, enjoyably whimsical, and suitably original. Dollies was a pleasure to watch.
Certain parts were definitely innovative; Super Mario was quirky, humorous, and the illumination of the dancer’s hands contributed to a piece that was visually exciting. Likewise, the contrast between dances such as this and Ballet Chess, proved highly effective, fluid and emotive. Ballet Chess epitomised the timeless glamour much of the show attempted to emulate, whilst simultaneously displaying some truly beautiful piece of millinery to their best advantage.
Geeks vs. Cool Kids was a vibrant explosion of enthusiasm; however, by the close of the theme of Playground a palpable sense of inertia was apparent judging by the crowd’s mediocre appreciation. A series of repetitive performances and choreography lacked demarcation, and as a result lost the momentum which the theme initially possessed.
Fusion professes to be ‘an amalgamation of dancing, modelling and entertainment’, and there is no doubt that the dancing aspect was ultimately fulfilled. However, it is highly debatable as to the success of the advocated modelling. The attempt to fuse dance and modelling undermined the very essence of fashion exhibitionism. The dancing was undeniably engaging, and this was reflected in the loudest cheers being given not to the models but to those members of DanceSoc who participated. Yet whilst highly enjoyable (Losers being a personal highlight), the dances overshadowed the modelling and clothing and did not facilitate a harmonious relationship between the two mediums of performance as promised. Insubstantial emphasis had been put on the poise and attitudes of the models, and it seems logical that they should have been truly confident in walking, before even considering the realms of dance (Invitation Only).
Fusion missed a creative opportunity to exhibit youthful aesthetic defiance, which came across most strongly in Card Temptresses: despite probably raising a few parents’ eyebrows, it was not suitably provocative. Similarly the political sentiment expressed in Playground Protest was not cohesive with the whole, and resulted in a sense of uncomfortable dichotomy. Clearly innumerable hours had gone into the presentation of the clothes displayed, Twister exemplifying both attention to detail and flair for design. The safe choices of items from other designers and shops in York, as illustrated by Gamblers, were nothing the audience might not have reasonably anticipated. Well cut suits and elegant dresses were not sufficient to propel this sequence into something truly memorable or dynamic.
A variety of lighting effects were well employed, although the audience may have benefited from clearer illumination of dance moves in some scenes. The inclusion of a band lifted the finale beyond the mediocre, but sadly the lasting impression was not of the excellence of the band and performers but the odd inclusion of a congratulatory speech. Whilst maybe appropriate on the last night of a successful run, it struck us as an amateur and unnecessary touch.
A venture such as this commanding such a large budget, and being blessed with a wealth of talent and creativity, deserves to be sensational, and it should be stressed that parts of it were. However, Fusion: Playing Games became lost in itself and as a result was a missed opportunity.
Due to the unique nature of this performance star rating has been suspended.