Fusion: Playing Games

Despite exemplary attention paid to detail and flair for design, this year’s Fusion sadly falls short of the expectations which it generated

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.

13 comments

  1. 5 Mar ’11 at 12:56 pm

    Jean Claude Damme

    Damning – but a damn good review.

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  2. Say what you want, but I loved every second of it.

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  3. I agree, what a missed opportunity – this show was completely lacking and I found myself watching and constantly thinking, ‘where has all the money and time gone?’ Fusion will always be over-hyped but at least last year wasn’t a let down.

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  4. pretty spot on, to be honest.

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  5. I’m sure that the Nouse reporters here have overlooked the fact that “Card Temptresses” was meant to be more subtle. It looked to me as though it was Burlesque and correct me if I’m wrong, but the style of Burlesque isn’t about getting your kit off but teasing. I think that this was achieved!

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  6. It is encouraging to see the latest intake of freshman Nouse writers being given the opportunity to display their fledgling literary talents with the traditional, zealous critique of one of campus’s most popular and well loved shows. The theme of being “lost in [one]self” has certainly been continued through their work.

    The view of Fusion on campus is less one of “extreme professionalism and smooth sophistication” as it is of a society and show that produces entertaining and extremely diverse performances every year. The professionalism of the show speaks for itself in the quality of performance generated each year but rather than projecting itself as “smoothly sophisticated” Fusion is a, somewhat, tongue-in-cheek performance that brings its chosen theme to life in original and highly creative ways.

    I find it interesting that two students who are unlikely to have seen a Fusion show before would choose to review it with such disdain, perhaps you expected more? Perhaps you forgot that Fusion is the produce of student volunteers seeking to entertain and enjoy themselves rather than stupefy the most ardent critiques of fashion and performance.

    The tradition of a celebratory speech from the President of the society has been observed every year, previously the speech has taken place at the start of the show and taken the form of a welcome to the audience – but you may not have known that. Perhaps chosing to finish with the speech was a little clumsy and come across in the wrong manner but I would argue that if you were in touch with the true nature of the society – an involving and very human endeavour, would have appreciated the desire of Fusion’s most dedicated President to ensure that she made the thanks that were deserved. The inclusion of the introductory video was also new this year and reflects Fusions fundamental goal – raising money for RAG. In previous years, audiences have asked to see a little more of that side of the committee – the video shows an effort to place RAG at the forefront of the shows purpose.

    It is undeniable that the dance performances draw the loudest cheers from every audiences; due to their impressive nature and incredible creative flairs, dancing can evoke reaction from any audience- young and old. But also you fail to account for the audience itself – largely made up of friends and family of the cast – of which dancers are a majority. I have no doubt that if your friend had spent 15 weeks working on choreographing, practicing and performing a show you would cheer them at the top of your lungs.

    The fact that modelling within Fusion is generally more relaxed – taking a less far pace and, naturally, lacks the skill level required to spin on point in a ballet perfomance. Modelling in Fusion serves to tell stories that intrigue and involve the audience, entertaining them as the symbolism and performance realises the themes of each scene. I’m sure you are more used to watching the usual “parade” style of catwalk modelling and Fusion must have left you a little lost.

    II would advise that the next time you go to see a self professed fashion and dance fusion performance you leave your notepad and star rating at home and bring the spirit with which to enjoy yourself.

    The use of the standard good-bad-good sandwich review does demonstrate your development as young journalists but is so clumsily realised that what could be a very intelligently scathing review is a thinly veiled attempt at scandalous negativity. The proof here is truly in the pudding – Fusion is as impressive as ever and your amateur reviewing is not.

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  7. A well thought out review, but the authors seem to be more concerned with using flowery language (which in places is poorly chosen or just wrong) than clearly getting their point across. Perhaps a little more attention to the subject rather than trying to sound clever? You’re not professional critics and you won’t be until you learn to write clearly rather than just regurgitating words found in an online thesaurus.

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  8. It is encouraging to see the latest intake of freshman Nouse writers being given the opportunity to display their fledgling literary talents with the traditional, zealous critique of one of campus’s most popular and well loved shows. The theme of being “lost in [one]self” has certainly been continued through their work.
    The view of Fusion on campus is less one of “extreme professionalism and smooth sophistication” as it is of a society and show that produces entertaining and extremely diverse performances every year. The professionalism of the show speaks for itself in the quality of performance generated each year but rather than projecting itself as “smoothly sophisticated” Fusion is a, somewhat, tongue-in-cheek performance that brings its chosen theme to life in original and highly creative ways.
    I find it interesting that two students who are unlikely to have seen a Fusion show before would choose to review it with such disdain, perhaps you expected more? Perhaps you forgot that Fusion is the produce of student volunteers seeking to entertain and enjoy themselves rather than stupefy the most ardent critiques of fashion and performance.
    The tradition of a celebratory speech from the President of the society has been observed every year, previously the speech has taken place at the start of the show and taken the form of a welcome to the audience – but you may not have known that. Perhaps chosing to finish with the speech was a little clumsy and come across in the wrong manner but I would argue that if you were in touch with the true nature of the society – an involving and very human endeavour, would have appreciated the desire of Fusion’s most dedicated President to ensure that she made the thanks that were deserved. The inclusion of the introductory video was also new this year and reflects Fusions fundamental goal – raising money for RAG. In previous years, audiences have asked to see a little more of that side of the committee – the video shows an effort to place RAG at the forefront of the shows purpose.
    It is undeniable that the dance performances draw the loudest cheers from every audiences; due to their impressive nature and incredible creative flairs, dancing can evoke reaction from any audience- young and old. But also you fail to account for the audience itself – largely made up of friends and family of the cast – of which dancers are a majority. I have no doubt that if your friend had spent 15 weeks working on choreographing, practicing and performing a show you would cheer them at the top of your lungs.
    The fact that modelling within Fusion is generally more relaxed – taking a less far pace and, naturally, lacks the skill level required to spin on point in a ballet perfomance. Modelling in Fusion serves to tell stories that intrigue and involve the audience, entertaining them as the symbolism and performance realises the themes of each scene. I’m sure you are more used to watching the usual “parade” style of catwalk modelling and Fusion must have left you a little lost.
    II would advise that the next time you go to see a self professed fashion and dance fusion performance you leave your notepad and star rating at home and bring the spirit with which to enjoy yourself.
    The use of the standard good-bad-good sandwich review does demonstrate your development as young journalists but is so clumsily realised that what could be a very intelligently scathing review is a thinly veiled attempt at scandalous negativity. The proof here is truly in the pudding – Fusion is as impressive as ever and your amateur reviewing is not.

    Reply Report

  9. I think it’s a triffle pathetic that Nouse has deleted any comments that throw out criticism towards it. Nouse apparently doesn’t do self- criticism.

    The show has been well recieved so the review seems to overtly critical for the sake of making a hard hitting piece of very amateur journalism. Funny how the reviews contrast between other papers.

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  10. 6 Mar ’11 at 1:14 pm

    Caroline Dandelion

    ‘Due to the unique nature of this performance star rating has been suspended.’

    What’s that supposed to mean? They gave it three stars; fair enough. Stick by your reviews, Nouse!

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  11. 6 Mar ’11 at 1:18 pm

    dazed and confused

    ‘the attempt to fuse dance and modelling undermined the very essence of fashion exhibitionism.’

    …you do know that’s the whole point of Fusion? (The clue’s in the title).

    ‘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.’ I KNOW; it was so long and cringey and unnecessary and annoying. we all wanted to leave!

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  12. hear, hear.

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  13. 8 Mar ’11 at 9:14 pm

    Fusion Audience

    I think it’s a shame you thought so. I went to see it on the closing night and thought it was brilliant. Maybe thats because I’m a lay person who doesn’t know the first thing about dance/modelling, but I thought the energy, attention to detail, and how just plain visually exciting it was, was amazing.
    though I did find some bits weird, like the odd dominatrix-esque outfits at one stage (“gamers” i think?) But I still thought all of the performers (even the models) had personality. I was wowed, and I’m sure most of the packed out audiences loved it, judging by the cheers and applause, as much as I did too. :)

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