Ten thirty in the morning, the deadline for this review to be in, passes me by. A couple of hours, three missed calls and a text message from my editor later, I sit down to write the review. Alas, that is what happens when you are near the end of week one and realise that you have already let your work pile up and that you have two essays overdue. It is beyond me why supervisors insist on giving us work to do; surely the point of university is that you work to GET here, but once you’re here it’s all about the extra-curricular – getting involved in sports, drama, Cindies... n’est pas?

Well that’s a decent chunk of my review gone and no mention of the show yet. I guess I should rectify that. Beauty is this year’s annual ADC dance show, advertising itself in the words of Confucius: “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it”. This could not be more true, as the theatre was less than half full on the opening night. However, I’m sure that the people who were there did not regret their venture. The evening captivated the audience with its “addictive rhythm and elegant aesthetics,” charismatically delivered through twenty one different dances in a range of styles.

I have to say, the show did not get off to a great start. The first couple of dances were out of time; I felt a bit like I was watching my little sister’s school dance, which is annoying – so many years of avoiding big-sisterly duties, just to suffer watching someone else’s siblings.

But then the show picked up, as a large crew of break-dancers, body-poppers and hip-hoppers roboted their way onto the stage and filled the ADC with pumping energy. This contrasted really effectively with the next piece, a contemporary dance to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (and the Nokia tune, courtesy of someone in row H). I liked this one, as I really felt that it was saying something, even though I did not have a very clear idea what it was.

Some other gems include a pretty sexy belly dance (although the girl who comes on at the end looked to me like an epileptic Christmas tree), a 1920s speak easy (oh for the days of hats and seamed stockings) and ‘Movement for Four’, a combination of physical and musical movement based around the music of the cello.

I have two favourites, choosing between would be like deciding whether I love marmite or shopping more. The Rock’n’Roll team defied gravity with their energy, turns and lifts, even finishing their dance with the famous Dirty Dancing lift. Patrick Swayze, eat your heart out. Full points also go to the vivacious ‘Chrysalis’ dancers, a group of younger teenagers with krazy namez like RascElle and Soopa Noodle, who made me fancy fourteen year olds all over again (especially the one who dropped his trousers on stage – call me). The whoops from the audience were, well, energetic, presumably coming from family members filled with pride, and rightly so.

The show contains a rich array of treats, including drummer DJ Darbuka, masked ladies and swing dancers dressed as sailors. Good work tech team, the innovative and encapsulating lighting design enhanced the show, put together beautifully by Alice Bell, dancer and CUCDW president.

The show is by no means flawless, but beauty rarely is. Drama in Cambridge tends to be a closed box, and it was refreshing to see new faces with a variety of abilities and styles. That’s what the stage is for. Unless you can’t bear dance, I would big-fish-little-fish-cardboard-box it down to the ADC this week. Except for you, that couple who sat in seats D8-9 on the opening night. You should get a room. By Lauren Davidson

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