Mesmerize me

The UTM fashion club Style and Profyle held its 11th annual fashion and dance show in the Blind Duck Pub last week. The event is a growing favourite among UTM clubs and artists, easily selling tickets to eager friends, family, and fans of the performers and artists. This year was no different. Sporting a new theme, called “Mesmerized”, the show was a success with the crowd.

SAP put together a slate of 27 different fashion and dance numbers that the audience praised at every opportunity. The entertainment included a diverse mixture of musical arrangements in keeping with their theme of wonder, magic, and the supernatural, from Rihanna’s “Disturbia” to the score of the dark dancer flick Black Swan.

Dancer Chantal Kemppi and co-presidents Eliza Khan and Nerissa Inniss-Boston opened the show by reminding the audience of the group’s philanthropic efforts. The group has a history of charitable work and community involvement, using the annual event to raise funds for charities. This year, their goal is to raise $10,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The crowd was silent for a moment when they were asked to breathe through tiny drinking straws to better understand the hardships faced by the many children afflicted by cystic fibrosis.

The glue that held the show together was the banter of the two hosts, Arun Babber and Adeel Shamsi. The former is a trained magician whose sleight of hand and card tricks had the audience rapt. The comedic interplay between the two, including some great digs by Shamsi, maintained the pace of the show and gave the audience a break after each number. The hosts’ playfulness was especially memorable when they interacted with the audience, inviting a patron onto the stage for a mischievous trick (but always ending on a positive note).

Two numbers from the first act exemplified the mystical and supernatural aesthetic of the show. “Ragdoll”, set to “Rama Lama” by Roison Murphy and choreographed by Khan, featured several masked dancers (Tamara Bernstein, Christine DiChiara, Nadine El-Askalany, Chelcie May, and Alyssa Nienhuis) all swaying and moving like robots or ragdolls.

The other was a beautiful tribute to Black Swan, reinterpreting Nina’s dream scene, where white and black swan dancers (Iwona Glogowski, Alexandra Ieraci, Amanda Punsammy, and Natalia Wisilewski) moved with grace and poise across the stage accompanied by some lively classical music.

The GG Squad, featuring choreography by Mark Mercado and Jimmy Anico, dazzled the crowd with their breakdancing and raised the bar for the rest of the show. Dancing to a playlist of various hits and beats, GG Squad performed precise backflips, jumps, kicks, and landings, and the audience responded favourably. The troupe also demonstrated excellent coordination, which in this line of work requires a high level of trust.

The second act featured the rousing “Disco”, choreographed by veteran dancer Alyssa Seli, which brought together a collection of Urban Planet clothing in a bright and wild “disco fever” mix.

This year’s SAP show offered a slew of upbeat, elegant, and creative ensembles that proved they have style and imagination.

Donations to Cystic Fibrosis Canada through SAP will remain open until the end of March; more information can be found on the Style and Profyle Facebook page.