Dance performance: Rising to expectations


Santa Ana College Fall 2011 Dance Performance.

Curtains close. Lights dim. Anticipation of the evening’s show builds as the minutes pass. Finally, the music fades in softly as if from the distance.

Santa Ana College’s dance concert Rise/Fall, directed by Heather Gillette and Eve Kikawa, was by all accounts a success.

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In Los Vientos de Tango, choreographed by Heather Gillette, dancers picked up the pace of the intricate rhythms. The tango-inspired dance had a primitive feel, resembling the beginning of creation. I also enjoyed the surprising rewind effect at the end of the number.

INSIGHT: UC Irvine Dance Ensemble, showcasing two dance segments, had the opportunity to travel to Ghana, West Africa, last year to learn from the Ghana Dance Ensemble. The student dancers were introduced to new drumming rhythms. Their piece Adjogbo included the “call and response” technique used in Ghana.

The emotional piece Eternal Passing was well executed. Dedicated to the memory of SAC teacher Kesha Curtis Hondo, who lost her life in a murder-suicide earlier this year, this piece represented the end of a struggle and the journey into the after-life. I Loved the dramatic tempo changes and the dancers’ clean lines, and smooth transitions proved to be visually stunning and a pleasure to watch.

The Take was voted most enjoyable to perform by the dancers of SAC. Choreographer Joel Smith attended the American College Dance Festival at Long Beach State where he instantly fell in love with the SAC team.
“I was impressed. They are at the top technically and professional for a community college,” Smith said. Incorporating dramatic pauses in motion created interesting scenes, which were fun to watch. I see why the team admired this piece.

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The team, which has been together for two years, continues to impress. You feel the passion, strength, and commitment when they command your attention on the stage, and it made me look forward to attending another show in the future.

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