Fusion of Dances Proved to be a Hit

Tifanie Arakawa and Laura Moran lead the pack of high school dancers in a jet like formation in “Waiting to Miss the Back On.” / Daniel Lim / el Don

By Jocelyne Poblador

Two dancers sway to the beat of a jazzy trumpet as the curtains part, commencing the start of the show.

Heather Gillette and Kari Jensen’s collaboration dance show, Say It Loud, displayed the numerous talents of the dance department. The performances meshed different styles including flamenco, hip-hop and ballet. Say It Loud was a free-style production, which became evident as the show progressed. The shift in music and style was an attempt to cater to a wider audience.

Say It Loud began with Gillette’s iLove uOnly, a take on contemporary dance. The performance oozed of Broadway influence. About a dozen dancers in a makeshift jazz club took turns lip-synching to a Nina Simone song on a chair that took center stage.

New dance professor Jeremy Hahn’s The Syntax of a Mosaic Tapestry stood out because of the dark stage lighting and the abstract motions that made it look as if the dancers were cracking their backs for several minutes.

The performance explored how movements that are not considered dance could be just that, Jeremy Hahn said.

Male dancers wore sheer black skirts, adding to the mystic of Hahn’s piece.

Compared to the rest of the performances, the stiff movements and pained faces of the dancers made the work a piece of art. The strange and abstract performance showed that dance is not only a fluid movement but also art.

Guest performance by Team Millenia proved to be an excellent middle piece with a classic hip-hop routine as it continued the rising action of the show, without overpowering the student performances.

The clear crowd favorites were Lean In and Waiting to Miss the Back On.

“They are different then what you are used to seeing. Lean In was pretty good. It really got my attention,” Santa Ana College student Yolanda Contreras said.

Lean In merged contemporary dance with modern movements, creating a powerful piece. The big jumps and synchronized movements excited the eyes of the audience.

Waiting to Miss the Back On integrated dance and comedy. In the introduction, the students walked on stage one by one mimicking a normal high school student that is waiting for the bus. Finally, a student sings a chorus from Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball off key, inciting laughter in the audience.

“The dancers were excited and the energy and enthusiasm amongst the dancers and the audience was great! The majority of the dance pieces were light with an accessible meaning or intention,” Jensen said.

 

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