REVIEW: Danceworks’ ‘Divergency’ Takes Up A New Stage

Ricky Vazquez solo/ Lesly Guzman/ el Don news

The room was pitch black. The murmuring voices of the crowd grew silent. White smoke began to shoot out from the bottom of the stage as dim orange lights began to appear, giving off a sort of eerie feeling.

She was choking herself. Her fingers around her neck squeezing to the point that you see the veins in her neck. Her eyes looking up in agony.

Distorting her body, another girl crawled out from the other side of the stage smacking the stage’s floor with her hands to move forward. She began to laugh ominously.

A girl in a light baby blue shirt began to walk slowly across the stage faintly singing “What A Wonderful World” while looking forward, expressionless. She stopped at the right corner of the stage and began to scratch herself, twitch, and breathe heavily. A group of four girls creep from behind Fuller and begin to yell at her.

“Nobody cares! Nobody f****** cares! Stop! Stop it! Look at her! Stop! Stop! Stop!,” the girls yelled with judgemental eyes. Then it went black.

Julie Fuller lifted up in “Limbo”/ Lesly Guzman/ el Don News

At Santa Ana College’s annual Danceworks concert on May 10, student choreographers had the opportunity to express their own individual dance styles and share their works in a new stage.

The event was composed of eleven dance pieces varying from contemporary, jazz, salsa and hip hop. Some were theatrical, emotional, fun, and even uncomfortable, but some were more about dancing techniques.

Female dancer in “Alive”/ Lesly Guzman/ el Don News
Female salsa dancers in “Ritmo Y Sabor”/ Lesly Guzman/ el Don News

“Limbo”, by student-choreographer Ricky Vasquez, addressed mental illness. This piece was impactful to the audience, so much so that some of the audience cried while others had to look away for the uncomfortableness that they felt from watching this piece.

“I told them to be less than a human, more like creatures, non-human. I wanted to show pain in all its forms in this piece, Limbo,” said Vazquez in the post-questionnaire meeting with the audience.

Despite the emotional rollercoaster, two of the eleven pieces, “Mortier” and “Hive,” were performed at the distinguished American College Dance Association — Baja region, a prestigious organization where dancers perform pieces and get critiqued by professionals.

Mary Leopo being picked up by Ricky Vazquez in “Hive”/ Lesly Guzman/ el Don News

This was a major accomplishment for the dance department has given much motivation to the students because they were highly praised by at the ACDA.

“I am very proud of all the students hard work,” said Heather Gillette, the Dance Department Chair, at the post-performance discussion. “With all the hours summed up, they spent slightly over 24 hours creating, teaching, and practicing their choreography pieces. Some dancers even learned more than one choreography.”

Ana Cordova, an attendee at the show, enjoyed her time at the event. “Some of the performances were interesting. Some were very mysterious and almost scary, but most were fun to watch,” Cordova said.

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