Seeing and feeling “Stories that MOVE”

The spring dance show goes on

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Seeing and feeling “Stories that MOVE”

Photo by Kaili Zhuang

Photo by Kaili Zhuang

Photo by Kaili Zhuang

Photo by Kaili Zhuang

Joeanna Lopez, Times Staff

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The SJCC Dance Program presented: “Stories that MOVE,” for a run of shows. Evergreen Valley College’s VPA Theater hosted opening night of SJCC’s spring dance concert on May 1 and the second night, May 2 and concluded on May 3 with back to back shows at SJCC in the Dance Studio, Room A206.

A fire in the SJCC theater on April 23 has left the theater inoperable until further notice. Dean of humanities, Betancourt could not be reached for comment on the expected timeline (KJ’s Café and the classrooms in the Theater building are back in use.)

Nonetheless, the show successfully went on.

Opening night at EVC’s VPA Theater saw a great turn out and the theater had the seating capacity for plenty more. Total run time is 1 hour with a 15 minute intermission.

Mariah Shipp, SJCC dance major, 22, is taking this semester away from dance but showed up to support the Spring concerts’ dancers and said, “It was an amazing show! Everybody’s stage presence was great.”

The audiences’ cheers resounded after each performance on opening night and throughout the entire curtain call every dancer took.

The respect the dancers express to one another could be felt in every seat and further intensified the audience’s appreciation for every on-point movement these dancers make possible.

The performances are true to their word. They tell stories that inexplicably move you.

Even if you sat still frozen in amazement at the synchronization and congruency between the movements in the rise and fall of the crescendos of the performance, “PathRest,” danced by guest artists Danielle Sullivant and Kevin Gaytan to the music of, “Open Road” by David Crowell and choreographed by Maria Basile, SJCC faculty choreographer, artistic director and founding member of sjDANCEco, you found yourself moved by feelings of “tribulation and joy,” as described in the show’s program guide.

“The combination of sharp and flowy floor movements were my favorite parts,” Shipp said after the show, “all the contemporary pieces were story tellers.”

The program order broken up by the intermission about 25 minutes into the show resumes with the most engaging performance of the show, “This is Me, This is Us,” choreographed by SJCC dance faculty and the program’s producer, Amber McCall.

“This is Me, This is Us,” dancers: Rosally Cabu Al, Angelique Canas, Helen Huang, Madison Keys, Madisyn Kite, Cirene Lara, Peggy Sung, Ana Rhea Suvak evoke a keen sense of the unification in their diversity through their performance to the track, “Reminiscence,” by Dante Bucci.

Music pauses through the song and the dancers look front at the audience. Each one of the eight performers loudly affirms an adjective or phrase which they identify with, ranging from: nationality, to occupation, to something they’d like to see for the world, McCall specifically encouraged the dancers to ponder this from the initial creation of the piece beginning the week of February 11.

Angelique Canas, SJCC student, chose the words: reserved, curious, indigenous and sustainability, citing a major concern for global warming.

“It’s sad… when Kylie has a new lip kit or Donald said something stupid again… we’re too wrapped up in nonsense we can’t even realize we’re not going to have a tomorrow if this planet doesn’t get the helps it deserves,” Canas said.

It is through the dancers’ performances of the show that our common stories of adversity and the universal need for kindness, support and compassion in the world blend through elegance and creativity to tell well-rehearsed stories that go well beyond impressive movement.

photo by Kaili Zhuang