Students showcase their prowess in ballet, jazz and hip-hop styles
THE SANTA CLARA
February 11, 2016
The show must go on—even if you have a sore arm from a meningitis shot. Dancers in Images 2016 showed off their tenacity and spectacular dance moves last weekend during a performance that had been in the making since Fall Quarter.
The opening performance, “Bolero,” was the classic style of dance you expect from a ballet showcase. However, the show wasn’t afraid to play outside the lines. With each segment, the show featured ambitious storytelling as it dipped into varying types of dance including modern, jazz and hip hop.
“This show to me was a very special one because I felt like we touched on so many different styles of dancing and it just made our show so diverse that I enjoyed sitting through each show and each rehearsal,” said Images Director Pauline Locsin-Kanter.
Guest choreographers were brought in to help craft the two-hour show, giving the dancers a chance to work with professionals. One of the choreographers, Mariah Steele explored the relationship between Californians and the drought in “Thirst.” The performance used props and poetry to convey a newfound appreciation for water.
“At the beginning of the process, the choreographers will explain the meaning of the dance or the inspiration behind it,” said junior Natalie Duong. “I think it’s important for me to always hang on to why we’re doing what we’re doing. I try to remind my dancers of that as well so they don’t lose it. It’s not just steps.”
Duong, no stranger to choreography herself, took the opportunity to tell a story about the relationship between sisters in her piece,“Dear Sister.” Through the motif of pulling, inspired by her memories of fighting with her sisters over clothes, the audience could relate to the feeling of caring for a difficult-to-love sibling.
“I started going through memories I have, specific incidents, and I also actually ended up interviewing my own dancers so that they could let me know what their experience with their sisters was like,” Duong said.
But the night wasn’t all somber dance movements and reflective storytelling. There were a couple of pieces throughout the show highlighting upbeat, energetic movements. The sweet storytelling in “Sunday” fluttered the hearts of the audience and the backflips in the breakdancing-inspired “Think Outside the Moment” earned big cheers.
Going into the choreographing process for “Think Outside the Moment,” junior Byron Nguyen knew he wanted to center the piece around breakdancing; this form of dance is his personal passion and is a style not often seen in the dance department.
Despite logistical pains of getting the dancers to rehearsals and teaching them a new style, the final product accomplished Nguyen’s goals.
“Most of the time you’re watching the dancers and you’re in awe so you’re quiet,” he said. “But I didn’t want that. I wanted the place to be loud and everybody cheering and screaming.”
The closing number choreographed by director Pauline Locsin-Kanter, “Throwback”, took the audience on a trip through the 1970s. The number was complete with sequence costumes, disco-tinged jazzy movements and crowd-cheering lifts. Locsin-Kanter revisted one of her old works, which she felt she had not completed until this showcase.
“I want the audience to open their eyes to a whole new world of dance because our dancers were able to tap into so many different disciplines and styles,” said Locsin-Kanter. “I want them to see there’s such versatility that we have as a department.”
Many of the dancers are graduating this year, so Images was one of their last chances to showcase their talents to the Santa Clara community before they take their passion for dance out into the real world and onto bigger stages.
Still, the comradery between the dancers and energy radiating off the whole cast was palpable.
It was an undeniably touching moment when when all the performers came out on stage together for the last piece as a slideshow played in the background.
“As tired as I am, all that goes away as soon as I get on stage,” Nguyen said. “Even with the meningitis shot, my arm was killing me but once I got on the stage I didn’t feel it. Your head is just in the clouds, you’re so happy.”
Contact Perla Luna at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.