‘Dance Recipes’ a delicious treat

A STRANGE ARRANGEMENT – Syndee Cruse, Hilda and Ryan Brown dance together in "Gossip Soup," a delightful number in "Dance Recipes."  Melvin Graham/Staff

A STRANGE ARRANGEMENT – Syndee Cruse, Hilda and Ryan Brown dance together in “Gossip Soup,” a delightful number in “Dance Recipes.” Melvin Graham/Staff


Students and faculty at Southwestern College cooked up a little something in Mayan Hall and it was scrumptious.

“Dance Recipes” was a hot melting pot of dance. Programs included a list of each recipe (dance), the chef (choreographer) and ingredients (dancers).

An upbeat “recipe” from Chef Mary Jo Horvath was full of fast movements called “GMOs.” Horvath filled the stage with pink light and acrobatic dance moves similar to Cirque du Soleil. At one point, dancers threw a guy in a basket toss. A highlight was when the “ingredients” lined up and bent over so someone could run over their backs. Though the title was unclear, the dance itself was a simmering mix of acrobatics and dance, which was not only impressive, but delightfully tasty as well.

“Flavors of the Southwest” was a fast-paced and flirty “recipe” in the style of Ballet Folklorico. Male “ingredients” were in sync with their quick footwork and fast choreography. Their female counterparts were all smiles and flirty with their long flowing skirts. With quick movements and a lot of charming interaction, the dance led to an adorable ending with the men covering a “kiss” with their hats. Chef Argelia Andrade cooked up a winner.

Chef Dana Maue cooked “Batter Up!” a theatrical dance. Performers dressed as baseball players kicked off shoes and danced in socks and on benches. One particular female “ingredient,” Sarah Alvarez, took on the role of coach, differentiating herself from the team wearing a skirt instead of softball pants.  With high energy, the “ingredients” danced around the stage in their knee socks using the benches as platforms and kneeled at the end while holding up their hands in victory. Darling doesn’t even begin to describe this “recipe.”

Chef Colleen Shipkowski delivered an upbeat ballet in “Gossip Soup.” Her “recipe” included many lifts, jumps and graceful ballet. “Ingredients” were in sync and obviously gossiping as they danced around the stage. Their faces were filled with expressions that seemed to say “oh my goodness” and they struck poses as if to suggest “did you hear about so-and-so?” Gossip may have been spreading on the stage, but delight was spread through the audience.

Taking home a blue ribbon would have to be Chef Lesa M. Green with her “recipe,” “A Touch of Sweetness.” It was a contemporary dance with pinches of ballet and hip-hop. With lifts and a story of heartbreak and happiness, the dance was funky, fun and flirty. Vertical splits and flips across the stage brought up the energy just before intermission, perfectly giving the audience a taste of what was to come. A touch of sweetness truly was added at the end when the once heartbroken “ingredient” discovers happiness in her friends.

Chef Viviana Alcazar-Haynes concocted a wonderful “recipe” that served as a public service announcement about homelessness. “Blended Outcomes” and its “ingredients” told a story through fluid movements and cool lifts about how “concrete doesn’t discriminate” and the hardships of being homeless. Various signs were shown to the audience throughout the piece that ended with a sign, which read: “seeking happiness.”

“My Favorite Ingredients” was a humorous “recipe” cooked up by Chef Jaami Waali-Villalobos. “Ingredients” came out in costumes fitting for the bathroom setting complete with a claw foot bathtub and toilet. They used the set as tools to dance around the stage and they even included a can-can line. Throughout the performance audience members could be heard laughing. Overall, the “recipe” put value to bathrooms in a humorous and charming way.

Chef Horvath served up another “recipe” titled “Angel Food,” which was heavenly. It was a mixture of ballet and tap dancing, with a graceful ballerina front and center and three tap dancing “ingredients” in the background. It was a nice blending of tap and ballet with beautiful music complemented by the sounds of tapping. While the tap dancing “ingredients” were marvelous, it was the ballerina who stole the show with her elegant movements.

“Caution: Contents May Be Hot!” combined hip-hop, jazz and sumo suits. Chef Jaami Waai-Villalobos prepared a sizzling hip-hop performance with “ingredients” dancing in sumo suits to a compilation of songs which included favorites such as “I’m too Sexy” by Right Said Fred and “Let’s Get Physical” by Olivia Newton John. But the song that really stood out was the Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men,” where “ingredients” danced around the stage, still in the sumo suits, with umbrellas. Throughout the number the audience could be heard burning stomach fat while laughing. True to its title, this “recipe” was as hot as a ghost pepper.

Chefs Horvath and Maue concocted a theatrical and delightful curtain call titled “Companies Calling.” SWC students and faculty could not have served up a more marvelous, mouthwatering, morsel in “Dance Recipes.”


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