Daring #dance performance dazzles

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Photo by Karen Tome

Photo by Karen Tome

Twitterati rejoice! Southwestern College’s spring dance concert “#dance” was gossipy and edgy, but also just a little too cute.

“Hashtag Dance” made hash out of some dances, but heaven out of others. The almost-entirely student choreographed show, directed by Dana Maue, was often thrilling, sometimes lackluster, but mostly fun.

Dressed in slacks, white collared shirts, suspenders and “working” in cubicles, “#work-a-round.playaround,” had the audience eager to clock out. As the workers danced in protest against their boss they held up large signs, including one that read “Why Am I Here?” Some of the audience had the same question.

“#swingin’time,” a tap and swing performance, was better and drew enthusiastic cheers, but lacked fluidity. Preoccupied dancers trying to avoid mistakes did not allow themselves to enjoy the moment and were holding back.

“#takemethere,” a dance choreographed to a dramatically beautiful song by Jonsi, was a highlight. Ten dancers draped in slate blue glided gracefully across the stage, flipping, dancing and falling in a synchronized fashion reminiscent of rhythmic gymnastics. It spoke to the audience and elevated the evening.

Samantha Marvin choreographed and performed the only solo of the night to Indie Arie’s “Ready For Love” and seized the day. Marvin was strong and graceful, confident and generous.

A rousing performance to the beat of Lady Gaga’s “Aura” stormed in to set off the second half of the show. As the curtains opened, a woman who looked lost, cold and afraid drifted in. Mist seeped in, then 13 zombiefied dancers draped in tattered white clothing stumbled in. Bizarre is a Gaga trademark and she would have been proud of the weirdness-in-motion created by the SWC crew. It was, without a doubt, a thriller.

Intriguing song selections continued with a country ballad used to underscore a technical display of ballet. “#whenigetwhereimgoing” went places. Amid the beauty of the fresh faces and pale salmon leotards worn by three ladies, the lone male dancer in his dark magenta shirt popped. His performance was sophisticated and the ladies were pure elegance.

“#dance” was brave and hip without being hipster. Self-indulgent at times, it was, nevertheless, a crowd-pleasing display of South Bay talent and creativity in motion.

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