By Corinne Love
By Corinne Love
Modern Dance is “punk rock.”
As Riverside City College student Brianna Barett summed up, modern dance is a departure away from most of the standards, rules and conventions of Classical dancing like ballet.
It blends styles of the former and adds free flow movement as well as a center on individual expression.
Sponsored by Rita Chenoweth-Surman, Celebration Dance intrigued audiences with varying performances and the Mario Brothers theme song.
That would be correct, the Mario Brothers theme song.
The program was held from May 18-19 at the Landis Performing Arts Center.
As the lights lowered, curtains dropped, and expectations waned, the first performance of the night was “Nursery Rhymes.”
“Nursery Rhymes” was composed by Chad Ohlheiser and choreographed by Nelly Camacho. It was the first in a series of performances that defied expectations of dance recitals.
The dancers emerged from the stage clothed in satin pajamas and began to interact with each other quite intimately.
Against the red and pink screen backdrop, risque movements were performed sometimes eliciting shocked reactions and murmured whispers.
The following performance was a surprise to my ears, Muse’s “Newborn.”
When the song started the dancers in an excited frenzy captured an almost syncopated, graceful version of slam-dancing.
The lights again lowered and when the matador-dressed dancers snapped their fingers and stormed the stage, excitement was still running high.
However, as “Desire of Victory” progressed, somehow the dancer’s initial spark seemed to fade. A highlight of the performance was the concept of the lone female matador posing as the cape, while the other matadors clamored for her.
“Inside Out” shortly followed, as an all female assembly line of dancers stopped moving, continued moving, each with a sense of spastic choreography and wired energy.
Perhaps the concept of the performance showcased women as one collective unit being strong and united.
It also showed choreographer Hollee Hennebelle’s sharp eye for strong dancing. Sara Loder’s “Here until End,” a performance centered on dialogue and left-field choreography was left mostly to interpretation.
Dancers Carlos Brosnal, Nelly Carmacho, Kevin Lopez and Alicia Wilson portrayed lovers at a crossroads, resulting in spoken phrases such as “exposed,” and “acceptance,” heightening at a blitzkrieg of the incomprehensible.
“The Disconnect Conflict,” proved to be the darkest performance of the night. One dancer shrouded in black, brought with her a sense of overbearing despair to the other dancers.
On the opposite end, the night’s crowd-moving performance was “No Nintendo,” in which cast members donned the Mario Brothers costumes from the popular video game.
The audience howled in amazement, as the dancers, particularly the “Star” of the game, danced to live band Nutball Faction’s rendition of the popular theme song. Audience members were likely to leave the theater humming the popular jingle.
Closing out the night, “Let the Boy Cry,” a mixture of Judy Garland’s melancholic “Smile” rounded out the night’s evening.
Although all the performances had a story to tell, it was really up to the individual to decide how the stories unfolded.