July 21, 2016-ALEXIS KIMBER – Staff Writer
I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the Dance Explosion performance last Tuesday, hosted by Miracosta College (MCC). The show was held at the Brooks Theater in Oceanside, as the theater at MCC’s campus is currently undergoing construction. The Brooks Theater, formerly known as the Sunshine Brooks Theater, has an old-fashioned marquee which announces the current shows. Inside the theater room, it is small, about 15 rows with 20-25 seats in each. The stage is highly visible to all seats, creating a very intimate setting. The style of dance showcased at Dance Explosion is best described as contemporary, or interpretive. The first piece began with a number of dancers wearing only nude-colored underwear, who then approached their own pile of multi-colored clothing. In a graceful and skilled set of motions, they proceeded to dress themselves at random, fitting the clothes this way and that. This first piece with the clothes, entitled, “Dress Up: Dress Down (That I am, Somedays)” addresses the pressure one feels as a part of this society, to “sit-in” by passing the judgements of and meeting the standards set by their peers. The choreography included the dancers’ turning their heads, observing the clothing choices of their fellow dancers with mixed expressions on their faces. This initial performance set the tone of the entire production in that each skit portrayed intense emotion and addressed prevalent problems in today’s society and in the dancers’ everyday lives. The lights, designed by Brent McDannald, created an ambience that helped to depict the emotion of each skit. They faded in and out; blues and greens in times of hardship and reds and pinks in times of stress.
I have seen quite a few dance performances in my life, but this display stood out from the rest. Dance Explosion was unique in that the cast included an array of different body types. The execution of high-quality performances by these members puts to rest the common notion that all dancers must conform to an “ideal” body type in order to be successful. The performance was distinct in that it was choreographed by teachers and students in a collective effort to convert hard emotion to constructive expression. There were a few pieces that were self-choreographed, such as Casey Flores’ solo piece called, “Searching Through the Thickness”. Ms. Flores was able to create her own interpretation of her personal feelings in this piece, whereas in the piece choreographed by Nick McGhee, called, “Forgiveness”, Mr. McGhee decided that the dancing role should be given to a female dancer (Ashley Akhavan) who he felt could recreate his intended body movements in a successful manner. When asked after the show how he overcomes mental blocks in his choreography, Guillermo Castro answered that it is necessary to always associate your work with your passions and with your everyday emotions in life. It was obvious to the viewer that a large effort was put into perfecting these skits, and the show was a hit.
This performance took the audience on a journey through the feelings of its composers, and ultimately providing a sense of professionalism and respect to the MCC theater program. Attending the Dance Explosion Performance is a great opportunity to expose friends and family to culture and emotion like they haven’t before witnessed. It’s sure to be a great time.
The performance was directed by: Teresa Jankovic and Sadie Weinberg The Dancers: Emily Bullard, Brandi Childress, Adam Fallet, Brian Ignacio, Ben Munson, Katie Watson, Ayonna Jones-Thomas, Guillermo Castro, Casey Flores, Berlin Lovio, Nick McGhee, Eric Navarro, Michael Reed, Ashley Akhavan, Beverly Johnson, Traci McKnight, Korey Van Hoy, Alyssa Cochran, Ivy Johnston, Alina Gallup, Brianna Graves, Hannah Webb, Milan Magana, Elle Muse, Emily Pepper