The dance culture around Sonoma State Universitykeeps growing, and shows no signs of slowing down. On Thursday night, the Fall Dance Concert premiered in Pearson Theatre and showcased many amazing performances. Almost every seat in the house was packed, and everyone was ready to see the show. Each piece was choreographed by Sonoma State students. The variety of styles spanned from hip-hop to contemporary to modern, and it was quite a sight to behold as these dances came to life on stage. Some were moody, some were upbeat, but each one was unique and brought something engrossing to the audience.
One of the most moving pieces of the show was choreographer Peter A’s lyrical hip hop piece, “The Art of Expression.” The whole concept revolved around a famous interview with Bruce Lee, in which he discusses what martial arts means to him, and about its form of self-expression.
The piece was chilling, as it began with A, along with dancers Tony La, Philip Gilbert, and Reggie Reguindin onstage wearing all black with white face masks reminiscent of the famous Jabbawockeez dance crew. Their movement was impactful and concise, and as each segment of the piece ended, a new part of Lee’s interview would give light to where the next piece was headed.
A’s inspiration for this piece came from his love of Lee and his ideology.
“I was looking over the philosophy that Bruce Lee talks about in terms of martial arts,” he said. “How he views martial arts as a way to express himself, and I relate that to dance personally, because dance is also an art. Also, an art is defined as a way to express one’s self.”
Hannah Ingwerson’s piece “For Example” was an emotional roller coaster. The contemporary piece had weight to it, letting the audience know that even the smallest of actions can affect others’ behaviors and lives. It was a piece that left people in awe.
Things lighten up in the second act as Jasen Valdez’s hip-hop piece “TheBoard” had the audience cheering as the dance progressed. The piece mixed songs by well-known artists like Chance the Rapper to Beyoncé. Valdez’s dance was fun, sexy and exciting, among a myriad of other things.
Take 5’s piece “Study Break” had everyone laughing uncontrollably as the dancers took the audience on a trip down memory lane. Using songs from Disney films like “Mulan” and “High School Musical”, La, A, Reguidin, Valdez and Farrah McAdam created the most humorous number in the show. These five dancers took turns lip-syncing all the iconic songs, while getting down to some smooth hip-hop choreography. The group wanted to deliver something that they hadn’t before.
“The piece that we made last year had a lot of symbolism, made people feel a certain way and stuff,” said La. “This year we wanted to go a different route, more on the entertainment side and more on the side of us feeling good.”
As the dancers took their bow at the end, standing ovations were all around.
“I think it went really well, I had a great time,” said Reguidin.
“Yea the energy from the audience was superb, you could really feel it,” Allen added.
Hopefully with this year’s great turnout, next years Fall Dance Concert will be even better. However, it’s going to be hard to top this year’s amazing pieces.