Ensembling Emotion

The Division of Kinesiology and the Division of Arts presented a variety of diverse and elegant dance performances to Rio Hondo students, staff, faculty, and community members May 11, 12, and 13 at the Wray Theater.

The performance gave students and choreographers the opportunity to present their illustrious ensemble dance skills, and raise money for theater department costumes, choreography costs, and most notably, sending dancers to the American College Dance Festival.

The performances were all equally powerful and refreshingly unique. This combined with amazing blocking and ensemble choreography allowed for a night of reverie performances.

The dance “Dandelions In The Wind,” choreographed by Rachel Lopez, opened up the night to audiences. Immediately, the use of subtle, yellow lighting, peaceful music, and the performers graceful side-to-side and twirling movements, illustrated a plane of dandelions swaying perfectly in the wind. Later on in the act, performers began to cite lines from Dr Seuss’s “The Lorax.” The lines were straightforward in tackling the subject of climate change and human destruction of the environment.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not,” the dancers cited.

This performance’s straightforward choreography and set design allowed it to get it’s message across clearly and eloquently; simplicity at it’s finest.

“Broken Inside Out,” a Thursday night exclusive choreographed by Melissa Nicole Fuentes, traded prominent lighting and ensemble choreography for a more technical two-piece performance by David Bernal and Fuentes. It almost felt uncanny to not hear any “ooh’s” or “ahh’s” during this piece. Bernal and Fuentes repeatedly twisted or jumped around each other in ways that would end badly if not practiced and perfected. The act told a story of broken love between a struggling couple; repeatedly, the duo would push-off each other after a few seconds of passionate embrace. The technical dance moves executed radiated the struggle and complications of letting a loved-one go after a tough break up.

The night ended with a monumental performance called “The Ensemble: Ensemble Assembled,” choreographed by Rio Hondo’s very own Dance Program Director, Alyson Cartagena. The act included over 20 dancers, all of whom worked incredibly fluently with each other. Like waves of energy, dozens of dancers ran in-between each other and all over the stage with music that complemented each intense wave of motion. Peppered between bouts of intense dancer chemistry were moments of singularity for each performer. Moments like this showed us the true talent behind Cartagena’s choreography and all of the performers dance talent.

The epic was a perfect conclusion to “An Evening of Ensemble Dance,” a night filled charming performances, talent, and potential.


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