The annual Santa Clara University (SCU) Theatre and Dance Department concert Images 2018, directed by lecturer Pauline Locsin-Kanter, showcased the impressive talents of students and faculty, who did the original choreography, lighting and costume design for the diverse dance program.
On campus at the Louis B. Mayer Theatre on Feb. 9, 41 very fit and talented students performed nine dances, their body movements amazingly expressing the emotions and mood of the music of each dance. Their movements synchronized perfectly, for example, with the futuristic music of “Critical Point” choreographed by Matti Masten.
Although focusing heavily on contemporary dance, the program included other dance genres. The opening work, “Humanity in Motion” choreographed by Karyn Lee Connell, featured six ballerinas en pointe in flowing mint, chiffon dresses. It was the only classical ballet dance.
SCU junior Chloe Townsend choreographed, designed the costumes for and danced in the jazzy “Grit and Grace.”
“I’m totally excited being in my own piece,” said Townsend, who has a double major in dance and psychology and would like to teach dance.
“I’ve been dancing for three years and each year it just gets better and better. I want to thank all the faculty and staff for keeping the department running so smoothly,” said Townsend.
Guest artist Raissa Simpson, founder of PUSH Dance Company (www.pushdance.org), was the choreographer of “Fictive Roots,” a modern/contemporary dance opening with electronic sounds by music producer Robert Hood. Dancers voiced the philosophical question, “How do we know what our part is?”
Department lecturer Claire Calalo choreographed “Trazo Tosco y Torcido,” inspired by Isabel Allende’s 1982 novel “The House of Spirits.”
“The dance shows feminism, resistance to oppression. It was inspired by the times we’re in,” said Calalo. “It’s politically and culturally resonant now.”
The program finale, “I Would Dance 4U,” was choreographed by Locsin-Kanter as a tribute to Prince. His hits “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Housequake,” “Kiss,” “Purple Rain” and “Art Official Cage” inspired the choreography.
“Prince was such a beloved musical artist. When the world lost him almost two years ago, we could feel the devastation in so many hearts. While we had given ourselves time to mourn, I do not recall giving time to celebrate,” said Locsin-Kanter.
“With the help of my daughter, Mia,” she continued, “we were able to find a few of his more popular hits and create a tribute, using the styles and strengths of all 19 dancers on stage—from tap to lyrical to funky jazz.”
Enthusiastic families, friends, fellow students and community members applauded loudly and cheered after each performance on the program.
“Everybody shivers before they go on stage, and the applause encourages them,” said Cupertino resident Sandeep Khurana, whose son studies business and computers at SCU. “Every artist has been great. Each and every performer is putting their heart and soul in it.”
Images 2018 was performed four times Feb. 8 – 11. The concert was the culmination of year-long studies, preparation and practice during the 2017 – 2018 academic year.
“The show was fantastic,” said Locsin-Kanter. “It’s the ninth Images show that I’ve directed, and this is probably one of the best shows I’ve seen yet due to amazing creativity. Everything really came together.”
“Everybody has an artist in him or her, so I would like to encourage and support them,” said Khurana, a wise SCU father.