From hip hop to ballroom, 14 beautifully crafted dance numbers made up the Mission Dance Company’s Wake Up and Dream performance – a showcase of Mission College’s dance faculty and students.
With performances at West Valley College on Dec. 12 and 13, members of the Mission Dance Company dazzled the theater, bringing their passion to life on stage.
Opening with a ballet-inspired number, “L’Arlesenne,” choreographed by Mission College advisor and instructor Brenna Wundram, Linh Nguyen, Shiany Oemardani and Jessica Yang, the performance switched to a modern routine, “Demons” choreographed by Melanie Bradley and Andrea Giordano.
A stripped down, almost sung-in-a-bathroom Jesse J. cover by Emily Kristin Morris set the musical backdrop for “Signs of Strength,” an emotional journey choreographed by San Mateo College instructor Denaya Dailey and additional dancers. Combining modern-jazz styles, in front of a naked set, the performers left the audience in awe.
The simplicity and poignancy of “Signs of Strength” was followed by an upbeat hip hop routine, “Gold Standard,” that had the crowd clapping to Prince’s music. The controlled bouncy beat preceded “Alternative Tango” – a slowed down tango routine.
Picking up the pace, Bradley and Giordano choreographed a modern dance to the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” performing before the final segment of the first half – a ballroom dance “Believe in Dreams” choreographed by Wudram.
During Saturday’s show, the second act opened with a groovy jazz routine choreographed by MCD president emeritus Reina Gabat. However, during the segment, MCD president Selina Chih tripped and took a tumble, which led to the cancelation of her solo “On My Own” – a piece she had put her “heart and soul” into when she choreographed it to “honor my best friend and long-time partner who is temporarily not able to dance with me on stage.” Although apologetic to the audience, Chih said it was the first time she’s ever had an accident on stage and that she will “rest, recover and come back to the stage to dance my solo again.”
“This is totally unexpected,” she said. “As a dancer, we worked so hard and came this far. All we are looking to is the moment on the stage. To me, this moment is priceless.”
Despite the mishap, the show continued with another hip hop routine – choreographed by Mission College dance instructor Cheech Hsu – danced to Chris Browns’ “No Lights.” Another modern routine by Gabat followed with “Even Doves Have Pride” – performed to a version of Prince’s “When Doves Cry.”
A modern ballet dance in “About: FACE” preceded another Hsu choreographed, Prince-song using performance, “Funk and Roll.”
The final number “White Storm” rivaled Act 1’s “Signs of Strength.” Although Chih was unable to perform in the piece she choreographed, the five other dancers carried the segment, tossing confetti as snow through the air as they leaped and twirled across the stage in a winter wonderland of a stunning performance.