Dance show fills theater seats

Dancers entertained a packed-out audience with many different styles of dance that ended in a standing ovation at the opening of the 2013 Fall Dance Concert “Signatures” Friday night in the Performing Arts Complex at Pierce College.

The show contained choreography from six student and five faculty choreographers and featured a wide range of genres, from break dancing to ballet.

The show opened with a pre-show freestyle cypher, where a group of students who dances on the Mall at Pierce on a daily basis showed off their skills and took turns improvising impressive moves. The high energy and upbeat music was a fun way to start the show.

Directly following was a piece in which choreographer Joelle Manga brought her African roots to the stage in a dance inspired by the women in the village she was born in. Her dance was vibrant, fun, and full of life, but seemed to end abruptly.

Noelle Andressen-Kale brought the most emotional pieces to the stage, set to beautiful music composed by her husband Kristopher Kale. Her pieces portray her struggle with and survival of breast cancer, and were full of pain and raw emotion.

Andressen-Kale was alone on stage in her first piece, and the blue lights against her pale skin gave her the appearance of someone very near to death. Her second piece featured two dancers as well as herself, and while the choreography was stunning, much of this piece was performed from the floor and those not sitting in the first few rows most likely missed a lot.

Two of the dances in the show were of the Latin persuasion, and while the second one was exciting and full of big moves, the first one, featuring a large number of the Pierce College Latin Dance Team, was comprised of basic moves with nothing too exciting to pique the interest of those watching.

One piece choreographed and performed by Paula Salvador featured the dancer performing with a digital version of herself, previously recorded and displayed on the backdrop: a unique and memorable touch.

The most memorable dances of the evening were performed at the end of each act. Intermission was preceded by “Vive Le Swing,” choreographed by Dennon Rawles, and featuring fun French flappers bringing an upbeat ending to the first act.

The show ended with “Swinging In the Rain,” which began with a backdrop of pouring rain and one solo dancer gingerly picking her way onstage with an umbrella, and progressively becoming more and more brave until she is dancing in the rain. Dancers in many different types of costumes then take the stage to dance in different styles in the rain, ending with a full stage and a standing audience.

“Signatures” will perform a matinee and evening show on Saturday and a matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.