From interpretive dance to contemporary, “Making Waves” had several memorable performances.
By Zaida Diaz, Valley Life Editor
It was a full house last weekend at Valley’s Main Stage Theater, as patrons prepared to watch the two-act dance production titled “Making Waves.”
Sponsored by Valley’s Dance Program, the production consisted of six sets per act, each distinct from the next.
In the opening piece, “Her,” a group of eleven beautiful ladies owned the stage; the purple backdrop and yellow lighting emphasized the dancers. They began by gesturing in unison, slowly moving their hips from left to right to a harmonic and Afro-infused tune of Zap Mama. As the piece progressed it appeared, as if one of the dancers wanted to break away from the pack, but the women dressed in neon-colored animal print were resistant. The performance seemed to represent a woman’s struggle for individualism, however there were also moments that celebrated unity.
Perhaps one the most crowd-pleasing was the solo piece “Blank Canvas,” choreographed and performed by Lorena Chavez, a sociology major. She wore a white skin-tight garment, which made it easier to see all the different forms Chavez composed with her body; she resembled a moving work of art. To finish her set, she dabbed paint powder on the side of her face and released handfuls of the powder into the air, making the performance come full circle.
Immediately after her set, audience members cheered and a proud parent burst out saying, “Isn’t she fantastic?” Someone from the audience replied, “She was great!”
Act I concluded with “Erector,” a peculiar piece that began with two dancers in crawling tunnels slithering on stage like caterpillars only to later come out from them and have other dancers dressed in form-fitting one piece suits join them on stage. They began positioning themselves in ways that resemble other critters. The manifestation – an enchanting garden with interesting transitions.
After a short intermission, Act II spiced things up with a little Latin flavor in a rendition of “La Yi Yi Yi.” The dance followed a woman who falls in love with a man, who ends up breaking her heart after his rejection. At one point, a short black and white clip was projected on the big screen to show none other than La Lupe singing “El Carbonero.”
“The Alice” marked another high point, as solo act Toby Marks (performer and choreographer of the set) exhibited an exceptional interpretation of Alice from the infamous Disney movie. Here, Marks exposes a “mad” Alice through a ballet style dance performance. During moments where the audience heard the sound of a clock ticking, Marks pointed her toes and used her body to imitate the hands of a clock.
The two-hour program aimed to finish on a high-note with a hip-hop number, “Keep On Dancing,” that consisted of upbeat songs like Mark Ronson’s popular “Uptown Funk.”
For more information about Valley’s Dance Program visit their website.