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Dance recital packs house

Christopher Barnes-Baxter
Staff Writer

Spectators were awed as students of the Claremont Colleges performed an all student choreographed fall dance recital titled “In The Works; a Concert of Student Dance Works” on Saturday in the Pendleton Dance Center at Pomona College.

The turnout was great, as the Pendleton Dance Center was filled with approximately 120 people, leaving only standing room for the parents, faculty and students who straggled in a bit late for the event.

“I learned of this event through one of my dance classes here at Scripps College, as well as different on campus advertisement,” Scripps freshmen Oriana Lavilla said.

The recital featured 13 different dance performances, which varied in styles.

The performance began with a West African dance piece titled “Life at Dusk,” choreographed by student choreographers Chanté Cruse and Chinelo Ikejimba.

The combination of the red, yellow and orange hues of light with the music and intensity of the dancers changed the entire atmosphere, making the audience feel as though they themselves were in the heart of Africa witnessing the dance.

“Life at Dusk” was not the only dance that took the audience to a whole new world.

The cool and calm colored lights and fluid hula and ballet dance moves of “mo`olelo kahe wale” gave an under the sea type vibe to the performance.

“In my first dance, most of the choreography was based off of water movements, which gave the dance the overall feel of a tide rising and falling,” Scripps freshmen Emily Simmons said.

One of the performances that won over many people in the audience was the dance entitled “He Hardly Lets Me Stir.”

The dance was based off of the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

“Hands down, my favorite performance was ‘He Hardly Let Me Stir.’ I felt as though it captured the true essence of the woman character in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper,’” Lavilla said.

The dancer’s surreal performance gave an eerie feel as the girls slid across the stage, contorting their bodies in a very odd fashion.

There was a ton of buzz during the intermission about the performance; the audience could not believe how accurate the dancers portrayed the feel of the short story.

Since the program was entirely choreographed by the students, many of the dancers were handpicked for certain performances.

“Most of the time we pick girls who audition for different dances. I try to find dancers who have good fluidity, because most girls who have practiced ballet for years become too stiff in their movements,” junior dance major from Claremont McKenna College Chinelo Ikejimba said.

Many of the dancers have that performed in the program have practiced some sort of style since they were in grade school.

“I have been performing since I was about five years old, before coming to college I took many modern dance classes at a studio in Corvallis, Ore., where I am from,” Simmons said.

The next performance will be the Scripps annual spring concert, “Scripps Dances.”

The performance will be held at 8 p.m., on April 15 and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on, April 16 in Scripps Garrison Theater.

Christopher Barnes-Baxter can be reached at christopher.barnes-baxter@laverne.edu.

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