Santa Barbara City College Fall Dance Concert

Lobero Performance Features Santa Ana Dancers

This fast moving, engaging show included works by SBCC students and faculty and also featured the Santa Ana College Touring Ensemble. Under Jennifer Seigle’s direction, enthusiastic dancers rewarded their appreciative audience with works that varied widely in theme, style, and musical accompaniment.

Marc Nicolas’s “Friendship” set an ensemble of 10 women against and amongst four tall screens. Uncomplicated, natural movement was accompanied by a poem by Kahlil Gibran, offering a glimpse of the simple joy that can come from human relationships. In “Redefining” by Jessica Hipple, a double line of robotic, silver-clad women split like an unzipping zipper as Ashley Nitzel, a free spirit in a flowing blue dress, ran upstage through them. Dancers got a chance to shimmy and vogue in “Freakshow,” choreographed by Taler Greer, in which seven women in zebra-striped tops and sparkly headpieces interacted with Julian Young, who sported black butterfly wings on his back.

The group from Santa Ana danced with strong, relaxed presence in Carly Westergard-Dobson’s “Rebirth,” in which a foundation of wavelike suspension and release was punctuated by poignant gestures: an unfurling arm, a gently circling ankle at the end of a lifted leg. In “Waiting to Miss the Back On,” this same group showed its range with a piece rooted in hip-hop and movement theater, starting with a single dancer on a Greyhound bus bench and building through jubilant popping, locking, and gestural conversations.

Faculty works included Pamela Brezinski Lappen’s “Rumours,” Jennifer Seigle’s “Mienteme,” and Matthew Nelson’s “Borders and Boundaries.” Lappen’s piece told the story of what can happen to true love when the outside world invades that state of bliss-and how, in the end, love can conquer. Mienteme-“lie to me”-moved 15 dancers fluidly and cleanly through periods of flow, stillness, and partnering. In “Borders and Boundaries,” dancers in Oxford shirts, neckties, and bike shorts manipulated a long rope.

At the conclusion of the show, each dancer and choreographer took an individual bow before joining together for a group curtain call-a lovely illustration of the show’s overriding theme: Despite our differences, we’re all in this together.

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