Five talented BFA choreographers and one faculty member collaborated on this evening program under the direction of professor Christina McCarthy. McCarthy kicked things off with a compelling curtain speech about the value of the arts in a science-obsessed world. From there, we plunged into “Atlas Reflection” by BFA candidate Wes Dameron. Half a dozen dancers — Alex Kmak, Hannach Ezell, Isabel Meena, Britney Walton, Emily Eckert, and Scout Swanson — moved to the deep strings of Philip Glass while wearing Grecian-inspired costumes by Winnie Tin. This additional layer of floating movement brought home the work’s theme, which posed the stability of statues in relation to the flow of their drapery. In “Hinder,” Lexi Cipriano pitted green-clad soloist Joyceline Fekete against a five-person hydra of obstacles. Fekete’s dazzling, hip-hop-inspired floor work made this one of the evening’s highlights.
Morgan Geraghty scored with “Invite You to Surrender,” a contemporary piece full of imaginative group travel and stunning lifts. Following the interval, we saw faculty member Brandon Whited’s “95 North,” an existential quest that found its origin and endpoint in a man’s discarded pink blazer. With “in: somnia,” Whitney Ross threaded bodies through one another in abstract braids that complemented the graceful gray costumes by Ann Bruice. The evening’s finale was also the biggest surprise. No one expects toe shoes, and there were 18 of them on the nine dancers in Gina Schemenauer’s delightful piece titled “In the Reality of Degas.” Bravo to the UCSB dancers, choreographers, and designers for creating such a full and moving experience.