The rhythmic scraping of feet on the stage of the Garvin Theatre graced the eyes and ears of its audience Friday.
SBCC Dance Company, UCSB Freshman Dance Company, The Thacher School Dance Ensemble, Santa Barbara Festival Ballet and Los Olivos Dance Gallery came together for the fifth annual Spring Dance Concert “Collective” on April 14 for a feast of the senses.
The routines included were mainly an array of modern dance styles with pointe, tap and contemporary influences articulated into some routines.
The result: an elegant and unique show that enlisted a hurricane of emotions without using any words.
The dancers’ fluid movements and flexibility were astounding. They made it look so easy, suspending their legs above their heads, while balancing on one foot with hardly a quiver. I was envious of their talent and control, so much so that I considered getting back into yoga multiple times during the show.
Even the way the dancers were lifted to the ceiling seemed so effortless and careless of a task. Imagine making the act of lifting an entire person look as simple as lifting a feather.
The music, however, was peculiar. While the pounding drums and soft symphonies of the tracks were beautiful and serene, it felt at times unnecessary. The music was sometimes used too much as a crutch, and the dancers should have instead depended upon their own movements rather than the sounds. The intense noises drown out their dancing in some instances. After all, the movements and the dancing is what the audience mainly came for.
Despite this, I still felt sadness, pain, joy and hope, sometimes all at once, while I watched the performers pour their hearts out for their art. So much passion went into every aspect of the show.
The costumes themselves danced around the bodies of the performers as they moved around the stage. I was particularly mystified by the stunning red outfits the dancers were wearing during the 11th routine of the night called “Rendezvous,” which consisted of dancers from the SBCC Dance Company.
The female performers wore Latin-style pants that flowed and frollicked around their legs. The males sported tight maroon spandex that dramatically outlined the shape of their leg muscles.
Bravo to costume designer Kaycee Jannino for this ensemble of clothing.
Overall, most of the dancers hardly got a break with so many costume changes. It was just one routine to the next.
The most enchanting performance came from The Thacher School Dance Ensemble with the routine “Indecisive.” The Friday show was the only night this routine was performed.
Dancers Emmy Daro, Sophia Fung, Samantha Hollins and Yosephina Peters spun and hopped around the stage in a modern and pointe style routine. Their dresses were like curtains that blew around in the wind created by the dancers’ movements.
Their arms graciously reached into the air, then swung back down in one swift movement. Their legs lurched towards the sky and above their heads in the same exquisite manner. It was remarkable how well they stayed in rhythm with each other.
While the performance ended with more of a thud than a bang, it did not in any way take away from the rest of the show. As long as there were dancers on stage, I was caught in a daze.
A second night’s performance still remains for 7 p.m. Saturday, April 15 at the Garvin Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at seatadvisor.com for $22 or at the door for $27. For more information, contact the Garvin Theatre Box Office at (805) 965-5935.