The Phanatics Dance Showcase brought creativity and dazzling performances to the Oct. 23 presentation choreographed by current and former students and the Dance Department faculty.
The free presentation, which was held in the Sierra Nevada Gym and hosted by GCC Dance instructor Alexandra Blackbird, featured various types of dances, ranging from jazz, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary to native dance.
The first half of the presentation started with an energetic performance to *NSYNC’s “Dirty Pop,” choreographed by GCC dance instructor Victor Robles, Britney Benson, Ai Iwai, Hans Kim, Leela Loisel, Kenneth Meija, and Tsubasa. It was a very active and well-choreographed performance that involved modern dance, hip-hop, and break dancing. The dancers in the performance, who were from Robles’ Jazz I, II, and III classes, put a lot of power into their dancing to the upbeat song.
The second dance of the night was very unique and interesting, and was choreographed and performed by Bong Hoang. The name of the dance was “Breaking Tradition,” and it combined martial arts, tai chi, and some hip-hop movements. It was a creative and fascinating form of dance because it was like watching a performance from the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” movie. It was like Hoang was controlling and balancing the air like an airbender with his movements. Hoang seemed to combine the calmness and peacefulness with a creative dance performance.
When Blackbird asked Hoang what the story or inspiration was behind the dance, he said, “It is a fusion story where I show through the break dancing and tai chi, my struggles of finding out who I am. When I do, I become calmer, more fluid, and do what I love to do in life, which is martial arts and dance.”
“A.J.,” choreographed and performed by Aliem Jiles was a very delicate, yet precise dance. Jiles fused interpretive and contemporary dance with ballet and jazz, creating a wonderful performance that the audience could feel through his interpretation and his movements. Jiles’ dance was followed by another interpretive dance, choreographed by Christian Scott, which was titled “Dollhouse.” In it, Scott imitates a doll in a house trying to escape. It was a story-telling type of dance in which Scott obtained the inspiration from “Toy Story.” The story portrays a doll not as she fights and grabs in order to not be left behind.
Scott’s performance was so delicate and vulnerable, yet the fight within her was not forgotten nor left behind. Her emotional performance transmitted well to the audience.
Another unique dance was “Maohi Naoti,” a native Tahitian dance performed by Julie Agustin, Ai Iwai, Jessica Perez and Guillermo Mendoza. The dance, choreographed by Bianca Lietel, who teaches a Tahitian Aerobics class at a 24 Hour Fitness gym, contained a lot of hip movement, and showed off the dancers’ good moves and flexibility, which amazed the audience. The love story within the dance was captivating.
Lietel said, “Polynesians have a strong oral tradition, where they transmit their culture and history through dance.” Throughout much of the performance, the three women were shaking their hands close to their hips, which Lietel said meant they were saying, “Welcome, come here,” in a seductive manner to the male performer. At the end of the dance, the hand shaking must have worked because he ended up with one of the female performers.
Joseph Gurrola and Amanda Riley choreographed their performance to Madonna’s “Die Another Day.” It was very dramatic to watch them fight over a set of pearls. Gurrola and Riley performed well together, as they incorporated modern dance, as well as ballet and jazz. The performance was modeled after what appeared to be them acting like secret agents working together, and ending up fighting over the same thing.
“My Philosophy,” another very dramatic and dark dance, was performed by Amanda Richardson and Aliem Jiles. Both dancers worked well together and showed off their great abilities in a contemporary dance, where the male character ends up snapping the female’s neck and hiding her under the table after she dies.
Zhanna Petrosyan and Miko Schaffer showed off their abilities through their interpretive performances of “Panteca En Libertad” and “Please,” respectively. Petrosyan, who has been dancing since a young age, and Schaffer, portrayed their delicate styles and creativity through their dances.
“I create my dances by picking the music first, and then creating the movements around the music,” said Schaffer. “I get inspiration from my overactive imagination.”
In the dance titled “In the Mix,” Hans Kim and Kenneth Meija amazed the audience with the creativity behind their dance, which featured Far East Movement’s “Like A G6” and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream.” Kim and Mejia carried a cardboard boom box around and danced to the songs played on the radio prop. The majority of their dance numbers involved hip-hop, break dancing, popping, locking, waving, and jazz, which both dancers fused together well.
“Mine Again” choreographed by Ralph Ami, and danced by Ami, Reo Cho, and Aliem Jiles, portrayed break dancing, creative movements, hip-hop, and a smooth solo by Ami, in which the audience could feel the music through his performance, because he really transmitted the energy and smoothness of the Mariah Carey song.
The final piece of the night was “Drumming in My Head,” which was choreographed by Amanda Richardson.
“This is about that somebody or something that is stuck in your head, either because they keep coming back, or maybe not coming back, and you would do anything to get it out or away from you,” said Richardson. Yves Adamian, Amanda Riley and Richardson, really put the motto of the dance into their performance and created the illusion of people going crazy because of something that was stuck in their heads. The dancers performed the piece well and really got into character.
“Phanatics” was a marvelous show where the dancers gave their all for the audience, and where words weren’t necessary because they transmitted everything that they wanted to say, and more, through their inspirational and creative performances.