Dance Production Goes on Despite Budget Cuts

Vanessa Aguirre

With all of the support staff for dance productions eliminated this semester, Glendale College shows it can still take it to the floor.

“It almost seems ridiculous that due to the budget cuts, the dance program is in jeopardy” said dance major Vanessa Velasquez. “We have such passion for dance and with our resources being cut, who knows what will happen to those aspiring to make this a career.”

With difficulty accessing lockers, towels and showers, because of the lack of staff attending the locker room in the afternoon, dancers are forced to go without these amenities.

Adding to the list of things the department is going with out is the costumer, who retired, and has yet to be replaced. The former costumer is now volunteering her time doing the job she was once paid to do.

Through these hardships, the dance department is still able to persevere. With the help of the ASGCC, which provided funding for the costumes, the department has been able to put together Dance Performance 2010 without getting rid of all the bells and whistles.

“We could not do this with out the support of ASGCC,” said director Lynn McMurrey. “it just wouldn’t have been possible.”

With 12 different dances set to be performed on the Sierra Nevada dance theater stage starting Tuesday, with genres ranging from ballet, lyrical, hip-hop and everything in between, this performance will provide an enjoyable experience for everyone.

I have some of the most talented dancers in this group that I’ve ever had,” said McMurrey. “[They’re] beautiful dancers.”

Some dance pieces, like that of student Amanda Riley’s, feature all 35 dancers involved in the production. Riley’s piece in particular, plays with the idea of a puppet master controlling the actions of his puppets, and when the puppets break free, who knows what will happen.

Along with lighting effects and a wide array of music, ranging from songs found on “American Top 40” to something a classical enthusiast might enjoy, each dance piece, along with its corresponding music, takes the viewer into a different world.
Choreographed by GCC students, each piece has a different feel and expresses the thoughts of the choreographer.

Rehearsing since the beginning of the spring semester, these dancers hope to leave it all onstage and prove that they are not just “community college” dancers, and can hold their own amongst other classically trained dancers.

“The dancers are very dedicated and passionate [about what they do],” said Riley. “It’s nice to be performing again.”

McMurrey’s goal during the time leading up to this production was giving his dancers the closest possible experience to a professional dancers lifestyle as possible. Having to perform two shows every day weeks at a time is to be expected when going into this profession, and under the wing of McMurrey, these aspiring dancers got a taste of it.

“I’m eager to see how the different styles [of dance] are presented,” said Zac Villagran, a GCC student. “Dance is an amazing form of expression and emotion, its going to be very interesting to see things through the eye of the choreographer.”

“Dance Performance 2010” runs Tuesday through May 29 at 8 p.m. With noon showings May 26 through May 28, and a 2 p.m. showing May 30.
For more information call Lynn McMurrey at (818) 240-1000, ext. 5556.