Courtesy of Valencia Dance Department
EAST CAMPUS — Valencia and Rollins students and faculty put on a quality performance during the Valencia Dance Spring Concert at the East Campus Performing Arts Center.
The concert was fast paced, featuring the following pieces: “Elvis is in the Building…A tribute to the King,” “Nascimento 1990” and “Out of the Closet.” Each piece could be divided into movements that created dynamic contrast within each piece.
“Elvis…,” choreographed by Valencia Dance faculty member Lesley Brasseux Rodgers, included Elvis Presley’s upbeat melodies “Viva Las Vegas” and the slower ballad “Love Me Tender.” Both pieces were highly exuberant with energy and chemistry between the dancers.
“Ms. Lesley is a lot of fun to work with. She likes to get things done,” said first year dance student Marissa Ramirez, who performed in this section of the show. Ramirez went on to say that “Jailhouse Rock” and “Viva La Vegas” were her favorite movements to dance to.
“I liked the jumping and dynamics of the first movement,” said Nimesh Maloa, Valencia computer science student.
“Nascimento 1990,” choreographed by David Parsons and restaged by founding member of Parsons Dance Company, Jaime Martinez, was a crowd favorite.
“The setup of the two sections was really good,” said Maloa. “I didn’t know that the Valencia dancers had that much potential.”
The dancers’ technique is spot on as they jump and create elaborate feet patterns across the stage to festive Conga-like music. The music transitions to a single voice then to the piano, with more abstract dance movements in the choreography.
“I loved the synchronicity and unison parts. It felt like watching one movement, verses many dancers on stage,” said Nathaniel Stiger, Valencia dance student.
Valencia civil engineering student, John Sapp, who had never been to a Valencia dance performance, really liked this piece, because it was “interesting” and “unique.”
“When I do art, I am influenced by the surrealism and abstract work of artists such as Salvador Dali. This piece reminded me of that,” said Sapp.
When choosing David Parsons to be the guest artists for this year’s Spring Dance Concert, Dr. Suzanne R. Salapa, chair of Valencia dance department, met with artistic director Rodgers to decide which artist would best fit their dancers. The department then has to license the material that is to be performed. Martinez then worked with the dancers for over 60 hours of residency and rehearsal.
“It was a pleasure to work with Martinez, who we worked with in the Spring Concert of 2010,” said assistant director Kristina Stevens.
The Valencia Spring Dance Concert ended with a bang thanks to “Out of the Closet,” choreographed by Rollins College professor of theatre and dance Dr. W. Robert Sherry.
The audience was taken through this piece themed on fashion with music and images of styles throughout history. This section had varying styles of dancing, starting with a comedic piece for “Beach Wear” featuring the song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.”
The scene then turned to the sleek and graceful movements of a female dancer trio in “Formal Wear,” dressed in white elbow-length glove. Finally, they moved to the foot stomping and upbeat number of “Foot Wear,” with female dancers sporting “go-go” boots and ending in an explosion of confetti and balloons.
“This is a beautiful show,” said Salapa. All dancers who performed auditioned in November and have been rehearsing these pieces since January.
“We’re really proud of the dancers,” said Stevens. “Lots of our dancers get accepted into four year programs after their two years with us.”