What: “Forward Momentum” Dance concert at CSUDH University Theatre
When: Wednesday through Saturday, December 1-4 at 7 p.m.
Tickets: Livestream tickets or audience tickets are $15 per night. Reserve tickets here.
Contact: Call the CSUDH Performing Arts Department at (310) 243-3589, or email PerformingArts@csudh.edu.
Note: This show features adult themes.
The CSUDH Department of Theatre and Dance presents “Forward Momentum” on the University Theatre stage December 1 through 4 at 7 p.m. A celebration of dance’s enduring resiliency, “Forward Momentum” features students dancing to choreography by CSUDH dance faculty Amy Allen, Shaunté Caraballo, Marco Carreon, Jeff Hendrix, Ashley Jones, Robert Laos, and Kenneth Walker, with special guest choreographers/dancers Alex Loch and Erin Sola from Minnesota.
“‘Forward Momentum’ is proof that dance never stops,” said the concert’s artist director, CSUDH Professor of Dance Doris Ressl. “Even during the pandemic, we kept moving forward. We embraced the new technology of dance on Zoom, screen dance, and how to dance six feet apart while wearing masks. It’s all part of the forward momentum of dance – learning from the past, embracing the present, and contributing to the future.”
A variety of poignant social themes also emerge throughout the concert. Laos’ recreation of his 2020 screen dance “Beats on Beats” for the stage celebrates not just dance but also diversity. Carreon’s performance pays tribute to transgender artists who use their art to fight oppression.
Guest artist Loch’s choreographed dance to “Deer Song” from “Considering Matthew Shepard,” which references the large doe that was lying near Shepard body—as if the deer had been keeping him company through the night— brings attention to the brutal treatment of gay people in America. While Walker’s piece asks the questions: How well do you know your neighbors? How well do you know yourself? What’s he building in there? What’s behind that door?
With Loch and students, Ressl’s work explores how we teeter on the edges of being politically correct in our opinions and actions in the ever-changing landscape of race, ethnicity, beliefs, gun violence, social norms, and sexuality, and how we are challenged as to whether we’ll fall victim or cross the line.
A variety of dance genres also illustrate the diversity of American cultures. Jones takes the audience back to the 1930s with jazz great Billie Holiday as she traveled across the country. Hendrix’s “Sing It” is a very jazzy, sensual, and mysterious piece filled with syncopations and drum rolls; it has a futuristic vibe and a melody that lingers. “Palapalai” by Caraballo explores the bond that is formed when hula dancers are together, but unable to touch. The dancers are connected through pu’ili sticks, representing how they stay connected throughout the world. In Allen’s screen dance, travelers infected by the beat of the music break out into dance as the joy of the moment overtakes them.
Tickets to “Forward Momentum” are $15 and may be purchased for either in-person or livestream experience at www.csudh.edu/theatre/tickets or by calling (310) 243-3589. Note: This show features adult themes.
In-person performances will take place in the University Theatre, located on the CSUDH campus, 1000 E. Victoria St. For driving directions and a map of campus, visit www.csudh.edu/directions. Parking permits are $9 and may be purchased at kiosks near each lot.
Please note: All in-person performances are presented on the condition of current public health orders and may be cancelled and offered virtually only. In-person audience members will be required to follow COVID-19 protocols, including wearing face coverings at all times.
For more information, call (310) 243-3589, or email PerformingArts@csudh.edu.