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On Thursday November 12th, California State University Fullerton’s College of the Performing Arts presented their annual Fall Dance Theater showcase. Choreographer and Faculty Professor Gladys Kares, coordinated the segments of the showcase, which is divided between two acts, totaling eight riveting numbers. CSUF’s Dance department provides a rigorous training for majors with a variety of disciplines including ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance.

In the opening piece “De la Valse a l’Amour” choreographed by CSUF professor Muriel Joyce, ten dancers embellished the stage along to French inspired music. Beautifully synchronized, the dancers represented a celebration of life with vibrant costumes. Audience members gazed in amazement at the ballerinas who showed fragility in their moves.

Another eye catching number “In The Journey We Take Together”, dancers effectively used the scenery to aid a heartwarming story. A raised trapezoidal platform sat upstage left alluding a religious context while a twelve foot high, roofless, six legged tent, encompassed downstage right resembling a cave. In the beginning, the dancers appeared frightened of what was outside the cave; a collective fear of the unknown. One by one, the dancers peaked out of the cave in spite of curiosity. Slowly, all joined together to brave the outside world. A beautiful piece representing the trials and tribulations of life.

The evening closed with the stunning contemporary number “Fragments”, choreographed by Macarena Gandarillas, seemed to portray a human, innate conflict within relationships. A relentless tension filled the space for the duration of the piece, with tugging and pushing between dancers—an elegant battle. A big part of the intensity experienced was enhanced by the lighting surrounding the dancers. Bright somber orange lights coming from stage left outlined each dancer’s figure and created defeated shadows which heightened emotion. As the conflict dissipated, the side light dimmed to a blackout, which evoked relief and peace for the dancers.

Fall Dance Theatre without a doubt, illuminates the power of dance by giving audience members an emotional and provocative experience. The dancers prove their passion, charisma, and agility through each act. While each piece has its own unique theme, the entire showcase is seamlessly tied together, creating a story from beginning to end. The inspiring and beautiful aspect of dance is that it can be interpreted in any way imaginable.

Fall Dance Theatre will run until Nov. 22 and tickets are $14 for general admission and $12 for students and faculty.

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