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Cal Poly Students to Present ‘Illuminate’ Spring Dance Concert May 22-23

Cal Poly students will prsent their annual spring dance concert, “Illuminate,” at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 22-23, in the Spanos Theatre on campus.
“Illuminate” features 200 dancers and 20 dances, showcasing hip hop,
contemporary and culturally infused genres. | Photo: Romark Weiss

Cal Poly students will present their annual spring dance concert, “Illuminate,” at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 22-23, in the Spanos Theatre on campus. 

The student-run and choreographed production incorporates nearly 200 dancers at all levels who collaborated to present artistic exploration, originality, professionalism and maturity. “Illuminate” features 20 dances that showcase hip hop, contemporary and culturally infused genres. 

Produced by the Theatre & Dance Department in the College of Liberal Arts, “Illuminate” is directed by fourth-year business major Nikki Sullivan and third-year psychology major Lauren Creger.

Student choreographers Kelby Hertanu, an art and design major, and Ryan Sutardji, industrial engineering, will perform “Urban Bash,” in which dancers act as high school students, taking advantage of an empty house and using the opportunity to express themselves with music and dance representative of the contemporary age and time.

In her high-energy hip hop piece, “B is for Bold,” biology major Rose Kuncz models the outspoken beliefs and fearless confidence of Beyoncé and aims to empower women in the hip hop industry.

Business student Nicole Egge explores the journey of recovering from a personal struggle and fighting to find inner strength in her contemporary piece set to the song “Medicine” by Daughter. Through the classic battle of good versus evil, the dance investigates the desperation in losing one’s self-confidence and the triumph that comes with finding one’s true self again.

Engineering juniors Rosana Cheruvelil and Jeslin James showcase a mix of modern and classical Indian dance styles through a piece that features songs “Liquid Dance” and “Mausam and Escape” composed by A.R. Rahman. The dancers offer a momentary glance into their diverse culture with intricate movements, elegant expressions and quick footwork.

After experiencing the political and social unrest in Bolivia during recent travels, modern languages and literatures major Noë Klein created the ballet “Corazón,” meaning “heart” in Spanish. The dance strives to capture the indigenous pride, the influence of the conquistadors, the hard work of the people, and the political chaos that are the heart and soul of Latin America.

“Uplifting,” set to the tune “New Shoes” by Paolo Nutini, embodies how fantastic friendships remedy the soul. Through this energetic jazz piece, kinesiology major Katie Phan captures sentiments of support, enjoyment and acceptance of self with the help of a “better half.”

Many other innovative student works will round out this diverse performance. 

Tickets to “Illuminate” are $10 for the public and $8 for students, seniors and children and are available at the Performing Arts Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849).

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