October 22, 2019

Donald McKayle & More at Synapse November 2-3

(left to right) Dancers Karlo Ramirez, Ariel Scott, and Taylor Sun perform with SMC’s Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater November 2-3 in The Broad Stage.

Santa Monica College’s Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater to Showcase New Works November 2-3

Repertory Features Wide Range of Dance Styles

SANTA MONICA, CA — Santa Monica College's innovative and widely praised Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater will present a program of new repertory by award-winning faculty artists, professional guest artists, and up-and-coming student choreographers Nov.2-3.

Performances are at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 2, and at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, November 3, in The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center, located at 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Boulevard), Santa Monica. Tickets—available on the Dance Performance Events webpage or by calling 310-434-3005—range from $20 to $23. Parking is free.

The concert features Modern, Contemporary, Fusion, Contemporary Ballet, and more. The program will present works by Synapse Co-Artistic Directors Jae Lee and Mark Tomasic, guest artist Donald McKayle, and faculty choreographers Seda Aybay, Angela Jordan, Cihtli Ocampo, and Sophie Monat. Also creating new dance works for the performance are student choreographers Liam Gifkins, Amira Murphy, Jackie Riedel, Julisa Figueroa, Aya Nakaguchi, and Ariel Scott.

  • Guest artist Donald McKayle (1930-2018) — recipient of honors and awards in every aspect of his illustrious career and named “one of America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition — will be ‘present’ as Synapse restages two sections from his masterpiece Songs of the Disinherited: “Angelitos Negros,” a towering depiction of female strength and a study in Black majesty, and “Shaker Life,” an urban gospel that is a joyous entry into the spiritual life of the Black church.

  • SMC dance professor, Synapse Co-Director, and professional choreographer Jae Lee, who has worked with a variety of renowned dance companies and choreographers, will premiere a Contemporary Modern piece, “A-15510,” which is an abstract portrayal of life and relationships in the concentration camps of WWII.

  • SMC dance professor Seda Aybay is the Founder and an Artistic Director of Kybele Dance Theater. Her original works have toured nationally and internationally, receiving many awards. She will premiere the Contemporary piece “Encounter,” which illustrates spontaneous interactions in life, and is set to the music of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.”

  • SMC Dance major Aya Nakaguchi has created a Contemporary piece — “(D + T) own = (Down Town)” — which is an abstract work examining the systematic side of our society and what each of us values, ignores, hides, or protects.

  • SMC Dance major Amira Murphy, originally from Santa Monica, has previously trained at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. She has co-choreographed a Fusion piece — “Ode to the 80’s” — and also will perform a solo created by Donald McKayle, “Angelitos Negros” (“Black Angels”), an excerpt from Songs of the Disinherited.

Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater has a longstanding reputation for artistic excellence and innovation. Since it was founded more than 40 years ago, the student troupe has performed throughout the nation, including the Electric Lodge in Venice; the Cast Theater in Hollywood; the Getty Center in Los Angeles; and the American College Dance Association Conference in Arizona, California, Georgia, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Utah.

More information is available on the Dance Department's Performance webpage or by calling 310-434-3467.

Christopher DePiazza and Marii Kawabata dancing
Christopher DePiazza and Marii Kawabata perform with Santa Monica College’s Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater Saturday, November 2, at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m. in The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center, located at 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Boulevard), Santa Monica.
Dancer Amira Murphy
Dancer Amira Murphy performs with SMC’s Synapse Dance Theater November 2-3 in The Broad Stage. (Photo Credit: Charles Mark-Walker)