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When his dancers perform "Seven" at Santa Monica College's (SMC's) Synapse Dance Theater at the SMC Performing Arts Center's Broad Stage on Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25 it will be a sort of homecoming for 27-year-old choreographer Erik Fine. It will be Fine's fourth time performing in Synapse, and his second time choreographing for it, but equally important, it will be a return to the concert that changed the trajectory of his career.
After high school, the Chicago native moved to Phoenix, and two years later moved to Los Angeles pursuing music. He met a girl, who happened to be an SMC dancer and his passion shifted, he was hooked. She introduced him to the Synapse Dance Theater. After taking his first dance class he decided to change his major to dance. Looking back, he's amazed at how much he's learned and grown in the last four years at SMC. "The SMC Dance Department doesn't just create strong technical dancers, they also create strong artists and scholars as well. The faculty here work to provide us with the tools we need,” says Fine.
"Seven" is Fine's visual representation of Dante's “Inferno And The Seven Deadly Sins.” This version of “Dante’s Inferno” that Fine is drawing inspiration from is a video game. In this telling, each of the Seven Deadly Sins is a game boss. In Fine's choreography, there is no Dante, his cast of eight features Beatrice and one dancer for each of the Deadly Sins. Each dancer was chosen because Fine saw a resonance between their movement style and one of the Deadly Sins, or in Beatrice's case because of her strong graceful ballet technique.
"Seven" opens with a cinematic set piece depicting Beatrice's descent into hell. Fine says he wants to depict a lingering element of danger to keep us wondering what monstrosity is around the corner. Fine said, "On a social level, it's about what we value as a society, about religion and the sometimes archaic through processes we carry with us."
Fine expects to finish his dance studies at the end of 2019, and transfer to the dance department at Long Beach State University. "The Dance Department is amazing. I didn't realize the quality of the teacher's training. SMC really goes above and beyond offering different styles of training to include behind-the-scenes help with what it takes to be a dancer,” says Fine about his time at SMC. He then plans to head off to The Big Apple in hopes of taking his career to the next level. "seven" will be one of eleven works presented at Synapse Dance Theater. The concert will feature works by SMC student choreographers, faculty, and guest artist Jay Carlon on the Broad Stage at SMC's Performing Arts Center campus on Friday and Saturday, May 24 and 25.