Global Motion World Dance Company heats up the Broad Stage

The Global Motion World Dance Company gave a riveting performance filled with energy and passion this past weekend at Santa Monica College's Broad Stage. A mix of yellow, red, and green flowers sat on top of the Indonesian dancer's heads giving the whole experience a very charismatic feel.

Members of the audience ranged from parents to musicians to choreographers with the theater nearly full on the night of May 15.

The show began with an Indonesian's Sunda dance, followed by a Mexican Folklorico, and a few acts later a Contemporary/Romantic Ballet, giving the show a lot of diversity.

"The best way to learn a culture is through their dance," said SMC Dance Department Chair and founder of the show, Judith Douglas. "For some students, this is their heritage. To truly be a global citizen, you need to know the people's dance. Dance is the oldest and most powerful form of non-verbal communication," said Douglas.

Douglas has been teaching at SMC since 1974, and currently teaches two humanities courses. With 98 students auditioning in February, only 48 made the cut and were able to perform this past weekend. Once the students were accepted, they were required to take Dance 57A (World Dance Performance) which Douglas founded and originated. Of the 48 dancers, each had to be in at least two pieces.

Many of the dances on display depicted work and religion. The Indonesian dance reflected a matriarch society and the costumes were nothing short of extraordinary.

Elizabeth Terschuur, choreographer of the ballet piece entitled "Wonder," discussed the process involved with getting her dancers ready for this show. "It took us the entire semester. Most of the dancers had never danced ballet before, maybe only three have taken it," said Terschuur who is currently finishing her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in choreography at UCLA.

"What was interesting to see was how much modeling and mirroring they were able to pick up so efficiently. I thought it was very impressive. I think they did extraordinarily well and you should always expect people to rise above, they usually meet what you're hoping they'll meet," said Terschuur.

Jessica Nedjat-Haiem, whose family is from Tehran, Iran, and has been dancing since 2003, had a solo in the second to last act, the Spanish Flamenco. Draped in lavish spanish style attire, the dancer took the spotlight in her solo performance she choreographed herself.

"I think the beauty of dance is that through it, you get to learn about a different culture," said Nedjat-Haiem.

As all of the dancers lined up for their final bow, the artistic directors and choreographers came out together with Douglas and student choreographers, ending the show by dancing on stage together.

"At first I was nervous and there's so much adrenaline, but feeding off the energy from the audience made it that much more strong," said dancer Victoria Tapscott.