Synapse 2012 brings modern movement to SMC

Santa Monica College’s 2012 Synapse Dance performance grants its audience an abundance of dance, outside the boundaries of traditional movement. The performance features several contemporary pieces set to an eclectic variety of music, with interesting titles and subjects.

This year, Synapse seems to focus more on modern and contemporary styles of dance, and noticeably avoids classic styles such as ballet and folkloric.

‘Dal Cominciou’ - a piece choreographed by SMC student Joshua Bergeron - incorporates sounds, words, and music within staccato and modern movements. ‘Dal Cominciou’ is inspired by the passing of Bergeron’s grandfather this past fall.

“It's definitely based on scenes, it's based on memories, it's based on things that we hold important to us – emotions,” said Bergeron. “It's inspired by the times we’ve had with paternal figures in our lives.”

Aubrhe Yruretagoyena is the other half of this duo, and is seen in five other acts in this year’s production.

Mikala Rae'l Johnson's powerful moves and strong presence commands the audience’s attention. “This is my first time in Synapse, and I'm very excited,” said Johnson, who is featured in three of the production’s pieces.

Not every piece in this year’s Synapse is your typical contemporary dance routine. Acts ‘Oooh Lil' Mama’ and ‘Hip Hop Symphony’ give the audience a taste of alternative genres of dance.

Choreographed by Lauren Thompson-Hall, ‘Oh Lil' Mama’ is a refreshingly mostly-male ensemble, who comedically enter the stage “on the prowl for women.”

Dancing temptress, Mawiyah Dowd intrigues men with her leaps, jumps, and extraordinary dance lines.

Dowd mixes technicality with sass and sex appeal. The male dancers then show off their incredible athleticism as they battle for her attention.

Choreographed by Troy Stephens, ‘Hip-Hop Symphony’ showcases an underground dance movement called ‘Wacking and Voguing,’ which incorporates smooth and coordinated movements of the arms and legs.

This year, audience members will enjoy familiar tunes and a refreshing change from classical dance ensembles.

The Synapse Dance Theater Contemporary Dance Ensemble takes the Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, May 5 at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are currently on sale at the SMC Box office, or online at