Now and then, Global Motion celebrates world cultures

Distant drums. A fanfare made its way across the floor. In matte shades of purple, green and brown, dancers performed “Noche de Docellas,” a tale about two young girls who wander into the night. This pre-Hispanic piece closes Global Motion, a concert put on by the Santa Monica College Dance Department, set to perform Nov. 8 and 10 on the Broad Stage.

“Global Motion is all about diversity and global citizenship,” Dance Department Chair Judith Douglas said. “It means that we have an opportunity to instruct students that may never learn again.”

Based on the theme “Now and Then,” choreographers produced ensembles that illustrate techniques and styles from the ancient past to the present. The embodiment of this concept was an African ensemble, in which traditional West-African movement fused with wild hip-hop and culminated in an understanding between the two forms.

“Even though we have different forms now, it connects with the past,” said Sri Susilowati, co-director of Global Motion.

The performance was hindered by what most previews lack: Energy and movement definition. However, there were more than a few notable exceptions.

Glenn Rodriguez’s lyrical jazz ensemble, “Repercussions,” was lovely and fluid, with a satisfying array of spin-leap combinations. The movement spoke about bad breakups, and finding oneself in the aftermath.

During the show’s updated gypsy piece, the dancers come together in united execution to deliver a mass of turns and jumps that is surprising for their large number.

In one dance, a couple literally “ties the knot” by dragging a red cloth with their feet amidst Mexican cat calls--which the audience is encouraged to participate in.

“You’re going to see dances you’ve never seen before,” said Izella Berman, a first year SMC student who has danced for the past seven years. “You have to go for it every time,” she said.

Through everything, the group’s dedication is palpable. Many travel up to two hours by bus to attend rehearsals, as well as their classes.

“You just have to have the mentality of never quitting,” said Berman.

“Every semester we learn from [the dancers],” said Susilowati. “They’re not just using their bodies, they’re using their minds.”

Tickets for Global Motion are $15 for students (with a current SMC ID) and senior citizens, and $18 at the door.