Spring dance to lead with Global Motion

A rush of artful adrenaline runs through the veins of Santa Monica College dancers as they prepare for their annual world dance concert, Global Motion.

New additions to this spring semester’s Global Motion performance will incorporate two ethnic dances, Filipino and Moldavian.

SMC student Toni Pasion, who has a background in Polynesian dancing, is in her fourth semester with Global Motion. Pasion is choreographing a Filipino contemporary piece out of a traditional song where she will incorporate modern dance moves.

“We really went with the theme of poverty and wealth, and we really emphasized on princess and a slave; that is something super obvious of poverty and wealth," Paison says. "It’s really a mix of our own input and creativity and what it represents to us as Filipino-Americans here at SMC.”

SMC student Katie McCulla is in three numbers, and describes the ballet piece as a representation of abundance, grandiosity and adornment, ornate and whimsical to transport the audience.

Global Motion put McCulla out of her comfort zone since the production has different modes of dance she was not accustomed to, such as hip-hop.

Attendees will be introduced to colorful cultures, with each dance representing a part of a country’s tradition and history.

SMC student Geraldo Morales is performing with Global Motion for the first time, dancing and choreographing with his co-choreographer Glenn Rodriguez. Together, they helped create the dance fusion piece of hip-hop, ballet, modern, and house.

SMC Yessenia Munoz started dancing in fall 2010 and has been a part of Global Motion ever since. She focuses on Latin ballroom and has a solo in a piece of that style with her partner Zweli Barton.

Munoz says the dancers are continuing to train and take outside classes, leading to a more advanced skill set.

“The quality of the show keeps going up,” Munoz says.

SMC professor Raquel Ramirez has been directing Global Motion since 2000 and has been dancing for over 25 years.

Ramirez says that the challenge for most students is that they are not used to most of the dance styles for this particular show.

“They’re willing to take risks on styles of dancing they don’t know, they perform with a lot of passion, they learn to understand the culture, and they learn to love the dance," Ramirez says. "Once you see them on stage, you see that passion that you need to transform those steps into a live dance.”

Global Motion used to be called Folklorico de Santa Monica, being mainly a Mexican Folklorico-style dance, Ramirez says. But as time went on, other styles like Flamenco, Brazilian, Salsa and African were added, giving the program the global name.

"Little by little, we've evolved to a global world-dance company," Ramirez says.

Robust lights, instruments, and costumes will be additional art in an effort to authenticate the historical aspects of Global Motion.

Dance professors at SMC train the dancers to perform proper technique, and shape them to practice expressing their own creativity by giving them an opportunity to choreograph their own original pieces.

Global Motion premiers on Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the SMC Performing Arts Center. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit smc.edu/dance.