'Global Motion' leaves more to be desired

Santa Monica College's dance performance "Global Motion World Dance Company," directed by Raquel Ramirez and Sri Susilowati, left the audience thinking of the difference between wealth and poverty, but longing for crisper performances from the dancers.

The dance concert contained traditional and contemporary dance styles from around the world, such as, the Philippines, Brazil, France, Spain, Guinea, Cuba, USA, Mexico and Moldova.

Each dance routine explored the complications and paradoxes of poverty and wealth in a different and unique style.

The opening routine, a piece from the Philippines, illustrated how the character Princess Gandingan, played by SMC student Toni Pasion, escaped through a forest. The dancers held long bamboo sticks and clapped them together to create a stronger and a more dramatic experience. The use of the sticks enhanced the music as well.

A live performance by singer Refilwe Morake made the Guinean dance routine stand out. The narrative of the dance went well with Morake's strong voice, which was accompanied by Jalani Blunt, Evan Greer and Malik Sow on percussion. The choreography told a story of a poor girl who met a king and struggled between her former life and becoming a queen.

The show shed light on today’s issues of poverty and wealth, such as in a dance-fusion routine about a young woman's struggle between social classes. She finally learned that love is the true wealth, and being poor is not having love at all.

The narratives of Global Motion were strong and gave a worldly perspective to the problems that come with having or not having money, a common issue that people are facing every day.

The choreographers used the bamboo prop creatively, especially in the Philippines neo-ethnic routine, where the bamboo sticks are used to illustrate a forest, then a boat, which made the piece stand out and become more dynamic.

While the theme and overall message were strengths of the show, the dancing itself was disappointing.

Some of the dancers looked more comfortable dancing certain styles, but others did not seem to know their choreography well enough, magnifying those who had different dance backgrounds.

The next SMC dance performance will be "Synapse," which opens on Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. at The Broad Stage, located at 1310 11th St.