Diversity and dance in Global Motion’s ‘Now and Then’

Diversity is an element that we are all accustomed to, especially at Santa Monica College. It’s what makes us different, and yet, somehow, it brings us together. For their seasonal showcase, the Global Motion World Dance Company’s theme was, “Now and Then,” which captured diversity by featuring twelve dance performances ranging from hip-hop to Tahitian. Global Motion has worked with some of the finest student-dancers to showcase the evolution of dance around the world. According to the program, Global Motion is “dedicated to educating, preserving, and performing world dance.” Each semester, new and returning dancers practice for about seven weeks to put on a show that reflects the culture of the world through dance. Their performances were held at The Broad Stage on Nov. 8 and 10.

The show’s opening number, “USA Hip-Hop,” took the audience through the historical journey of hip-hop. The dancers in this piece used every tool in their arsenal in order to capture the specific movements of the hip-hop culture. The music of “USA Hip-Hop” accompanied the choreography wonderfully; as the movements evolved so did the music. Popular tunes from artists like Aaliyah were paired with choreography that was popular during the song’s release, and similar styles could be seen in the music videos of that time.

The dancers continued through a hip-hop timeline to popular styles of today such as tutting. Tutting uses very specific hand movements to create certain visual effects, and is paired with music such as dubstep.

Global Motion did an great job of providing the audience with visual effects, which enhanced the show entirely. Flashing red and white lights effectively created visual illusions, captivating the audience.

In “A Tribute to the Kura Birds,” the dancers performed a traditional Tahitian dance complete with traditional attire. They dazzled the audience with their bright smiles, which encapsulated the joyful essence of the Tahitian culture. As they moved in unison, they transcended cultural barriers and shared their passion for the art of traditional and creative dance styles with the audience.

Costumes were some of the most important elements of the show. The Russian dance number — traditionally performed by the Russian Roma’s or Gypsies—was beautiful because the costumes incorporated bright colors with interesting and vivid patterns embroidered on them. The spirit of the dance is fun, lively, and free, as it’s paired with beautifully long, flowing skirts with which the dancers twirled and spun together.

Global Motion’s performance was a beautiful experience that allowed the audience to take a journey through the globe and visualize how history has established itself through creative movement. This season’s performance, “Now and Then,” was a learning experience and allowed the audience to dive into cultures they may not have known existed. Global Motion represents the true beauty of culture, and the company did a great job of presenting that this season.