Crossing cultural boundaries: Global Motion showcases dances from all over the world

As the attendees entered the theater and filled the seats, you could see their excitement for the show to start. When the curtains opened and the bright green background came alive, everything quieted to a dead silence. The audience was ready to experience the festive celebration of other cultures. "Global Motion" was beginning.

The Broad Stage Theater opened their doors once again on Saturday for the annual "Global Motion" dance ensemble which showcases dances from various cultures. Founder Judith Douglas said, “With everything going on with Paris and terrorism in the world, I would like the audience to recognize and accept people’s differences.”

Since dance is a universal language, Douglas wanted her audience to learn about other cultures and accept that we are all different — that the ignorance-based violence around the world needs to stop because every culture is unique and wonderful. And that is exactly what the dancers conveyed through their performances.

The first performance that commanded people's attention was the piece called "Madness," an American lyrical jazz routine that connected with everyone in the audience. The purple-to-dark purple gradient background complemented the performance in which the dancers wanted to portray something powerful — liberation from the struggles that one has been through or is going through in life. This routine had a strong connection with the happening around the world which could be seen through the emotions on the faces of the dancers.

The second routine that got a strong message across was called "Untitled," a Cambodian dance that told the story of a relationship between two people. It was one of the performances that had the audience shouting and cheering when it was finished. Attendee Luciano Gauna said, “I really enjoyed this piece because it is something I had never seen before. Because the connections between the dancers was so strong, it made me reflect on the relationship I have with my girlfriend.”

The West African routine, "Djigene," also had a standing ovation at the end. As the last performance, "Djigene" was the perfect way to end the night. This routine had strength and power from the beat of the drums to the movements that each dancer hit. This performance was all about empowering women. Throughout the dance, there was a fierceness that all the women dancers portrayed and there was strength, not only in their movement but also in their facial expressions.

One of the dancers in this piece, Jazmine Smith, who also performed in "Untitled," said, “I want the audience to feel motivated. If the audience is able to take anything away from this experience, I would like for them to feel inspired and motivated.”

As "Djigene" came to a close, that was the exact feeling in the audience. Attendee Cindy Gonzalez said, “Out of all the performances this was my favorite. I loved the beat of the drums and seeing how the performers moved. It was very energetic.”

By the end of the night, the Broad Stage was lit up not only by the bright yellow background of the stage, but by all the cheering and applauding as well. These performances not only taught the audience about the different cultures around the world by showing each one's uniqueness, but it also united everyone in the theater in enjoying the entertainment and art of dance.