Crisp, straight lines that turn into arcs and waves; slow movement that confuses and fast movement that pleases; acrobatics in dance and emotions in acrobatics; storytelling, dance, and discipline – that’s how I would describe the first Spring modern dance performance and showcase from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance held this past weekend. The performance was a culmination to the Dance On! week of activities at USC.
I only made it to the performance at intermission so I saw the less traditional, more innovative modern dance choreography of the second half. Modern dance is based on the “contract and release” principle and the dancers were fluid, yet well defined in their movements. I have never seen a modern dance performance before, and to me, it felt like a new way to convey stories through unique movements with the backdrop of instrumental music. The elements of dance were both classical and contemporary. It was a breathtaking joy to witness.
The second half had a modern dance piece and a hip-hop piece. My question was are they modern dancers who have learned hip-hop? Or hip-hop dancers who have learned modern? You couldn’t tell. That is the hallmark of a good dancer, and each of the 33 beautiful and handsome dancers of the first ever class of the Kaufman School epitomize that fact.