Lights, camera, ‘Illumination’

The Richland dance program lit up the stage quite literally April 5 with the spring concert, “Illumination.” A combination of dancers, guest performers and choreographers showcased their graceful glides and gentle leaps, as well as some pop-and-locks and backflips, to an enthusiastic audience.

The show began with a large-group performance of Richland dancers, choreographed by guest artist Laura Pearson. “Let There Be Light” kicked off the evening with references to light, self-worth and individuality. The dramatic spotlight and accompanying music emphasized important themes of togetherness and individuality.

Richland Dancers Justin Akers and Guadalupe Cardosa perform a daring move at the ‘Illumination’ dance concert on April 5th.

Richland Dancers Justin Akers and Guadalupe Cardosa perform a daring move at the ‘Illumination’ dance concert on April 5th.

Dramatic theatrical lighting was also used in the set, “One More Light,” performed to the music of Linkin’ Park with an eye-opening projection above the stage. The film illustrated performers in the Richland dance program focusing on their inner light and what it meant to them if that light should go out. The film featured quotes of self-worth throughout the video such as “You matter,” “You are not alone” and “There is hope.” The performance shared a note of honesty and transparency between the artists, guest performers and the audience.

One guest performer stood out because he was seated just below the audience. Pianist Alex Brombal delivered a sensational and seasoned performance. He accompanied three pieces during the show, including the soundtrack to the trilogy “Coyotes Tip-Toe (Parts 1, 2 and 3). His music provided emotion, rhythm, cues for the dancers and offered a mellow backdrop for the audience.

Dancers Lena Oren and Jaiquan S. Laurencin perform in the routine “Coyotes Tip-toe”.

Dancers Lena Oren and Jaiquan S. Laurencin perform in the routine “Coyotes Tip-toe”.

On a light-hearted note, the dazzling and eye-catching performance “Popsicle Toes,” presented near the end of the concert, kept the audience’s ears buzzing and toes tapping to the swift tap-dance movements and choreographed acrobatics.

As “Popsicle Toes” played over the speakers, it filled the room with fast-moving rhythms, loosening up the audience for the final break-down of the hip-hop performance, “Get Loose.”

Performed to Lil Mama’s popular single, “Shawty Get Loose” it was the evening’s closing performance featuring Richland dance program students.

The enthusiastic “popping-n-locking” dance style quickly inspired some audience members to join in. Cheering and hollering in support of the dancers, the audience was at the same time impressed and hypnotized by them.

“Illumination” was a fun show overall and a sensational way to inspire and pump-up Richland students’ energy as the last full month of classes get underway.