City College dancers to hit the stage in ‘City Moves’ concert


Students gather in the Black Box Theatre to audition for the 2014 production of the “City Moves” dance concert. Photo credit: Richard Lomibao

Lauren J. Mapp

San Diego City College’s Visual and Performing Arts Department presents the fall dance concert “City Moves” Dec. 4 and 5 at the Saville Theatre.

Visual and Performing Arts Department co-chair and dance concert director, Alicia Rincon, said the show will be comprised of seven student-choreographed pieces and four staff-choreographed pieces in the dance genres of hip hop, ballet, modern, salsa and jazz.

Student choreographers auditioned their pieces earlier in the semester in front of a panel of judges for final approval. Of the 12 pieces auditioned, seven were chosen based on a set of established criteria.

“Because it is a formal concert that is presented to the public — and so, the public come onto the campus and pay — we have to have a level to present,” Rincon said. “We base the voting on a criteria of items — like composition (beginning, middle and end), creativity, originality; we also have a time limit because our show is an hour and a half.”

In preparation for the show, Rincon is helping to clean up the choreography and design costumes, along with her costuming assistant and stage manager Rose Barrio.

Laman Musayeva, a City College student who hopes to transfer to University of California, Irvine to pursue a degree in dance, has been dancing since she was six-years old. She has experience with several genres of dance — ballet, hip hop, modern, belly dance, tap and traditional folk dance from her home country of Azerbaijan. She will be performing in a collaborative salsa dance piece during the “City Moves” dance concert.

“It’s a very fun piece — we have a few groups that choreographed different salsa pieces and we’re just adding it together it making it like a party,” Musayeva said.

Working with Rincon as a dance director has been a positive learning experience for Musayeva thus far.

“She’s really fun and she makes you work; she encourages you to dance and she’s very supportive,” Musayeva said.

Dance major Priscilla Valencia choreographed a piece called “The Butterfly Effect” to a compilation of music by Emancipator and Flux Pavilion. The 23-year-old dancer said her piece is inspired by butterflies and she uses them as symbols for the way that human life progresses in her dance.

“My inspiration was embracing life, changes, embrace who you are,” Valencia said. “I see the butterfly as a metaphoric way of seeing ourselves and transforming ourselves and our lives. The butterfly goes through many changes in their life, starting off from an egg and to a caterpillar, then into a cocoon, and it overcomes all the challenges. When it’s born, it doesn’t know that it’s going to have to go through all those changes, but I’m just amazed at how that happens and that inspires me to make a dance so that I can inspire other people in continuing through their life and embracing their changes and whatever life throws at them.”

Fernando Ruiz, a 19-year-old dance major at City College, is performing in several pieces in the show, including a piece that he choreographed to Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful.” Though he had already choreographed some of the movement before choosing a song, he said he felt driven by Del Rey’s voice and that the lyrics would match perfectly with his message to the audience.

“It’s pretty much about what we think is beautiful and what we want to achieve when everyone’s is beautiful in their own way,” Ruiz said. “When I thought of this piece, I really wanted it to be really pretty — the costuming, the movement — I just wanted it to be really flowy and technical. That’s my aesthetic.”

Planning to transfer to a university or a conservatory in Los Angeles to study dance further, he said he hopes to work commercially as a dancer for a company. He has choreographed pieces in the past for his dance studio and competitions, but this piece is the first dance that Ruiz has choreographed at City College.

“I think it’s pretty good working with your own classmates because you already have like a bond because you know them, you see them in class, you know how good they are – they’re all really beautiful dancers,” Ruiz said.

Performances will take place Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. along with two shows on Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. For more information, contact department co-chair and choreographer Alicia Rincon via phone at 619-388-3563 or via email at [email protected].