More than 20 dancers will perform nine pieces choreographed by Westmont students and faculty members, Susan Alexander, Leah Benson and Christina Sanchez, in the fall dance recital, “Motion/Emotion,” on Thursday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 8, both at 8 p.m. in Porter Theatre. Tickets, $10 for general admission; $7 for students and seniors, can be purchased at the door.
Miller James, adjunct professor of theatre arts, has designed the costumes for the show that includes the lighting design of Robert Hamel, assistant professor of theatre arts. Alexander, who directs the recital, says the program includes many different styles of dance, including abstract, pure-movement pieces and dance/theatre creations. “The audience will interpret the works differently, while being inspired by the physicality of the dancers and the emotion-evoking content,” she says.
Student choreographers Emily Auman and Candace Adams will perform their own works. Benson, an alumna and adjunct faculty member, has choreographed a dance for the students in her jazz class. Alexander and Sanchez, both adjunct faculty members, have worked with the seven female students in their dance performance class.
Alexander was professor of modern dance at the Paris Conservatory of Music and Dance from 1989-2008 and for the Paris Opera Ballet Company from 1985-2008. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Alexander earned a master’s degree in dance at Mills College.
Benson earned a bachelor’s degree from Westmont in 2006, trained with Aerial Dance Chicago (ADC), Trapeze School of New York (Chicago) and Aloft Loft (Chicago) before graduating from the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA). She is an accomplished dancer and circus artist, having performed with NECCA and ADC, where she also taught.
Sanchez, a member of the Santa Barbara Dance Theatre, directed by Christopher Pilafian, performs a solo choreographed by Pilafian. She has performed and toured throughout Europe, South America and the U.S. with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has also performed with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Buglisi Foreman Dance.