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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Fall Dance Alumni Concert sells out before opening night

Dancers+perform+and+practice+for+opening+night.
Ernesto Macias
Dancers perform and practice for opening night.

Music coming from Ives Hall 119 filled the hallways as students warmed up for their last day of rehearsals. The SSU dance majors took turns showing off their favorite dance moves, followed by cheering from both the crowd and fellow dancers. With only ten minutes left till curtains, the crowd took their seats, the dancers found their spots, and the camera started rolling.

“What I am genuinely most excited about is the emotions people will feel, whether it’s joy, excitement, or any other sense of feeling they take from our piece.”

— Jasen Valdez

SSU Department of Theatre Arts & Dance hosted the Fall Dance Alumni Concert on Nov. 16 to 19 in Ives Hall 119. The show sold out three days before opening night. Those who could not get tickets were invited to attend the last two days of rehearsals to see the concert in its entirety. The concert was choreographed by Farrah McAdam, Jasen Valdez, Jenna Valez, and Nichele C. Woods, all SSU alumni.

“What I am genuinely most excited about is the emotions people will feel, whether it’s joy, excitement, or any other sense of feeling they take from our piece,” said Jasen Valdez, a 2017 dance major graduate.

Valdez’ piece opens with the song LUST and is followed by LOVE, both songs written by Kendrick Lamar. Valdez picked these songs after lis- tening to Kendrick Lamar’s album Damn., and noticing how much LUST relates to the overall theme of his piece. “An overarching theme in my piece is my relationship with the concept of debt, whether it’s financially, owing someone time or owing energy, since it feels like I’m constantly on a grind,” said Valdez.

In the album Damn., LOVE comes right after LUST, which is how Valdez chose his order of songs. Valdez’ hip-hop-based piece involves a wide variety of different beats which the dancers and lights follow.

Jack Hagerman, a junior theater arts major, was the lighting designer for Valdez’ piece. Hagerman spent a total of eleven hours programming the lights, which have close to 100 light cues. After much patience and attention to detail, Hagerman’s light program was ready for opening night.

Noah Hewitt, a senior technical theater major, was the master electrician and one of the lightning programmers for the show. Hewitt was responsible for setting up the stage lights, a task that took a month and a half to complete. “There’s a lot of stuff that goes into these fixtures working, so it’ll be nice to finally not have to worry about it once the run is complete,” said Hewitt.

Throughout the pieces, there is a lot going on behind the curtains. To ensure things run smoothly, there are stage crew members taking care of everything. Andrew Burkhart, a senior theater technician major, was one of the crew members and also a light designer. Burkhart designed the light piece for Nichele C. Woods. “My favorite part has been working with other people to create ideas that will stand out to the people watching,” said Burkhart.

As the rehearsal ended, the team had its final meetings. “I’m so proud of the dancers and the community that the dance department continues to foster,” said Shelby Snead, a 2020 dance major alumni.

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About the Contributor
Ernesto Macias, Staff Writer
Ernesto Macias is a third year communication studies major at Sonoma State.
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