Dance concert to showcase Beatles music

April 18, 2008 5:02:11 AM PDT
"Imagine," San Jacinto College Central's 31st annual dance concert, will be staged on campus at Slocomb Auditorium on Thursday, April 24 and Friday, April 25. There will be two performances on April 24 at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. There will be one show on April 25 at 7:30 p.m.The name for the show evolved from a series of connected events.

"One of my former dancers, guest artist Taylor Elliott, came back from a trip to Las Vegas all excited about a show called 'Beatles LOVE' and she wanted to do a Beatles number and fashion it after what she had seen," commented Sandi Morgan, San Jacinto College Central's physical education professor and dance instructor. "Then, I saw 'Across the Universe,' a film that features Beatles music to tell a love story and I decided to use at least one Beatles song myself. Thus was born our opening number 'Strawberry Fields' and a loosely woven thread of a plot connecting most of the dance numbers in the show based on love as we imagine it to be."

Morgan instructed choreographers in the show to base their dances on something they dreamed of or imagined. The classic John Lennon song "Imagine" then became the theme for the concert and the motto became the well-known line from the song: "You may say I'm a dreamer."

Morgan says this year's concert will be somewhat different than previous shows in that many of the dances are lyrical and feature modern dance, also called contemporary dance. "Many of the songs are soft and pretty, then there are some weird songs that are still slow and mysterious," she said.

In addition to lyrical and modern, the show will feature four hip-hop dances and one pure jazz set. The concert will also feature songs by Janet Jackson, Incubus, Alanis Morrisette, Natasha Bedingfield, A Fine Frenzy, Mute Math, Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Usher, and there will be dances based on songs from "Moulin Rouge" and from "Requiem for a Dream" sound tracks.

San Jacinto College student choreographers in the concert include Andy Gilbert, a Deer Park High School graduate who helps direct the Pasadena Memorial High School Color Guard; Ashley Demann, a Pasadena Memorial graduate who is attending college on a dance scholarship; Ashton Wilson, a Deer Park graduate who will be a featured soloist; and Chris Bravo, a featured hip hop and break dancer.

The show's guest artists are all former San Jacinto College dance students who are now either professional dancers or dance teachers. Guest artists include Taylor Elliott, who formerly performed with the Houston Comets dance team; Stephanie Human, who teaches dance at a local academy; Julio Vallejo, who teaches dance and cheerleading locally and is a dancer and choreographer for the Houston Comets and Rockets; T'Noya Thompson, who teaches dance at a local academy; Kattie Jones, who will soon graduate from the University of Houston as a dance major; Ozz Diaz, who teaches dance locally and is a current Comet dancer; Candice Christ, who teaches dance and coaches locally and is a current Comets dancer; Melanie Bohacek McDonald, who graduated from Lamar University with a major in dance and who also teaches dance at two local academies.

Public admission to the dance concert is $5 per person. Admission is free to San Jacinto College students, faculty and staff. High school groups will be admitted to the April 24 matinee concert free with reservations. San Jacinto College Central is located at 8060 Spencer Hwy. in Pasadena.

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