Choreographers Express Themselves in Concert

By Vanessa Lopez

A preview was held on Tuesday to promote the Dance Institute’s
“10th Anniversary Dance Concert,” which premieres Nov. 30.

Cal Poly students, Director of the Institute Gayle Fekete, and
dance professor Ann Astabalolepszy rehearsed the line up to the
upcoming concert. The gala includes eight separate pieces, all
danced by Cal Poly Students.

“The [dancers] innovative choreography is a celebration to the
10 years of innovative work the institute has done in bringing
quality dance education and experience to the Cal Poly campus,”
said Ann Astabalolepszy.

Eight guest choreographers, two of which are Cal Poly Alumni
Valeria Vera and Deborah Rosen, have choreographed the modern dance
pieces. Suchi Branfman, Phyllis Douglass, Kimberly Gregg, Carla
Lubow, Shyamala Moorty and David Mullen are professional
dancers/choreographers who have been asked to come in and help the
gala instruction.

The dance pieces were distinctly different and all share a
freestyle choreography by each of the students. By connecting their
bodies to the music and students add lyrics to create a unique
style to the piece.

Some of the dance numbers include a group of students dancing to
intricate choreography and some dance numbers start slow, but end
rhythmically and physically. The line up is an array of exceptional
choreography put on by the students. All dance numbers share the
galas theme of diversity.

Two dance pieces include narrating or story telling in
connection with the song. “Desaparecidos,” or the disappeared,
includes four female dancers telling a story of people mysteriously
disappearing without a trace. The performers dance alongside the
captive lyrics and their stories. They allow their bodies to
describe the Spanish lyrics to the song.

A third-year architecture student, Roxanna Salceda is one of the
dancers in the “Desaparecidos” piece. She dances and follows the
lyrics in a rhythmical balance as she tells the story of a girl who
was sent off to work and never came back home.

While some students find a connection with the choreography,
other students find it hard.

“I’m not really sure what’s going on during the dance,” said
fourth-year history student, Matt Seanez. “But I do know I want to
jump around for no reason at all.”

Yet other students like the symbolic meanings behind the

“I really love to dance,” said second-year dance student,
Stephanie Kjos, “The dance with most meaning to me is ‘With

Like most of the dance numbers, “With Gratitude” invites the
students to connect with the instrumental, rhythmical music.

“Each dancer had the opportunity to add their own choreography
into the dance to give thanks to someone who has made a difference
in our lives,” said Kjos.

During the rehearsal you can hear a constant, “Great Job!” from
Gayle Fekete who congratulated her students as they finished up
their numbers. The entire dance staff displayed great talent and
anticipates the upcoming event.

The 10th anniversary Dance Concert will take place, Nov. 30 –
Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. in the University Theater. General admission is
$15 and students with proper ID can get in for $10.

Vanessa Lopez can be reached by e-mail at
or by phone at (909) 869-3744.

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