2023 Variance: a BFA Dance Concert
Performances of Variance: a BFA Dance Concert are in the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater, with tickets $25 for the general public and $16 for students and CSULB faculty/staff.
Two Ways to View Our Show
- In-Person at the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater: THIS SHOW HAS PAST
- Online Recording of the October 5th Performance: THIS SHOW HAS PAST
LONG BEACH, CA September 1, 2023 – The CSULB College of the Arts and Department of Dance present Variance with performances Thursday-Saturday, October 5-7 at 8pm, with an additional matinée Saturday, October 7 at 2pm. A live stream of the performance will also be available on October 5 at 8pm. Variance is the 8th annual presentation of BFA and guest artist work featuring choreography by Kameron N. Saunders and BFA Candidates Baylee Ferrerra, Michael Mendoza, Jayde Spiegel, Wilma Tsutsui, and Fabián Zuniga.
The evening is a diverse collection of choreography ranging from celebrations of individual identity and community to an exploration of the insidious nature of hearsay and gossip in today’s social media culture. There is something for everyone.
The Department of Dance is delighted to welcome Kameron N. Saunders as a guest choreographer for this year’s show. Kameron is an artist working at the intersection of both concert and commercial dance. He is a 2022 Princess Grace Award Winner in Choreography for his work with Dallas Black Dance Theater and also a 2023 Winning Works choreographer for the Joffrey Ballet Chicago. His film work includes last year’s Spirited, with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds, and the upcoming The Color Purple, produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. Currently on tour as a dancer with Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, Kameron has also worked with renowned artists Alonzo King, Matthew Rushing, Chloe Arnold, Ava Bernstine-Mitchell, Sean Bankhead, Fatima Robinson, Ken Page, Danielle Polanco, Martha Nichols, and many others.
Variance marks the premiere of Kameron N. Saunders’ Chaos is Calling—an abstract work that explores the nuances of hive mind culture related to peer pressure, bullying, the power of choice, and manipulation as it exists in today’s social media climate. With a sound score by Empty Set, sound design by Harold Walker, and props by our very own Stephanie Losleben, this piece closes the show with a window into an insidious, foreboding world.
Opening the show is Filipino and Latino BFA choreographer Fabián Zuniga’s Bloom, where a community of people come together to affirm their worthin a world that often makes them feel worthless. The work is set to heart-moving scores by composer and guitarist Marcelo Nami, providing the space for this community to both embrace their scars and be present with them, as well as transform them into empowerment, resilience, and joy in this journey of healing and transcendence.
Naked Mole Rat, choreographed by Baylee Ferrerra, is a work that examines the fear, hope, and desperation of being truly seen. Set to an original composition by Deanna Watkins and costumed by CSULB alum Odessa Newman, the piece takes audiences on an intense and visceral journey out of the comforts of anonymity and into the light.
Smush, a work by Jayde Spiegel, celebrates active life and its inevitable transcendence to dependent memory. Worlds collide in an effort to distinguish clarity and authenticity from fabrication. Sound scores from SHOMOMOSExmitsuru shimizu and Gather, accompanied by voiceover from the late Emily Lobba transport the dancers from robust and animalistic full body mechanics to calculated and constructed gestures.
In Michael Mendoza and Wilma Tsutsui’s Ichigo Ichie, performers explore the infinite possibilities of interactions and relationships that could occur in the confined spaces of an elevator. Ichigo Ichie is a Japanese four-character idiom that roughly translates to “for this time only”. The mixture of choreography and contact improvisation allows for every performance to be a unique experience only to be perceived “for this time only”.
Technical Coordinator Stephanie Losleben; Lighting Designer Stacy Fireheart; Costume Design Supervisor and Shop Manager Kelsey Vidic; Technology Advisor Gregory R.R. Crosby; and Music Director Don Nichols all offer crucial contributions in their collaborations and consultations with each choreographer.
Following Friday’s performance there will be a short Q+A session with the student choreographers moderated by Concert Director Rebecca Lemme. This is an opportunity for audience members to get more perspective on each of the artists’ approach and process. Students especially are encouraged to stay and engage in this discussion. Saturday’s matinée will be preceded by a community college engagement event; interested dance departments should contact Rebecca Lemme for details.
Variance opens Thursday, October 5 and runs for four performances, closing on Saturday, October 7. Shows are daily at 8pm with an additional matinée Saturday at 2pm. Shows are located in the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater on the CSULB Campus (located just east of the Pyramid on Atherton). Tickets for the live show and the livestream are $25 General Admission and $16 Seniors, Students/Faculty/Staff (have ID ready to show at the door). All tickets must be purchased online. Ticket sales are available until 30 minutes past the start of each show, or until sold out.
Variance: a BFA Dance Concert will also be streamed live via Eventbrite at 8 p.m. on October 5th.
This broadcast utilizes five 4K cinema-quality cameras to transmit a network television experience to your home in High Definition. This is perfect for supporting the choreographers and performers of CSULB Dance while at home or on the go.
To access the streaming links, please visit the 2023 Variance: A BFA Dance Concert Eventbrite Event Page. An encore streaming presentation will be available for purchase later in November.