Monday, June 10, 2013


By Nancy Condit

Race Dance Company's performance was seamless -- with no lights up and down between pieces, but also close to that in execution. The five year old professional jazz dance company presented a show that was more modern dance, jazz, and sophisticated hip-hop and break dancing than it has been before, with very good results.

"When I see these dancers dance I see their hearts -- their goodness," Hui-Cha Poos, director said at the evening's beginning last Saturday night at McGuinness High School.

"Race-Less...Individuality without Prejudice" continues the company's idea of a "'beloved' community, one where there are no barriers that separate us," from the program.

UCO faculty member Emily South's dance "Love is Color Blind," choreographed and performed by her, was a lovely one of spins to Mumford & Sons' "Sigh No More." Her dance to the song of long of love that increased throughout the piece was accented by her spins in a long layered dress cut on the bias.

The funny "Thrift Shop," done to a song of the same name by A Perfect Circle and choreographed by South, featured Jr. Race and the Men of Race in a dance flaunting what they could get at the thrift store with a $20 bill. For example, a Hawaiian shirt worn over a pair of zebra patterned shorts by a man, and a pair of mud toned stripes leggings worn over yellow starred leggings on a black background by a woman. This hip-hop dance, done mostly in unison, was definitely all about the clothes.
The Men of Race peerformed "Same Love" to Maclemore's song of the same name, in which a young man tried as early as the third grade to figure out whether he was gay or not. The clap along dance explored stereotypes in the song and dance, and ended to the lyrics "They'll be no freedom until we're equal." They were met with loud applause.

Classic cool jazz dancing was the center of "Take Self," to "Take 5" by Dave Brubeck with Brian Barry's choreography. Race danced in black leotards, stockings and 70's style fedoras. And they were cool, even as two dancers with natural gauze dresses spun around them.

Choreographers and dancers John Ariete and Brandon Graves set "Going In" for the Men of Race in red
lighting at the beginning. While Ariete and Graves started the dance in pop and lock hip-hop, it was a more sophisticated style than they've presented before.

"Brain Dance," choreographed by Emily South, and "Presence," choreographed by Kiki Lucas - a more classical lyric dance, were both well performed by Race.

The company was much more sophisticated than in earlier performances, perhaps presenting all the styles that the company can do. It was very enjoyable.

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