The Contemporary Dance Ensemble, a UVU pre-professional modern dance company, performed Surge on Saturday, April 1. CDE had a high turnout for the show because, by closing night, the ushers did not have enough programs for every one in attendance. The show featured six choreographers, one being special guest artist Leandro Damasco.
“I’ve enjoyed Leandro Damasco’s process the most, as it was a lot of challenging movement that none of us has actually experienced before,” said Emric Thompson, a CDE dancer.
During the piece titled Ebb and Flow, there was an impressive sustained lift between Thompson and Lyndi Coles, another CDE dancer, that left the audience in awe. Surge went beyond the ideal modern dance performance. Not only did it incorporate intriguing movement, but also on-stage monologues, humming and chants. “…just in a personal way, I liked it a lot. It was unexpected,” said Chris Barlow, an audience member.
More than a dance concert, Surge was an invitation to watch the power of art come to life on stage. Before the show began, all company members joined Monica Campbell, the artistic director of the CDE, on stage to discuss the effect of the government cutting funds for the National Education Association. Three dancers spoke individually on how the arts have improved their lives and why the NEA is important to dance. Audience members positively reacted for CDE’s performance, including the featured choreographers.
During Alyssa Davis’s piece titled Mine, dancer Chantelle Well gave a powerful speech while other dancers accompanied her words. “It left me wanting more,”said Whitney Collins, a former CDE member, about the performance. Surge was thrilling to viewers and intrigued the audience in ways that are not typically expected. The CDE’s show was successful and is a performance to remember. Campbell showed how a dance performance could be more than dancers moving on stage. She presented a dance that could be emotional to audiences in unconventional ways.