Synergy Dance Company’s March 6-8 concert, "Refract," confirmed the modern dance program’s ongoing commitment to bring a high level of performance and choreographic artistry to the stage.

Diverse musical pieces and edgy images energized and inspired spectators and performers alike.

Two highlights of the evening were "Umm…So…Yeah," choreographed by guest artist, Nicole Bridgens, a graduating senior from California State University, Long Beach, and Synergy’s concluding piece, "In Command," choreographed by dance department faculty member Kate Monson.

A sweet, youthful piece, "Umm…So…Yeah" exposed far more than the light-hearted prom night jitters in her portrayal of female/male life as a "tweener," that is, any age "tween" puberty and death.

Bridgens’ distinctive modern dance savvy and simplicity brought together complex elements of relationships. The setting was a dance floor located tween "Some Junior High School–Anywhere" and "Any Retirement Center–Somewhere."

Nate Broberg and Fiona Nelson danced their way into hearts of every age as they expertly demonstrated awkwardness, naiveté and the resolute fun of getting manly-tuxedo ineptness acquainted with feminine-ball-gown elegance.

The beautifully paired couple’s gentle handling of crashing hormones meeting face to face with fondled, emotional innocence was indicative of youth at all ages.

Their interpretation of everlasting male-female magic was enacted and revealed with class, creativity and sensitivity.

A good time was had by all.

Synergy’s final performance of the evening, "In Command," created a most gripping and powerful modern dance statement. Monson’s ideas and insight exquisitely used creative movement to innovatively sketch a satisfying interpretation of the Haiku poem recited at its culmination. The poem titled EVASION HAIKU states,

I’m working my way
Over to figuring out
How I won’t answer.
At times the dancer’s synchronized movements were relaxing and pleasing, as when observing the rise, swerve, drop and unpredictable turn of a flock of small birds in flight.

Unified movements provide a break from the possibility that there may not be a fixed answer to even mundane questions known, expected or even appropriate.

Like a perfectly attuned flight of apparently non-verbal birds, answers often come as nothing more than feelings: "go" or "no go." Other times, the dance-flock became disjointed, actions hither and thither.

The piece provided reminders of endless energy spent pushing against invisible, personal walls, in needless efforts to get over to a place that may not exist.

The artistic enactment of expansion and contraction within ever-evolving societal relationships appropriately speaks to all engaged individuals of requisite balance in daily living.

The artist was able to admonish people everywhere not to take life too far beyond the eternal moment.

Again, the modern dance department confirms the powerful importance of dance/art in societal and cultural life.

Let us never neglect nor forget the vitality, expansiveness, and empowerment the arts bring to all people everywhere, including the academic arena.