By Jill Bold/campus editor
The email didn’t say congratulations. And the creative director for the NE Campus’ dance company, Movers Unlimited, wasn’t expecting it to.
But when choreographer Kihyoung Choi clicked the link and saw the results, she found out TCC’s very own dance group was one of eight chosen out of 156 pieces across the U.S.
“We submitted the dance last May. Honestly, I really didn’t have my hopes up because it’s very competitive,” Choi said.
The Palm Desert Choreography Festival in California selected her dancers and her Korean fan dance piece “㆟[in]; human” as finalists set to perform Nov. 11.
“㆟[in]; human” is the fifth piece in a series of dances performed by Movers Unlimited. Choi gestures the Chinese symbol with her hands as she describes the dance. She explains what the symbol means — no human can stand by himself or herself; they must always be dependent upon one another.
“That kind of philosophy is our company philosophy. We are depending on each other. We can’t dance without each other,” Choi said.
The five pieces were a combination of contemporary and traditional Korean dance.
The pace of this piece follows the sounds of a flute, and the use of traditional Korean fans all popping open in unison sends a loud, jarring sound all the way to the back of the theater.
“It’s very interesting to see Western students dancing a Korean dance,” she said.
This was the student dancers first exposure to Korean fan dance technique. NE student Claudio Rivas said learning this dance with no previous experience was tough.
Fans were dropped repeatedly during the learning process, but their persistence paid off big time.
“We work extremely hard and we put our all into it,” Rivas said.
NE associate dance professor Hyun Jung (Jenna) Chang said her first exposure to dance was hip-hop. The last dance genre she learned was her own culture, Korean dance, and working with Choi strengthened her bond with that culture.
“When I’m learning her work, I’m really going deeper into my identity as a Korean and what that means to be a Korean performer,” Chang said.
Performer Ramiro Martinez said he grew on a personal level as a result of this experience.
“I think it’s just a huge example of dreams coming true,” Martinez said.