Variety and energy keeps crowd coming for more

The thrill, the intensity, and the energy: everything was left on the stage Saturday night at Skyline’s Annual Performing Showcase.

Once every year musicians, vocalists, dancers, and actors/actresses join to show off their talents and skills at Skyline’s Annual Performing Showcases. They practice each day leading up to this performance—the performers want their audience to long for the next Performing Arts Showcase. Although the audience is filled with friends and family members, they still performed as professionals.

This is the only time where all the talent at Skyline College performs in one venue. The highlights of this event start off with the dancers, the concert band, the jazz band, the solos, and the dramatic excerpts. The energy of the crowd played a big role, and each performer bringing their own style and charisma to the stage. The dance choreography was something extraordinary to witness; each dancer was in sync and hit their move with ease.

“It was nice to have a variety of dance pieces,” Amber Steele, Director of the dance department said. “From Fosse numbers, to hip-hop, to Tahitian, and also Broadway jazz style dancing.”

All of the dancers’ hard work paid off, and the performances showcased their cohesion as a group. As for the jazz band and jazz vocal ensemble, nothing could have been smoother. The vocalist and musicians were in rhythm, which made everything sound superb.

“I was really pleased at the quality of musicianship,” jazz band director Zachary Bruno said. “They worked hard and it paid off with a fantastic performance.”

During the Jazz Band’s performance of “Splanky”, Daniel Taufer (pianist) and Marcos Estebez (saxophonist) began their solos. Once they were towards the end of their solos, the crowd would begin to applaud and whistle compliments at the musician. Each actor or actress gave the audience their raw emotion. In a small excerpt from “The Time of Your Life,” the dramatic scenes were simultaneously satirical, hysterical, and serious.

The performances were directed by Amber Steele (Dance Director), Zachary Bruno (Jazz band Director), Michelle Hawkins (Vocal Jazz Ensemble Director), Jude Navari (Concert Choir Director/Voice/Class Instructor) and Kevin Simmers (Acting Class Instructor/Fall play Director).

According to Dance Director Steele, the performance, which focused on the 1960’s, was something that had been in the works for a long time.

“When we first decided on the groovy 60s as our theme this year, it’s because we are doing performance and collaboration with Community College League of California and they had requested it,” Steele said. “I’ve been thinking about what the 60s meant to us as Americans and to young people of that time and I wanted to share that with our students.”

Steele added that this particular theme provided a better understanding of the historical background of the 60s, particularly the marches for peace, the sexual revolution, and women’s independence.

“These students were able to share their emotions and experience with the audience at the showcase,” Steele said. “It really had renewed the desire to buckle down and work as a team. We have a ton of strong individual dancers, so we want to work on becoming a strong synchronized team.”

Although there were many newcomers participating in this showcase, there were many returning students as well. Even though the performers had a tremendous amount of experience, they still tend to get anxious before their shows. However, once they get onto the stage, the audience is always astounded. The performers throw all of their energy into the show and are very focused on connecting with the crowd.

“My favorite performance was the medley that ended the first half of the show,” student dancer Jeremiah Agcaoili said. “This was the performance that our dance class put the most effort into and it was entirely student choreographed. Choreography in general is just a measure of patience and breaking down the moves. How long it takes depends on the experience, state of mind, and one’s persistence.”

The seventh annual performing art showcase was great success. The showcase was full of talented students who brought style and rhythm to the performance, and helped bring the decade to life. It kept the crowd anticipated and wanting more. Hopefully the next performing art showcase will live up to this year.