Sonja Hinz's dance "Kereshmeh" opened the University of Hawaii dance production, "Fall Footholds."

UH fall dance showcase
taps emotions

A wide sweep of emotion and a zest for life wait behind each curtain call of "Fall Footholds," presented by the UH Dance Ensemble at the Kennedy Theatre's Earle Ernst Lab. The intimate venue makes for an exciting performance, with each piece varying in culture and emotion.

Fall Footholds: Presented by the University of Hawaii Dance Ensemble at the Earle Ernst Lab Theater at 8 p.m. today and tomorrow, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 general; $8 for seniors, military, UH faculty and non-UH students; and $3 for UH students. Call 956-7655.

The annual fall showcase opened Wednesday night with a Persian dance entitled "Kereshmeh (charisma)," which is beautifully danced and choreographed by the lovely and flirtatious Sonja Hinz, who filled each step with a joyful grace.

The next number, "Shani's Duet," featured a guitarist and singer, while two dancers incorporate sign language into their movements.

The show then journeys to ancient India as dancer Izumi Sato perfectly mimics an Indian painting. Her costume glitters with vibrant colors, along with authentic makeup and hairstyling. Her performance was superb, as each note in the music was perfectly matched with her staccato and isolated movements of red painted fingers and toes. Even her eyes danced.

Leaving you awed and amazed, the show then jumps into a comedic story. A hopeless romantic is taking a magazine quiz: "how to know your lover." Dressed in a cocktail dress, she turns to the all-knowing black 8-ball as her questions are answered by "maybe" and "don't even think about it."

She dances as if unwatched as she contemplates her Prince Charming. She stops to smash a fortune cookie revealing the dance title: Cosmo Quiz #67. The work was choreographed and performed by Nicole Pouliot, whose acting ability successfully charmed the audience.

The first act ends with a hauntingly beautiful hula/modern dance called "Lightning in the Sky." With the music of Robert Cazimero, the duo Michael Pang and Noelani Goldstein mesmerizes the audience with their moving telling of a love story.

The second act previews dances from the UH Ensemble Dancers' upcoming shows. These were performed without breaks between each dance. Uniquely, each dance varied in style: first a hula, then Izumi Sato performed another Indian dance before the show veered toward modern dance with a delightful piece entitled "Trio B." Set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, it's reminiscent of arguing siblings trying to one-better the other, conjuring memories of childhood.

Next, a young woman dressed in red danced with confidence and beauty in Greg Lizenbery's "Bizzarie Sarabando." Interestingly, this dance is performed by a different dancer each night: Morgan Cloud (yesterday), Erin Morita (tomorrow, Sunday) and Melissa Frankel (Wednesday).

"Concerto for Two Cellos and Twelve Legs," choreographed by Betsy Fisher, was a delight of a closing number, with modern dancers in stark white T-shirts and short black tights moving gracefully to the music of Vivaldi.

The concert offered something for everyone, delivering superb entertainment value at no more than $10 per attendee. In all the works, the student dancers exuded joy that compensated for any lack of technique. What came across was their passion, feeling and effort. It was beautiful and bound to leave every attendee walking out of the theater with a smile.

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