Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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“Physical Graffiti” Remembers Their Own

The audience’s breath was taken away by Claire Trevor’s last performance of the year: “Physical Graffiti.” The show was many things: exciting, surprising, jaw-dropping and creative. Most of all, it was touching. The entire show was dedicated to the loving memory of London Thibodeaux, a fiery spirit within the dance department whose presence will be missed by a tremendous number of performers; the last piece of the night was created in her honor. “Physical Graffiti” marks the close of the performances for the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, and thus a memorable end to a memorable season.

Each piece had a specific style and unique flair. “Treble,” the second piece of the night choreographed by Loren Campbell, modeled all of the unexpected twists and turns of classical music. The dancers, in black and white attire, rhythmically kicked and spun to each note; they were moving representations of different pitches and instruments within the music. This unique, fast-paced, piece turned out to be an audience favorite .

Another audience favorite was Jessica Richards’ piece “Fallen,” the only piece that featured pointe work. An intense ambience overtook audience members, not only due to the choice in music, but also because of the movement of the dancers. Dressed in all black, the performers did a series of impressive bourrées and attitude turns that left individuals like Kennedy Frazier, a first-time dance performance attendee, speechless.

She exclaimed, “There were so many of them, and they were on point, literally. It was really beautiful.”

What makes the performing arts so intriguing is the ability of the dancers and choreographers to draw inspiration from all that life has to offer. Choreographer and third year-transfer Joao Ducci drew inspiration from time and space for his piece “Discidium.” His dancers wore blue, and the audience was able to witness several different formations while simultaneously realizing the strength within repeated movements.

He explained, “It’s actually just an abstract exploration of movement in space. My idea was to manipulate space and time by playing with formation changes and repetition in different ways.”

First year dance major Lenard Malunes, performed in the dynamic piece “Décalcomaniek” choreographed by Jemima Choong. His piece played with the idea of “pairs and mirroring.” The quirkiness and liveliness of the piece resonated with him, but overall, Malunes enjoyed his time especially because “Physical Graffiti” was his first and last show as a freshman.

He said, “Physical Graffiti is very special to me in general because it is my first UCI production show. So, I was just very excited to perform and just to be under UCI for the first time.”

The last piece drew heavy and deep emotions from audience members and the participants. The performance spoke of the human condition and the transformation a person goes through when experiencing grief. The dancers wore all white, and the piece started off with heart-wrenching music, speaking of the pain many felt upon hearing the news of London’s passing. As the dance progressed, the music and the dancers became more cheerful, and through each other, they were able to become strong, and project positivity into their lives and the dance.

Third-year Jasmine Owecha explained just how touching the piece was. “I loved every minute of it; I really felt the pain, the emotions on these peoples’ faces. I really felt like I was going through it with them. It was such a beautiful piece, … London’s tribute really got me. I really felt like she was loved, you could tell. The thought, the time, the emotions people had on their faces, especially during her tribute, she was really loved. And she’ll forever be missed,” Owecha said.

Physical Graffiti was a show that will forever remain in the dancers’ and audience members’ hearts.