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SMC Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater Showcases New Works

By Lookout Staff

October 24, 2023 -- Santa Monica College's celebrated Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater will showcase new works next week that range in style from modern ballet to Hip Hop.

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 4, and Sunday, November 5, in The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center at 11th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard.

The performances include dances choreographed by award-winning faculty artists, professional guest artists and student choreographers, event organizers said.

Guest artist Rachael Servello -- an SMC graduate who earned an MFA in Dance from Washington University in St. Louis -- will present a new work, “Captains of Industry.”

Guest artist and SMC alum Derrick Paris will premiere "agitate the gravel,” a new work "rooted in Dance Theater, Contemporary and Fusion-based modalities," organizers said.

After graduating from SMC, Paris received an BFA in Dance from CSU Long Beach and "works professionally as an artmaker in movement and music worldwide."

Faculty Choreographer Angela Jordan will present “Block Party,” a new work that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip Hop and features a live DJ on stage.

Student choreographer Simon Lathrop will premiere “Ripple Effect,” a Modern/Contemporary work that "illustrates the stress of everyday life and the importance of finding happiness," organizers said.

The dance recital also includes a work choreographed by SMC Dance Department Chair Mark Tomasic in collaboration with artist and SMC Art Instructor Chris Badger inspired by his exhibit “Ideas Without Edges.”

The exhibit -- currently showing at the SMC Pete & Susan Barrett Gallery at the Performing Arts Center -- will be the subject of a talk by Badger and Otis College Chair of Fine Arts Meg Cranston on Saturday, November 4 at 6 p.m. at the gallery.

The pre-recital event -- which includes a walkthrough of the exhibit -- addresses "questions about art, philosophy, academia, and interdisciplinary approaches to art practice," organizers said.

Advance tickets for the dance performances are $20 for general admission (a modest service charge applies) and can be purchased online at or by calling 310-434-3005 (Monday-Friday; limited hours).

Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the performance for $23 (a modest service charge applies) at The Broad Stage Box Office. There is free parking on the premises, and seating is strictly on a first-arrival basis.

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