The Foothill College Repertory Dance Company presents Happy, its two-hour spring dance concert directed by award-winning choreographer Bubba Gong, May 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. A showcase of students’ original and experimental works will be staged at 7 p.m. The main performance begins at 7:30 p.m.
From Broadway and burlesque to hip-hop and world dance, the two-hour concert will feature selections from The Wiz to Pharrell Williams’ Oscar-nominated Happy in an entertaining, high-energy romp. World dances will include ballet folklorico, Irish soft shoe, and Egyptian, Persian and Tahitian dance. Movie theme musicals will include excerpts from Chicago with the signature technique of Bob Fosse and The Wiz, which will incorporate American Sign Language. Gong will debut Monsters’ Ball with the music of Lady Gaga’s Artpop.
With Happy, Gong celebrates his 28th season as the artistic director and founder of the Foothill College Repertory Dance Company. Under his leadership, the company has garnered four consecutive Olympiad of the Arts titles. Discovered by Walt Disney productions and a graduate of the acclaimed Stanford University dance program, Gong will dedicate this year’s concert to dance educator Susan Cashion, Ph.D., a former Stanford University dance director and a key figure in the development of the Mexican folkloric dance movement in California. Cashion died last year. In a touching tribute to his mentor, Gong will perform an Afro samba hip-hop trilogy that celebrates the exuberant personality and joyful spirit of diversity for which Dr. Cashion was known.
"Susie was instrumental in bringing me back to Stanford to complete my graduate dance degree," Gong said. "Together we served on advisory boards of the Peninsula Community Foundation and Silicon Valley Arts Council for new and emerging arts grants. My mentor, friend and confidant, she lived with grace and inspired me and others to dance our highest ideals, give back to the community and embrace dance as part of the human experience."
The director of Stanford’s dance division for 25 years and the recipient of two Fulbright grants, Cashion served on the board of directors of the Congress on Research in Dance and was a former president of California Dance educators Association. She was also the founder and artistic director of the Los Lupeños de San José dance company, and was honored by the Mexican government for significant contributions to culture and teaching.
Tickets are $25, general admission; $15, students, seniors and children. Order tickets online at www.vendini.com or purchase tickets at the Foothill College Box Office one hour before the performance.
Parking Lots 1 and 8 provide stair and no-stair access to the theatre. Patrons must purchase the required campus parking permit for $3. Purchase permit at dispensers in any student lot. Dispensers accept one-dollar bills and quarters. Foothill College is located off I-280 on El Monte Road in Los Altos Hills. For additional information, access www.foothill.edu or call (650) 949-7354.