June 28, 2017

Alumni emphasizes dance through human experience

Alumni emphasizes dance through human experience

Twopoint4 Dance Theater, founded by Sacramento State alumni, combines the physicality of dance, and the gracefulness of spoken word in order to emphasize the human experience through dance.

Tony Nguyen, Christine Crooks-Nguyen, Diego Campos and Emilee Chew are the backbone of Twopoint4, founded in 2012, which aims to take dancing to the community and have a conversation with their audience at large in order to improve their routine.

“A lot of times you put on a show and the answer you get from people is ‘That was amazing!’ or you get nothing at all,” said Nguyen. “I want people to be honest on what they felt and why – not that they just liked the work.”

Twenty-nine year old Nguyen graduated from Sac State as a dance and business major in 2011. He started ballroom dancing in 2002 when he graduated from high school after deciding between dance and the military. He has trained in many styles of ballroom dance and has performed with various dance companies including: Eukinetics, Joe Goode Performance Group and E:motion Dance Ensemble.

The four all danced together at the Red Bucket Dance Theater but when it took a hiatus two years ago, the four friends decided to start a theater of their own. Twopoint4 started out as an idea by Nguyen who then got together with Campos the summer of 2012 to start making it happen.

Campos, 24-year-old dance major, started out as a soccer player from Mexico City five years ago but, due to an injury to his ankle, had to find another path; this is where he stumbled upon dance.

“I’m really thankful for that experience,” said Campos. “I came to something new and it was such a blessing.”

Nguyen, Crooks-Nguyen and Campos all attended Sac State and have been dancing with each other for four years.

Although Chew, 20, never attended Sac State, she has worked closely with the Sac State faculty and dance department. Chew graduated from Laguna Creek High School in 2011 and is currently taking a break from school. Chew also jumps around at schools in the Sacramento community in order to teach, choreograph or help out with high school dance companies.

“I hope to inspire other dancers to truly love themselves for who they are in their art form,” said Chew. “I’m an enthusiast for individuality and I think every artist needs to learn to love themselves before expecting their audience to love their work.”

Although the four friends don’t have their own dance studio, they manage to rehearse every Sunday for four hours at a local gym.

“We would love to have a permanent home, but I think we are more focused on shows for now,” said Nguyen. “If we can get things off the ground, we’ll figure out a place that’s more stable.”

Twopoint4 plans to host at dance show: “A Trio of Showings,” Dec. 14 at retail clothing store Bows & Arrows at 2 and 7 p.m.

These showings are works in progress that will become more developed as the shows go on. Feedback from the audience also helps to move the show along which is something that will be culminated into their full length production in 2014.

“We have been performers and choreographers and we have grown so much,” said Campos. “Now we want people to see and feel our work. We want to show people that art can change lives. It changed my life. I went from a frustrated athlete to an artist.”

Briana swain can be reached at [email protected]

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