Soul Quest dancers express and inspire

Claudia Rivas

On Thursday, Feb. 26, Sacramento State’s Solano Hall played host to “Soul Quest,” a dance concert presented by the Sacramento/Black Art of Dance (S/BAD).

The two-and-a-half-hour performance explores the journey of the human soul through the eyes of ten different choreographers.

The sold-out show began with, “Iroko,” and through the hints of tribal dance steps and footwork, the display proved to show how the evening’s program exuded a mission.

The mission was to present the search for truth through the art of dance and music through the lens of the black aesthetic and the African diaspora by blending cultures to build on what is common among members of society.

Thirty-five Sac State dance majors and alumni of multiple ages performed on stage to present a production full of not only driven effort, but lively creativity as well.

Sac State student Duke Cooney is performing a number of routines in the concert and gave insight about the concept and unifying themes of “Soul Quest,” such as the ideas of progress, unity and history.

“In every S/BAD production I’ve been a part of, I always learn a piece of history.

Whether it was a struggle, a celebration or even a tradition,” said Cooney. “I think that is one of the most important aspects of the shows theme this year ‘Soul Quest.’ Finding who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going.”

From pieces such as “A La Noche,” presenting the Cuban inspired hip-waving shakes, and “I Left My Soul in the Kitchen,” using facial expression as a powerful tool of performance, the diverse variety of work presents hints of multiple styles of dance including ballet, modern, jazz and African dance.

During the second half of the show a more avant-garde work was presented.

This included “Pending Ashe,” the unexpected vocalized performance incorporating not only poetic actions, but also multiple facets of creative movement the audience was exceedingly attentive to.

Director and choreographer for “Soul Quest,” Linda Goodrich, expressed her gratitude for the performance.

“It has been a privilege to work with esteemed members of the Sacramento arts community like James Wheatley, Naimah Kisoki, and Pepper Von,” said Goodrich. “It has also been wonderful to work with my fellow faculty members Lorelei Bayne, Nicole Manker and Philip Flickinger. Their work continues to inspire our performers and audiences alike. And working with some of our alums, like Nzinga Woods, Windy Kahana and Venetia James is only a testament to our great program in dance here at Sacramento State.”

Goodrich also conveyed how directing and choreographing students is inspiring because watching students’ lives be transformed through the art of dance and music, specifically in this concert, is proven as for those on a “quest for the soul.”

Audience members will walk away from the dance concert with a sense of creative fulfillment in their spirits, inspired to live life with freedom of expression.

The show is not only appealing to those with an intricate knowledge of the dancing world, but the dance concert displays a creative enjoyment for audience members with a lack of knowledge of the dancing environment.

Diana Langi, Sac State student and audience member for Thursday night’s show, indicated her reactions of “Soul Quest.”

“This was my first time attending a “Soul Quest” concert. The show was very entertaining with great messages about life.

The dancers are so talented. The ability to memorize two-and-a-half hours worth of mind-blowing choreography is amazing,” said Langi.

The next performances are March 4-8 in Solano Hall.