(Photo by Carmela Ongtengco)
APTOS — The annual En Route Urban Dance Showcase returns to Cabrillo College’s Crocker Theater on Saturday for the fourth year running.
The event is organized by UC Santa Cruz’s urban dance troupe, Haluan, and brings together 14 troupes from all over California.
Kennedy Bagnol, who is coordinating this year’s show along with fellow dancers Sabrina Baños and Stacy Orellana, said that showcases like En Route are popular within the urban dance community because they give people a chance to perform without the pressure of competition.
“I think that’s why we’re able to attract people from so far away,” he said. “It’s just about having fun and enjoying being on stage.”
This year, En Route will showcase dancers from as far away as San Diego, Irvine and Sacramento. But the event also highlights local dancers — including Haluan and Watsonville’s own DSR Fam.
For Bagnol, who has been dancing in a number of different styles for most of his life, urban dance is entirely unique.
“It’s not confined,” he said. “There is no strict ‘movement vocabulary,’ meaning you can be as versatile as you want. You can incorporate different styles and experiment. And it’s always evolving.”
This is why, according to Bagnol, Haluan is aiming to promote the style more in Santa Cruz County. While there is a lot of dance being taught in the area, it’s primarily in styles such as ballroom, Latin and ballet — not so much urban.
Continuing En Route is one way Haluan hopes to change that.
“You won’t see another show like this anywhere else in Santa Cruz County,” Bagnol said. “That I promise you. But hopefully it will inspire people to appreciate it more, and even try it out themselves.”
En Route Urban Dance Showcase will be held at Crocker Theater, 6500 Soquel Drive in Aptos, Saturday at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students with a valid ID. To order in advance, visit cabrillovapa.org.
For information, email [email protected] or visit Haluan’s website at haluan.org.