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Santa Monica College Dance Series Features Contemporary Styles

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By Lookout Staff 

September 22, 2015 -- If you are an aspiring dancer, or simply a fan of contemporary dance, you might be moved to attend an eclectic series of free master classes and lectures at Santa Monica College starting next month.

The Fall 2015 Masters of Dance Series opens on October 7 with a Classical Ballet class presented by Roberto Almaguer, artistic director for Dance Peninsula Ballet and a former National Ballet of Cuba soloist under the direction of legendary Prima Ballerina Alicia Alonso.

Almaguer, who has toured throughout Europe and Latin America, will present a Contemporary Ballet class “exploring his unique style and approach rooted in a strong classical base,” series organizers said.

The master class is for students at the advanced level of ballet technique, and participants are asked to wear appropriate black on black dancewear. Almaguer’s master class will be held Wednesday, October 7, at 10:15 a.m. in Gym 104.

On October 29, Hae Kyung Lee will present “Postmodern/Improvisation (Embodying Culture through Dance),” a discussion focusing on “the aesthetics and spiritual strengths of her Korean ancestry,” organizers said.

Lee -- the founder, artistic director, and choreographer for Hae Kyung Lee & Dancers and a faculty member at CSU Los Angeles -- will introduce her works “traversing extremes of stark minimalism and high-voltage energy,” organizers said.

She is also a founding member of the Chopsticks & Sneakers Dance Company and the Fall Ahead Dance and Performance Festival and Contemporary Dance Company.

The fall series concludes November 19 when Holly Johnston, artistic director of the LA and San Francisco-based Ledges and Bone, “explores movement experiences in the context of a class in Contemporary Modern technique,” organizers said.

An international dance artist and educator who has taught, performed and created works at colleges and universities across the nation, Johnston will address “the connectivity of body to sensation and surroundings,” organizers said. Participants should wear appropriate black on black dancewear. 

The Masters of Dance series is sponsored by the SMC Dance Department and SMC Associates (, a private organization that funds speakers and special programs on the Santa Monica College campus.

All dance master classes are FREE and open to the public as observers or participants. The master classes are held at 10:15 a.m. in Gym 104 on the SMC main campus, 1900 Pico Boulevard. Seating is limited and on a first-arrival basis.

For information, visit or call (310) 434-4003 or (310) 434-3467.

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