Santa Monica College’s Synapse Dance Theater — the innovative and widely praised contemporary dance ensemble — will present a program of new repertory by professional guest artists, award-winning faculty artists, and up-and-coming student choreographers on May 18 and 19.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, and at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19, in The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center, located at 1310 11th Street.

The concert features Contemporary, Modern, Postmodern, and Jazz, as well as Hip Hop, Fusion, and more. The program will present works by Synapse Co-Artistic Directors Jae Lee and Mark Tomasic; guest artist Bill Evans; and faculty choreographers Seda Aybay-Owens, Angela Jordan, Jae Lee, Mark Tomasic, and Roberta Wolin-Tupas. Also creating new dance works for the performance are student choreographers Erik Fine, Randall Morris, Amira Murphy, Milo Poon-Fear, and Ariel Scott.

• SMC dance professor, Synapse Co-Director, and professional dancer/choreographer Jae Lee will restage a contemporary modern piece “Entangled Somewhere…(2017),” which was presented at the American College Dance Association in spring 2018. The piece was selected to be performed in the Gala Concert, and also was the first alternate choice for the National Festival to be held at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

• SMC dance professor, Synapse Co-Director, and professional choreographer Mark Tomasic will create an original work, “Ianfu (慰安婦).” The abstract work is based on the stories of World War II “comfort women” who were enslaved by the Japanese military.

• Guest artist Bill Evans is an internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer, and educator. He will restage his work “Colony,” which explores rhythmic and riveting energy.

• SMC dance major Amira Murphy has created a contemporary piece, “Indecision,” which illustrates moments of decision-making in our lives.

• SMC dance faculty Seda Aybay-Owens will premiere her contemporary piece “Chrysalis,” which illustrates a sad cycle of repetition losing loved ones and other people. The dance depicts a metamorphosis of society waking up and emerging from its cocoon of apathy and acceptance to spreading its wings and taking flight in what promises to be a new world.

Synapse has a longstanding reputation for artistic excellence and innovation. Since it was founded more than three decades ago, the student troupe has performed throughout the nation, including the Electric Lodge in Venice; the Cast Theater in Hollywood; the Getty Center in Los Angeles; and the American College Dance Association Conference in Arizona, California, Georgia, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Utah.

Tickets range from $20 to $22. Parking is free.

For tickets, go to or call (310) 434-3005. For more information, see or call (310) 434-3467.

Submitted by Grace Smith, SMC Public Information Officer