Santa Monica College’s innovative and widely praised Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater, co-directed by Jae Lee and Mark Tomasic, will present a program of new repertory by award-winning faculty artists, professional guest artists, and up-and-coming student choreographers on May 27-28.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 27, and Saturday, May 28, in The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center, located at 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Boulevard), Santa Monica. Guests should visit before heading to the performance for up-to-date details on vaccine and mask requirements, as the requirements are subject to change.

The concert features Contemporary Modern, Jazz Fusion, Hip Hop, and more. The program will present works by Synapse Co-Artistic Director Mark Tomasic, guest artists Caron Eule, Andrea Vasquez, and Alli Grey, and faculty choreographers Seda Aybay, Angela Jordan, Karen McDonald, and Vanessa Van Wormer. Also creating new dance work for the performance is student choreographer Natasha Woolridge.

• Guest artist Andrea Vasquez — a cross-disciplinary dance artist who has performed professionally with companies such as Bill Evans Dance Company, Latina Dance Theater Project, Geomantics Dance Theater, and Dramadanza — will present a Contemporary piece titled Lesson of the Flying Squirrel, which explores a question of “What’s the point in questioning the loyalty of the air on which you dance?”

• Guest artist Allison “Alli” Gray-Odeniyide is a dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist based in Los Angeles, and has been a principal member of Versa-Style Dance. She will present a Hip-Hop/Street Dance piece, Warrior’s Prayer, illustrating the duality of human resilience.

• SMC dance professor and Synapse Co-Artistic Director Mark Tomasic will present Three 4 Ann, a tribute to his late mother through the music and dancing that she loved.

• SMC dance professor Vanessa Van Wormer has created Concurrence, a collaborative work with Westside School of Ballet and the SMC Music Department exploring the collective whole and the emergence of the individual within patterns and perspectives of the group.

• SMC Dance major Natasha Woolridge has choreographed and will perform in the Contemporary work A Way of Escape, which illustrates faith in God.

Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater has a longstanding reputation for artistic excellence and innovation. Since it was founded more than 40 years 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.

Advance sale tickets are $20 for general admission. A modest service charge applies. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 310-434-3005 (Monday-Friday; limited hours). Tickets may also be purchased at the SMC Events Box Office on the main SMC Campus (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica) up to 1 hour before the performance start time. Free parking on premises. Seating is strictly on a first-arrival basis.

Submitted by Grace Smith