CSUF Spring Dance Theater Closes Season with Stories of Oppression and Forgiveness

California State University Fullerton’s Spring Dance Theatre, featuring choreography focusing on personal struggles, religion and youth, runs May 2-12 in the Little Theatre on campus, coordinated by faculty member Gladys Kares.

Brandy Factory in Cal State Fullerton’s Spring Dance Theatre. Photo by Jordan Kubat.

Set to the music of Mashrou’ Leila, Divided captures the collective experiences of youth in the  Middle East. “This piece deals with oppression and division among different beliefs while exploring the need for self-expression and a judgment-free culture,” explains choreographer and Dean of the College of the Arts, Dale A. Merrill. 

Also included in the first act is Mercy, Mercy, Me, a contemporary piece choreographed by guest artist, Keith Johnson. This dance follows three individuals who struggle to move past their mistakes and differences. Johnson comments, “by sharing their stories with each other they begin to find a way to forgive themselves and others.” Johnson is the founder of Keith Johnson/ Dancers, established in Los Angeles in 1998, and he has continued to perform, choreograph, and teach for companies and universities both nationally and internationally.

Robbie Lundegard in Cal State Fullerton’s Spring Dance Theatre. Photo by Jordan Kubat Photography.

Other pieces featured in the show include the Dança, Musicorum, Ritmo, a contemporary-modern piece choreographed by CSUF alumni, Joshua D. Estrada-Romero. Featuring an original score from sound artist Zaq Kenefick, Courtney Ozovek choreographs Untitled (No. 1), exploring the use of space on stage and showcasing a development from tight knit linear pathways to a more expansive use of space, both in movement and size of performance area. Ozovek also worked as the choreographer for CSUF’s 2019 production of Heathers The Musical. 

The final piece featured in the show is iconoClasts, a modern dance originally choreographed for Dance Kaleidoscope by guest choreographer, David Hochoy, who describes this piece as “movement, for the sake of explosive, dynamic movement.” Hochoy has previously studied at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham schools, has performed with numerous national dance companies, and has given master classes and workshops all over the world.

Additional choreographers include Robbie Lundegard (Habitus), Ariel Parker (Labyrinth, Magnified), and Laura Chavéz (Maleficarum).

Brandy Factory and Robbie Lundegard with longtime Dance Theatre Coordinator Gladys Kares (Retiring this year) getting ready for Cal State Fullerton’s Spring Dance Theatre. Photo by Jordan Kubat Photography.

Scenic designs are coordinated by Ann Sheffield, costume designs are coordinated by Kathryn Wilson, lighting design is by Nicolas Durand, and sound design is by Sam Moss. 

“Spring Dance Theatre” plays at 8pm on May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and at 2pm on May 5, 12.

General admission tickets are $14 ($12 with advance Titan Discount purchase for students, seniors or with a CSUF ID). All tickets are $14 at the door. Tickets are available by calling (657) 278-3371, 11am-5pm, Monday through Friday and online at:

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