The UCLA Dance Team's performance of "Yokoso" is a deliciously sensuous ensemble for eleven female dancers. The girls start out in a line, intertwined at various heights on the floor. They ripple, roll over, and slide forward in serpentine movements. The music builds as they rise, spin, and do jumping splits. Two dancers leap in front. All of the dancers go down to the floor, back up, down in a line, up again, and all twirl on one leg and kick the other out. Half of the girls go down in splits, back roll, and come up in a group. They come together in a vertical multi-layered circle for the conclusion.
The work has elements of modern and classical dance. It's especially interesting in it's vertically layered effects. I see a lot of dance where the dancers mesh from front to back and side to side. "Yokoso" makes very effective use of space on the vertical plane, from top to bottom. It's an extremely athletic work requiring a lot of starts, stops, and sudden changes of tempo.
The music sounds like contemporary electronic with Japanese influences. This is about a three minute piece choreographed by Dance Team member Joelle Cosentiko. The precision with which the dancers move and the sensuality of the work is reminiscent of Helgi Tomasson's "Pandora Box," a short work for two female dancers. The unity of the work is astonishing given the fact that it was being performed in front of 8,000 people only 11 days after it's completion.
The UCLA Dance Team has no scholarships or practice space. These girls love what they do and dedicate themselves to presenting an extremely polished performance under adverse circumstances. They practice and perform together daily, so they are familiar with each other's movements. "Yokoso" was written for performance at a competition in Las Vegas where it received first runner up. Cosentiko's "Yokoso" is a first rate work by an outstanding young choreographer.