Avery Johnston and Alex Yanez story

Bodies rose from the dead as they lay there, hidden by plastic. Hands stretched out from beyond. This is not a scene from a movie – it was part of the Fresno State Contemporary Dance Ensemble “Covenant” performance. “

The ensemble kicked off its program at the John Wright Theater on February 14 at 7:30 p.m.

“Covenant” was performed by Dance 163 class offered by Fresno State and consists of 15 cast members.

The show was choreographed by Kenneth Balint, Farrah Mcadam, Anandha Ray and Zachary Segovia.

The ensemble started working on the show last fall. The name of the show comes from the title of one of the six dances performed. Each dance has a new theme and a new inspiration.

The first dance, “The Whole Piece,” started off optimistically, accompanied by music from Missy Elliot and Bruno Mars.

The cast members enjoyed a slice of pizza while demonstrating a hip-hop dance. The actors dressed up as an episode of Saved by the Bell and danced.

Things got darker in the dance called “The Gathering”. The cast were lying on the floor, presumably dead, with their hands raised from the grave outstretched.

One by one, they were discovered and a collection of bodies turned into a collaborative dance.

Balint said the inspiration for “The Gathering” was “to offer insight into the underlying aspirations that we all have as human beings.”

Covenant was the star of the show and rather than using all 15 cast members, he only featured three as they were lined up behind each other creating the illusion of one person.

The lighting was dark and the music was strange with many different composers. The dance was like a scene from American Horror Story and transcended audiences into a darker world.

The show ends with a piece titled “4CB” which helps the audience navigate a time similar to the 1940s, ending the show with a sincere look into the past. Confetti was released as the final dance took place.

According to choreographer and artistic director Kenneth Balint, the inspiration was the idea of ​​a fun dance revisiting dance styles of the past on outings with friends.

Balint has worked at Fresno State since 2001. Balint has also had a 20-year career in professional dance.

“’Covenants’ represents the artistic work of four choreographers, fifteen talented dancers and many backstage artistic collaborators,” said Balint.

Balint expects the performance to go well and appreciates the time his students have spent practicing.

“So these are short ten-minute dance works. Each has its own individual scene. I choreographed two, ”Balint said. “We have a student choreographer called ‘choreographer in residence’ who did another. Which is really a beautiful piece.

Balint also said the Fresno State Dance Program students working on the performance were trained by outside guest artists to practice on a stage.

“I think it’s a great process. Create the content, teach the content to the dancers and perfect it, ”Balint said.

“And to see the final product on stage with an audience, lights and costumes. It’s a great process.

Balint is always looking for this support to fund future projects under the Theater and Dance program, which comes from Associated Student Inc. at Fresno State.

These meetings for future funding are usually held in March, Balint said. “The students have worked so hard and we try to market and advertise to the campus community to come and see them and they are generally well supported,” Balint said. “

And I still hope that this year they will be supported.

“The students have worked so hard and we try to market and advertise to the campus community to come and see them and they are generally well supported,” Balint said.

“And I still hope that this year they will be supported.”

Eric Olsen, a theater student at Fresno State, works at the box office for the theater arts department. Olsen said he sold five to fifteen clients during his two-hour shifts when he worked at the box office.

“My expectations for the show, I saw a few dance performances from last year. I really appreciate them. It’s a great opportunity to watch the students dance and everything, said Olsen. “It’s kind of cool and they set everything up and there is the lighting and everything. So that’s great. So glad to see this one.

“Covenant” will once again be performed February 18-22 at 7:30 p.m. with a daytime screening on February 16 at 2:00 p.m. at the John Wright Theater in Fresno State.

Tickets cost $ 17 for general admission, $ 15 for staff, alumni, seniors and military, and $ 10 for all students.