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Soy Artista: Filipina dancer expresses fluidity through movement

by Lila Salinas

Soy Artista: Kris-theja Love Soliman

The chromatic lights of the stage illuminate the ceiling and the dancefloor. Hues of purple, pink, blue and green geometric patterns interweave around the room. She hypnotizes her viewers with chiffon scarfs and fans as she gracefully moves creating elegant visuals that represent love, freedom and fluidity. The crowd is fueled by her energy as she performs once more because she is a dancer.

Kris-theja Soliman, also known as Kristheja Love, has been a resident dancer of Humboldt County for the last two years. Originally from Sacramento, Soliman’s connection with Humboldt’s arboraceous landscapes and scenic coastal views influenced her decision to move to Humboldt and grow as a member of the arts community.

“Humboldt was calling me in to find myself and reveal parts of myself that had the potential to grow, and here I am now constantly blossoming into the woman I have always wanted to be and meant to be,” Soliman said. Soliman is also a part of various troupes and teams throughout California. “I dance with the Vagabond Dancers here in Humboldt and fire dance with Lost Coast Flow Fusion. The Vagabond Dancers were started through Arcane Artistes and the team has grown so much! Filled with amazing local flow artists and Cal Poly Dance Major students!” Soliman added.

Photo of Kris-theja Love Soliman at Arcane Artistes Event | Photo courtesy of Dakota Cox (Cal-Poly Humboldt Alumni)

Ako ay mestiza na dancerina

Kris-theja is a first generation American of Filipino descent. Her father, who also had interests in breakdancing as a young adult, supports her art and continues to teach her about Filipino culture and language. “My family used to choreograph these cute little dances and film themselves, and my dad was a pretty good break dancer back in his day,” Soliman said. Her family’s traditional values intersect with Soliman’s art in modern culture. There’s a question on how the two viewpoints can harmoniously coexist within her family unit. “As a mestiza, my grandma is very proud but also she’s a little hesitant just because of the atmosphere of where I dance it’s up for interpretation and perception but for the most they’re very happy for me and they love to see that i’m living life to the fullest and I’m loving myself while I’m doing that and I think that’s very important for them,” Soliman said.

Healing through Dance “The feeling when dancing is so ethereal and elevating. I feel very free, I feel very present, I feel very aligned with my body and self as a whole, and this all collectively feels amazing! Sometimes I’m feeling pain when I dance, and through that movement can be so healing and allow me to process my emotions.”

Venues and Style of Dance

Soliman’s style of dance ranges from high energetic to free-form dancing. “During my performances, I dance classic go-go, tutting, hip hop, and contemporary based on the different genres of music. Fire dancing can be more fluid and flowy movements and can also be very technical.” Soliman said.

She connects to her roots and kinship through her dance. ”I’ve been dancing all of my life. I have a dance background from since I was a little girl. I think what got me into it was that I have a family who placed such importance around music and dancing.” Soliman said.

Photo of Kris-theja Love Soliman | Photo courtesy of Dakota Cox (Cal-Poly Humboldt Alumni)

Dancing for Tomorrow

Soliman hopes to continue her education and return to school to finish up her degree in Liberal Arts. Soiman says, “I would like to go back for Arts – photography and dance. I would like to be at a point in my dancing career where I could teach others.”Kris-theja’s versatility and adaptability towards different styles of dance give her opportunities to dance at public festivals, like Northern Nights or private parties. “In 10 years, I would like to have heightened my skills and definitely be higher on the professional dancer ladder, having performed for bigger festivals and travel out of the country and do those kinds of things,” Kris-theja said.

For information about upcoming dance events or Kris-theja’s performances, you can follow on her social media @Kristhejalovecontent or her dance groups @loco.flowfusion and @vagabond_dancers.

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