A very public performance: dancers take to the streets

A group of 20 dance majors from the Jordan College of Fine Arts will illustrate what it means to be a body in motion and perform among the crowds of the Indianapolis City Market and the Circle Centre Food Court Nov. 4 and 5 as part of the 2011 Spirit and Place Festival.

Dance Professor Cynthia Pratt and Associate Dance Professor Larry Attaway worked together to choreograph and assemble a structured improvisational piece that showcases how the body moves.

The piece, entitled “@Work, @Rest, @Play,” highlights people going about their everyday lives.

“The dancers [will] be moving in and among regular people as they go about their daily business,” Attaway said.

It will be more than the average “flash mob,” and Attaway said he expects the audience to react as if they are witnessing a mob but hopes they make a connection with the performance.

Erica Johnston, a sophomore dance performance major, said the piece will add unique interpretation to actions that people do on a daily basis.

“Everyone who sees this presentation of movement should be able to find something they can emotionally relate to,” Johnston said.

In order to prepare for the piece, the group met to determine what it meant for the body to be at work, at rest or at play under the supervision of Attaway and Pratt.

In addition to the choreography, Attaway composed the music which Johnston said opened up many creative possibilities to the dancers as they worked through the stages of the piece.

By discussing these different definitions, the group devised a structured performance that allowed for elaboration and creativity in two different settings.

“You could say we’re not performing a pre-choreographed piece but improvising with our surroundings to convey our idea of what the body looks like during work, play and rest,”said Cameron Clark, a freshman dance performance major.

Clark said the choreography in an urban setting calls for simple and uncomplicated movement so as not to lose the  meaning.

Senior dance performance major Sean Sessions said dancing outside of a performance hall adds a new level to performing and having an unprepared audience will only add to the excitement.

“Dancing outside of a performance setting is invigorating,” Sessions said. “It will be a new challenge,  having an audience that is unprepared and an actual part of the project is sure to be exciting.”

Circle Centre Food Court

Head straight down Meridian Street, around the monument and take a right on Illinois Street. Park underground and take the elevator to Level Three.

Indianapolis City Market

Take Interstate 65 south to Exit 111 for Ohio Street, turn right on Ohio Street and left on Alabama Street, turn right on E. Market Street.

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