Dance group to perform Saturday

Offering its audience a different way to think about a book, play or poem Converge Dance Works will hit the stage Saturday at 7 p.m.

This production, which is funded through a grant from the Sweetwater Board of Cooperative Educational Services, called “Quotes,” is free and open to public.

Company’s co-founder and artistic director Ann Jantz said the ideas for dance works came from some of the choreographers’ favorite books, poems and plays. Pulled from these stories are quotes that speak specifically to what each dance is about, hence the title of the production.

“As primary choreographer and artistic director of the company, I thought my love of reading could provide me with numerous ideas for dance works, so we created an entire evening of dance to accomplish this goal, “ Jantz said.

The show consists of eight original dance works choreographed by Jantz and fellow company performer Emily Hunt. Hunt’s piece, entitled “A Different Point of View” takes its idea from the novel “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster.

“This piece is about all the positive parts about growing up and being and adult, using the prom as the setting for the idea,” Hunt said. “I use high school as the comparison, to show the stigmas placed on you in high school are no longer applicable as an adult.”

Jantz choreographed the rest of the show’s pieces, taking inspiration from the novels “Blindness” by Jose Saramago, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” by John Boyne, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer and “Auntie Mame” by Patrick Dennis. She also used the poem “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats and the one-act play “The Stronger” by August Strindberg.

“When reading these works I was filled with either strong emotion or struck by a particular theme. I felt I could draw from them the materials I needed to create a dance, such as the idea of reaching a dilemma from which you can’t recover, or a society that can see but doesn’t really ‘see’ the people who make up the society, or the innocence of children and the power of friendship that reaches beyond a mere fence line. These are powerful ideas that can turn movement into a meaningful, unspoken storytelling opportunity between the dancers onstage and the audience,” Jantz said.

Converge Dance Works, formerly High Desert Dance Project, is a local, nonprofit dance company. It is dedicated to promoting the artistry of dance in the Sweetwater County community by offering a forum where adults interested in dance can be a part of a unique learning experience and a performing dance community. The name of the company conveys a coming together of dance artists, bringing with them their own diverse backgrounds and experiences, Jantz said.

Joining the company this year are 10 local dancers ranging in age from teens to mid-50s. Dancers inculding Hunt and Jantz, are Converge Dance Works is co-founder Kendra Braden, Kiah Braly, Kit Kofoed, Alicia Powelson, Kevin Hunt, Lynne Rawlings, Eileen Cristanelli and Laura Stewart.

Jantz said she was pleasantly surprised by the dancer turnout this year, noting several of the company’s performers have danced professionally, until circumstances brought them back to Rock Springs.

“I feel so lucky that we have regained some of the dancers that left here years ago,” she said. “This community has hidden talent, and sometimes it emerges to offer people a rare look into dance at its best – a group of artists coming together to share ideas and movement and, of course, put on a show.”


Reader Comments(0)