At ART MOVES, FWDC Puts Masterpieces in Motion

When it comes to annual fundraisers, the Fort Wayne Dance Collective is known for creating over-the-top experiences that guests anticipate all year long. In years past, that meant choose-your-own-adventure theatrical performances in various Fort Wayne landmarks. But this year, under the leadership of Creative Director John Byrne, the organization is trying something new. As in years past, tomorrow’s ART MOVES event will raise funds for FWDC’s community outreach programs, high school dance programs and dance scholarships. But this year, FWDC eschewed the theatrical theme to celebrate creative expression in all its forms.

At 6 pm tomorrow night, September 8th, Wunderkammer Company will serve as the backdrop for various choreographed pop-up performances, each inspired by a different iconic fine art works. The ART MOVES event will also include a silent auction, heavy appetizers and a cash bar provided by Club Soda. Tickets are $25 in advance, available through the FWDC website, or $30 at the door. With the event approaching, I talked to John Byrne to learn more about his artistic vision and inspiration for ART MOVES.

B: What sparked the idea ART MOVES?

J: Fort Wayne is a city just exploding with art and dance, and FWDC is proud to be in the forefront of this cultural movement. We serve such a diverse range of communities, ages, abilities and interests through dance education, healing and performances – more than 43,000 people annually to be specific! The idea for ART MOVES was simply inspired by the desire to bring awareness to what we do, in a fun, laid-back, party environment.
For the artistic concept, I wanted to show who we are at the core by deconstructing dance down to its most pure form – movement. Dancers from 10 years old to 60 years old will take over the space in elegant and simple costumes, with beautiful lighting and sets by artist Diane Gaby. The dancers will represent recognizable iconic art works by emulating the essence of the  art works through dance. The performance will be presented in a simply, allowing the movement and personalities of our diverse performers to shine through.
B: What kind of art and artists inspired the choreography? 

J: There are eight choreographers contributing original dance works to ART MOVES.  This includes Vicki Gallagher, Mandie Kolkman, Sydney Pacula, Corinne Hobbs, Liz Monnier, Ashley Benninghoff and Allison Brandgard. Choreographers chose iconic art work that inspired them and designed their dance works based on these pieces. At the event, you’ll see artists such as O’Keeffe, Magritte, Kandinsky, Van Gogh and Koons represented. Dancers from all branches of Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s programs will be performing the new dance works. Singer/songwriter Kelsie Murray will also be making a special appearance.

What can guests expect at the event? 

J: Partygoers can expect to arrive and enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres from Club Soda, a Cash Bar and live DJ. Dance installations will pop up in a uniquely surprising way throughout the evening, from 6 to 8 pm. After that, the gallery space will open up for  guests to jam to fun beats from local musician Alec Johnson.

My main goal is that guests come and have FUN.  This is an end-of-summer party and in keeping with FWDC’s mission we want people to come as they are, and feel relaxed and welcome. By seeing all of the performances and learning about who we are and what we do, I hope people will leave with a desire to contribute to our mission… and perhaps even sign up for a class!

As an added bonus, guests can meet members of the fabulous FWDC Board of Directors. I am very proud of our Board as they are leaders in the community. They are artists, and heroes for our mission, and contribute to making Fort Wayne an amazing place to live, work and be.



Author: Becca

Copywriter by day. Runner by evening. Mad culinary scientist by night. If it's sunny, she'd rather be paddling around Olin Lake on a SUP. A Fort Wayne native (save for stints in Alabama, Boston and New York) whose ancestors came to Northeast Indiana via oxcart caravan in 1843.

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