At ART MOVES, FWDC Puts Masterpieces in Motion
Sep07

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...

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Get Your Sweat On Series: Violet Expressions
Feb23

Get Your Sweat On Series: Violet Expressions

With Spring Break and warmer months just around the corner, many people are starting to look into ways to get in shape. Are you bored with the 24-hour gym scene? Do you need some fun in your workout regimen? Pole fitness might be what you’re looking for! Violet Expressions Pole Dance and Fitness Studio is Northeast Indiana’s premiere pole dance and fitness studio located in downtown Fort Wayne, inside Boudoir Noir. So, what is pole fitness? While it has its roots in exotic dance, pole fitness is based on the strength, flexibility, and endurance aspects of the sport. In a typical class, you can expect to do exercises to increase your strength such as pole pull-ups, learn how to properly perform pole tricks and dance moves, and increase your cardio endurance and flexibility. You’ve got your water bottle in hand and your shorts and tank top on, ready to begin your pole journey. While it can be nerve-wracking to step into class for the first time, the welcoming staff of instructors at Violet Expressions creates a fun, judgment-free environment to make you feel comfortable the moment you enter the studio. No matter if you have years of dance experience or two left feet, there is a level that suits your abilities and goes at the pace you need to progress. The instructors work in class sizes of six to ten students, providing each student with plenty of individual attention throughout class. At Violet Expressions, there are several class options. Pole trick classes focus on learning and refining pole moves each class based on your skill level. Maybe you have a dance background and are itching to get back into it. Multi-level choreography is open to all students. In this class, you’ll learn a short dance piece with only one or two pole moves. It’s a fun way to express yourself creatively and get in touch with your inner performer without the stage! Flexibility class shows you the safe way to increase your range of motion while strengthening the muscles you use in different poses such as the splits, back bends, and handstands. Some classes are also heels friendly. Newer class offerings that begin this week at the studio include chair dance, pole cardio & conditioning, and pole theatrics. Many polers who regularly come to classes lose weight, increase their muscle tone, and gain an abundance of self-confidence! Violet Expressions welcomes people from all backgrounds to come in and find their pole style. Whether your focus is fitness, intertwining more traditional dance styles such as modern or ballet with pole dance, or you want to come explore your exotic side, there’s something...

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