AXIS Performance Celebrates Dance for Every Body
Mar09

AXIS Performance Celebrates Dance for Every Body

As demonstrated by wedding receptions and Seinfeld reruns, dancing is a pretty democratic form of expression. When it’s time to hit the dance floor, it’s not about perfection. It’s about bringing your signature moves and shaking what you’ve got. But that freedom of expression doesn’t always carry over into the world of professional performance, where casting often comes down to physical characteristics rather than creative passion. Thankfully, modern dance organizations are breaking those barriers. In our community, the Fort Wayne Dance Collective (FWDC) offers dance and creative movement programs for people of all ages and abilities – from preschoolers to Parkinson’s patients. This weekend, FWDC is hosting a performance by Oakland-based AXIS Dance Company, a contemporary dance company that’s spent the last few decades pioneering a form of expression they call “physically integrated dance.” Instead of closing the door on creative expression, AXIS is about access. The company includes dancers with and without disabilities. Performances creatively integrate dancers’ varied abilities, turning wheelchairs into choreography elements and showcasing each individual’s unique physical form. By celebrating the different ways people can dance, AXIS embraces a technique that breaks from tradition. The company’s innovation has earned national and international awards and acclaim. “I’m excited to see how the dancers from AXIS use their unique physicality to do innovative movement and choreography,” says John Byrne, Creative Director at FWDC. “They’ve taken something that had long been a stigma in dance, disability, and proved that it can be an advantage in creativity. The physicality and extreme athleticism of the dancers is quite impressive!” AXIS will perform as Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s 2016 guest artist on Saturday, March 12th at 8:00pm at the Arts United Center. The performance will include three original dance pieces, including a new dance theater work by choreographer Joe Goode called “To Go Again”. As Goode explains, “To Go Again” honors the resilience of our country’s veterans in the face of difficult and catastrophic circumstances.   Prior to Saturday’s performance, Arts United will host a Creative Cocktails reception beginning at 5:30 pm at Club Soda. Following the show, AXIS dancers will interact with audience members in a relaxed Q&A session. FWDC’s weeklong guest artist activities also include a Creative Workshop with AXIS on Thursday, March 10th at Turnstone Center and a Master Class on Friday, March 11th at the Fort Wayne Dance Collective. “I hope that the community will feel empowered after the performance and workshop,” says Byrne. “I hope that they see that there is no excuse to not pursue their desires, despite what they may perceive as a roadblock! We want to send the message that Fort Wayne supports artists of all abilities.” Every year,...

Read More
Hope Arthur presents The CORE
Jan22

Hope Arthur presents The CORE

Disconnect and immerse yourself in the complexity of the human spirit in downtown Fort Wayne this weekend. Local music artist Hope Arthur will be presenting The CORE in Collaboration with Mikautadze Dance Theatre, Hope Arthur Orchestra, Saitnkini of Austria, and Silbo Gomero on Saturday 8 pm at the Parkview Physicians Group Blackbox Theater. This weekend’s performance will consist of two parts – a vocal performance piece by The Hope Arthur Orchestra and “Schreimoment,” a collaborative effort featuring both local and Austrian artists. The performance will feature artistic projections by Alec Johnson, who has created shape-based pieces that will interact with The CORE. So immerse yourselves, Fort Wayne, as it should be be a one-of-a-kind performance, not likely to be performed again in the near future! The CORE, which stands for Cultivating Oneness Reinventing Expression, is a physical artistic performance structure Arthur has been developing since she was a student in an “Entrepreneurship through the Arts” course at IPFW. Local artists Jeremy Stroup and Gregor Roth helped Arthur design and build The CORE as a structure. The vision behind The CORE continued to evolve into what it is today during a residency Arthur completed at the local Wunderkammer Company art gallery. The structure is by no means complete and continues to evolve into a collaborative experience with Arthur and the local artistic community. “I think I wanted to make a physical structure of how I feel on the inside at least, like when I’m reflecting or when I’m sad or when I’m happy – the core of my being or my human spirit,” Arthur said. “I wanted to look at it, and perform on it, and explore it.” Part one on Saturday will feature The CORE with a 20-minute all-vocal performance piece by the Hope Arthur Orchestra. The vocal performers will also be performing the choreography for the piece. This will be followed by “Schreimoment,” an all-dance and music performance piece by Saitnkini, an Austrian artistic duo featuring Ulrich Schleicher and Andre Schwarzl. Saitnkini wrote the story and basic structure of Schriemoment, and then Silbo Gomero and Mikautadze brought it to life in Fort Wayne. The collaborative effort between artists from different artistic areas (and even different continents) has been impressive. Schleicher and Schwarzl collaborated via Skype with Arthur, musician/composer Kurt Roembke, and Elizabeth Mikautadze of the Mikautadze Dance Theatre to help make their detailed vision for the piece come to life. “So many collaborators and a lot of creative input!” said Mikautadze, who directed the choreography of the piece. “This is energizing to me and is the reason I do the work I do.” The piece features original contemporary-inspired choreography performed by the Mikautadze Dance Theatre and music composed by Silbo Gomero, a music collaboration between Arthur...

Read More