Connection Dance Works’ Perspective will bring an evening of dance, music, and engaging discussion to the BMO Studio Theatre on Nov. 4.
Connection Dance Works’ annual Perspective performances are unique events for audiences and performers alike. Designed with a casual atmosphere in mind, these events, which have been running annually for more than a decade at this point, place those on either side of the curtain on equal ground through demonstration and discussion.
“Perspective is an evening of dance and discussion with an intimate but casual atmosphere,” said Connection Dance Works’ Artistic Director Sarah Power. “Audience members can grab a drink from the bar, sit with the performers as they wait their turn to perform and enjoy newly created works-in-progress dance.
“The idea is that we’re pulling back the curtain on the process of dance creation, choreographers give thoughts, concepts and ideas they’re working with. Choreographers ask the audience questions and the audience can ask their own questions as well as give feedback,” she said.
This year’s Perspective series features new works in progress by dance artists Sydney Hallett, Sarah Power, Thushara Premarajan, Michéle King, and Kelli Wray touching on various styles and backgrounds from physical theatre and classical Indian dance to improvised movement and various points between.
“Works-in-progress showings are integral to a choreographer as well as dancers, as often we don’t have outside eyes watching the process unfold,” said Power. “Often audience feedback or comments lead to a deeper dive into the process and work, allowing the choreographer to get curious and for the work to be stirred up.”
Power said audience engagement early in the development process can sometimes alter how a choreographer sees their work. And the benefits of getting out of the studio and in front of a group of friends and dance-curious audiences are limitless.
“Personally, I see my work come to life when it is shown on a stage rather than in a studio, even if it’s still raw, I see and hear what the audience sees and hears for the first time,” she said. “This impacts the next stages of the work, where I need to dig into, where I can let go of, what to keep, what to leave out.”
Connection Dance Works’ PERSPECTIVE | BMO Studio Theatre | Saint John | Nov. 4 | Buy Tickets
Connection Dance Works was founded in 2010. The company’s efforts and initiatives have engaged a growing audience in an active discussion about contemporary dance. Their multi-disciplinary collaborations — with musicians, choreographers, writers, composers, visual artists, and multi-media creators — affirm a new era of cross-pollination and a profound commitment to the notion of community.
Connection Dance Works provides opportunities for artists to share knowledge and learn from each other through its PERSPECTIVE series and annual Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival. The company has established itself as an educational forum for audiences and students alike, offering workshops, artist talks, and professional development for both local and visiting artists.