For 17 years since its inception, the Smokebrush Foundation doggedly strove to create community around cutting-edge art. The down economy forced its gallery, located under the Colorado Avenue bridge, into a smaller space in February, but an eminent artistic couple has stepped into Suite 102 to pick up the fight, starting this weekend.
Newly formed Full Circle Dance Theatre was created to show women they should keep dancing, no matter what their age or body type. L'Esprit, the company's premiere multimedia performance, opens this weekend at Watch This Space, a new performance venue.
"I really wanted there to be some outlet for all of the studying that dancers do," says company founder Lisa McElroy. "There are some people who are just meant to be on stage, no matter their body type, and we wanted to help fill this need."
McElroy also wanted to bring more non-recital-based dance performances to town.
"This is contemporary dance," she says. "It's also hybrid, experimental art based on real-life experiences."
Written and directed by McElroy, L'Esprit will also feature a new art collective called CO/media Electronique, organized by McElroy's husband, Tom. The collective will be responsible for blending a video with Full Circle's dance, to create more of a theatric experience.
The McElroys created Watch This Space so they could do projects that were a little bigger and more experimental than their 802 N. Weber St. studio space allows. They've been busy lately, launching new, simultaneous projects: a venue, a dance company and this inaugural, original performance.
"Sometimes opportunities come up that are like the universe hitting you over the head," Tom says, "and you've gotta go with it."
Insistent on keeping virtually all of L'Esprit a surprise, the couple will only say the five-person performance begins the moment you buy your ticket, and that it is really about "women's spirit and what women have to go through."
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