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Ormao Dance Company highlights innovative choreography

click to enlarge Ormaos dancers always look like theyre a piece of art. - STEVE STARR
  • Steve Starr
  • Ormaos dancers always look like theyre a piece of art.

For those inclined to forgo a night of masked revelry and the inevitable trick-or-treat glucose coma, Ormao Dance Company will be presenting its Fall Concert on Halloween night at the Fine Arts Center at 8 p.m.

Two other performances are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.

The shows will introduce what Jan Johnson, the company's artistic director, calls their "most daring collaboration so far." The centerpiece of the night will be "Agape," an innovative work created especially for the company by Chicago-based choreographer Erica Wilson-Perkins, and featuring an original score produced by musician Corbett Lunsford.

Wilson-Perkins, a familiar face to the Ormao dancers, first revealed the choreography to the Ormao dancers in six grueling days of rehearsal in late July. But at the time, they were working without the finished accompanying music because Lunsford, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, was creating the score, said Johnson.

Wilson-Perkins then entrusted Lunsford to create the score without any knowledge of the exact choreography, being, as Johnson put it, "very clear about what she wanted, yet giving him (Lunsford) a lot of latitude to generate something fresh."

Wilson-Perkins views "Agape" as an epilogue to her larger body of work titled "Fight Water," which she has scattered around different universities and dance companies in separate sections or "sagas."

"Agape," a word derived from the name a Greek god associated with divine love, represents where Wilson-Perkins said she is in her own life right now.

"It's about process. It's about this huge open-arm thing of love, constant love, the great love of people in any sort of environment, in any part of time."

The work will also incorporate a live video feed projected on a screen during one of the segments to help capture the details of what's happening on stage. The use of video is important to Wilson-Perkins because she feels that "technology is the new form of movement."

Also scheduled for the night is the infamous "toilet plunger dance," officially known as "Dance #33 a, b, c," which Johnson claims is a way to "play with a prop and have a lot of fun."

Another dance making its reappearance will be "Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride," choreographed by Johnson herself, who sees the piece as a good way to balance out the mood of the show. Expect to hear such classics as "White Wedding," "Addicted to Love," and Etta James' "At Last."

The show will close with "Just Jimi," Johnson's ode to the electric guitar god, Jimi Hendrix, featuring songs such as "The Wind Cries Mary," and "Fire."

-- Tamara Matthews

capsule

Ormao Dance Company's Fall Concert

Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St.

Fri., Oct. 31 and Sat., Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.

$13 in advance, $15 at the door.

Call 634-5583

www.csfineartscenter.org

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