Say you're one of those people who gets dragged, kicking if not screaming, to dance events who would rather lie down on a bed of nails listening to a Sarah Palin speech than sit through an evening of contemporary dancing. Kate Weare might change your mind.
Check out her New York-based Kate Weare Company perform in its inaugural visit to the Florida Dance Association's winter dance series, WinterFest, which runs through January 29. On Saturday, Weare and her four dancers -- Adrian Clark, Leslie Kraus, Marlena Penney Oden, and California-born but Florida-raised Douglas Gillespie, who got his BFA from Florida State University -- will bring to life two of her most recent works: last fall's Bright Land and 2008's Bridge of Sighs.
When Bright Land premiered in Manhattan's Joyce Theater, the piece had a
live band, The Crooked Jades, perform their old-time, soulful rhythms
to accompany the dancers. For Florida, Weare has planned something a bit
different. "Touring with the band obviously can't always happen, so
we're reworking Bright Land into a pure dance piece with recorded music,
and I'm actually really excited to see how it transforms," Weare tells
Cultist from New York City a few days before heading down to South
Florida. "I think it's going to be a really potent, cohesive dance, and
I'm excited to see this version when it is condensed in its purest, most
WinterFest's director, Bill Doolin, has been
following Weare's work for some time, and always comes away impressed.
"Her work is beautiful, incredibly intellectual," says Doolin. "She
takes a lot of time to develop it. She digs really deep, so it's very
much about relationships between the people on stage."
happens on stage is bound to grab your attention. Bridge of Sighs, for
example, shows the act of slapping in a brand new light. But you'll have
to see that for yourself. "I care more, I'm more drawn, to people who
live fiercely and sometimes make mistakes and show flaws and have
problems and maybe have bodies that don't always obey," explains the
Oakland, California-born choreographer and artistic director, who
founded her company in 2005. "The viscerality, the rhythm, is a big part
of my work."
Now, about dance being inscrutable... Here's Weare
explanation: "If you are
engaged, if you find yourself having a physical, sensation-based
response, if you're leaning forward, if you're tightening your hands, if
you're feeling moved, all of that is what dance can do when it's
effective," says the artist. "And if you're having any of those
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experiences, then you are interpreting that dance well."
See the Kate Weare Company at 8 p.m at the Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $20 general, $15 for students and seniors, and $12 for FDA members. Call 305-310-8080 or visit floridadanceassociation.org.
--Juan Carlos Pérez-Duthie of artburstmiami.com