The Many Legs of Danceworks Performance Company

Posted on by Deborah Farris

Spotlight on DPC’s 20th!

As I look back on Danceworks Performance Company’s 20th Anniversary Season, I think more of brilliant sunlight than of a spotlight. The season ended with an extravaganza that outshone any collaborative effort to date—and collaboration is at the heart of the Company’s work.

Danceworks Performance Company’s Handel’s Bestiary, June 2017

DPC has evolved into something that is not surprising for Danceworks. Like the organization, it has developed fully into what past president Tim Frautschi always referred to as the “three-legged stool.” It has reached a new level of what it means to encompass dance works—it’s happening on stage, in the studio and community. It reaches and engages people of all ages from varying backgrounds.

Danceworks Performance Company (left to right): Christal Wagner, Dani Kuepper, Liz Licht, Gina Laurenzi, Melissa Anderson, Kim Johnson

Danceworks Performance Company

Artistic Director Dani Kuepper leads our professional company of dancers, fulfilling a three concert series each year that moves like a river as it expands its tributaries out into unexpected places—from the floors of local coffee roasters, to the steps of City Hall, to covering acres of lush gardens. Look closely as you fly along the bike path through breezes off Lake Michigan: the red wings you spot might not be a bird perched on a branch overhead, but a dancer. Led by Dani, the Company pushes the boundaries of what a concert stage means—bringing fun and spectacle to sidewalks, bridges and abandoned corridors.

Danceworks Youth Performance Company

Through the leadership of Danceworks Youth Performance Company Artistic Director Gina Laurenzi, our young dancers are rising to new levels of artistry through daily discipline and commitment to the process of creating work and developing as an artist. They are learning all about the price of grace; there is no guarantee that their hard work will land them in the spotlight, but as they grow as artists, they are learning to understand that with grace, they can rise above the challenges of life both on and off the stage.

Danceworks DanceLAB

And lastly, under the oversight and thoughtful guidance of our DanceLAB Artistic Director Kim Johnson, Danceworks is a resource for community artists to gather, develop and share in what it means to be an artist in today’s world—connecting, communicating and creating work layered with different disciplines, technologies and, as always, never-ending imaginations. Come, we say. Each artist—regardless of what stage they are at—can allow their gifts to grow here.

Two decades down. What will the next two hold? You never know but I am certain it will be kicked off with nothing short of the excitement turning 21 brings, and will continue down the road with unexpected transcendence. Until then, I invite you to read DPC member Liz Licht’s final blog in our truly inspiring 20th Anniversary Guest Blog series (and in case you missed them, Christal Wagner’sMelissa Anderson’s, and Dani Kuepper’s, too!), and I hope to see you around the DanceLAB this summer! Thanks for continuing to be a part of our journey.


JOIN US IN THE DANCELAB FOR OUR SUMMER PERFORMANCE SERIES!
The DanceLAB is an experimental performance initiative dedicated to pushing artists and audiences to expand their thinking about dance as an art form. Purchase tickets here.

Ignite: A Hip Hop Dance Experience // Jul. 29-30
Danceworks on Tap: What’s Tappenin’?! // Aug. 11-13
DanceLAB Teen // Aug. 19
Get It Out There // Sep. 16


To thank you for supporting Danceworks Performance Company over the last two decades, we are offering a special deal! Purchase a 2017-18 Season Subscription now, and get a second one half off. Call the Danceworks Box Office at 414.277.8480 x6025 to purchase or learn more.


Image Credit
Handel’s Bestiary: Deborah Farris; Head Shots: ALTVRA; DanceLAB: Christal Wagner



DEB FARRIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Welcome to my blog, where I'm hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworks…what makes me tick, what keeps me inspired, and where I can share some of the stories worth telling.

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