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17 hours ago

Danceworks, Inc.

IT’S OFFICIALLY SHOW WEEK! Senior DPMKE performing artist, Gina Laurenzi, is in the home stretch of preparing her full evening length work titled SONDER, set to premiere alongside #livemusic by TWIN TALK, THIS THIRSDAY, January 27th @ 7:30pm! 🎫 Tickets are available at dwmke.org/purchasetickets

This will be Laurenzi's first time setting choreography on DPMKE. She shares her inspiration behind this performance, "With Sonder, I set out to craft a work that ebbs and flows through attention to the complexities of Twin Talk’s compositions while leaving space for meandering happenings, and improvisational tangents to unfold between performers. Choreographed phrases fly in and out of improvisational scores as performers delight in the intricacies of the music and the moment."

Gina has been an integral part of DPMKE since her first show with Danceworks back in 2013. Part of what makes DPMKE unique is that they set out to present repertoire created by their artists and not just the Artistic Director or outside creators. DPMKE values Gina's voice and how amplifying her voice shifts and changes the exquisite work on the stage.

We hope you will be able to join us for “Sonder”, running Jan. 27-30. 🎫 Tickets are available at dwmke.org/purchasetickets

📷: Christal Wagner, DPMKE Artistic Director
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2 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.

It's #studiosaturday and this we we want to give a HUGE shout out to the Danceworks' faculty members performing in the second concert of the DPMKE season! You can catch studio faculty members Gabi Sustache, Christal Wagner and Gina Laurenzi performing with all the artists of DPMKE the 27th - 30th at Next Act Theatre. We are so looking to the performance! Come catch your instructors in action on the stage!

Looking for a new class to take?! DID YOU KNOW can take class with Artistic Director Christal Wagner and the company most Tuesday mornings? Make sure to pre-register online!

#dance #livemusic #performingartists #Danceworksmke #dpmke #milwaukeedance #milwaukeeartistsinaction
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dwmke.org/purchasetickets
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3 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.

Join DPMKE on January 27-30, 2022 at Next Act for their new show: "Sonder"
Purchase your tickets now at dwmke.org/purchasetickets 👈🏻🎫

Senior company member and Choreographer Gina Laurenzi collaborates with Chicago band Twin Talk to create a contemporary movement experience with a jazz influence. In Sonder, we welcome live music to the stage as DPMKE dancers and Twin Talk share space, tune into one another and playfully delight in improvisation. The Company is joined by Danceworks Intergenerational Performance Company. Crafting a blend of sound and movement guaranteed to set a mood and satisfy the senses, the artists invite the audience into an intimate world as they flow into conversation, communicating through their respective art forms. Sonder (noun): the realization that each random passerby lives a life as vivid and complex as your own.
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Danceworks Blog

The Lovely Liz Licht

Posted on by Deborah Wenzler Farris

Guest Blog Post by Danceworks Performance Company Member Liz Licht

Image: ALTVRA

Danceworks Performance Company’s 20th-anniversary season marks my sixth with the company, and like each DPC member, I’ve been privileged over the years to explore additional roles at Danceworks. For me, these have tended toward the verbal, whether written or spoken. I’ve been a development and marketing assistant, Art to Art manager, and the reciter of many lines whose skits aim to raise awareness of our biggest donor and supporter, the United Performing Arts Fund. For this reason, I’ve decided with this post to probe the ways dancing and writing have intersected in my life and work, and to share what I’ve learned so far.

Maya Angelou once said, “Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances.” I believe I hear writing differently because I dance. Each syllable comes alive in my mind/body as I read, write, and edit, just as each impulse to move, each intention of a legato or punctuated bit of choreography, embeds itself in my muscle memory.

Writing has also taught me about dance. Having observed how writing captures amorphous ideas—it uses words to create form—I have learned that dance is kinetic energy made visible. We can only see energy by what it moves through or moves past. Dancers present energy viscerally in the way it travels through bodies and in the way bodies sweep through space.

More importantly, if I know anything about how to try to be a good human being, much of it has come through relationships I’ve made while dancing and writing. Before DPC goes onstage, we gather in a circle for “toes,” lifting and lowering our feet in tendu piques and repeating two mantras: “Don’t screw up,” and “Don’t give yourself poop.” To me, these speak to the two essential ingredients of dancing and writing. They are also the two “wings” of Buddhist philosophy: wisdom and compassion, which I think about often as a yoga teacher.

When I edit (I’m currently working on a yoga book called Clearing the Path by Stephen Parker), I become a keeper of “the rules”—of grammar, style, punctuation, and rhetoric. These are the wisdom of writing. As a dancer, too, I train to embody a set of technical rules regarding qualitative effort, musicality, focus and direction in space, and kinesiological efficiency. I try to maintain a somatic sensibility that feels movement from the inside out and that is available to be seen from the outside in.

But the DPC dancers show me that the rules are less important than how we relate to them. In performance my goal is not just to follow the rules, but to transcend the need to adhere to them too closely (as this is really just a small-minded need to prove myself). Instead I hope to give the audience something bigger. Just what that is I don’t ever quite know. But that is the compassion of dancing.

Com-passion is “to feel with.” Extended to dance and to writing, it is “to create with.” For me, this is the ultimate goal of dance and of any form of communication: to co-create the meaning and the purpose of it with the audience, to remember what working at the UWM Writing Center taught me, that each of us—observer and observed—contributes to multiple “communities of discourse.” We all matter. And “mattering” is often a function of our ability to get out of our own way so that we can give something meaningful of ourselves to each other.

DPC Artistic Director Dani Kuepper articulated this approach with precision in an email she sent the company last season. Emphasizing gratitude for what each dancer brings to the group, she reminded us to take our work seriously (wisdom) without taking ourselves too seriously (compassion). She wrote, “My favorite atmosphere is WORKING HARD + HAVING FUN and we do that a lot. If we miss part of that equation, we miss the point.”

Liz as a Phoenix in Handel’s Bestiary, June 2017; Photo: Jeff Zmania; Head piece: Kyle Krueger



About Our Blog

Welcome to the Danceworks blog, where we're hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworks… what made us join the dance and keeps us dancing, what keeps us inspired, and where we can share some of the stories worth telling.