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Danceworks, Inc.

๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšจ๐๐„๐—ช ๐—ช๐„๐„๐Š! ๐๐„๐—ช ๐’๐‚๐‡๐„๐ƒ๐”๐‹๐„!โฃ
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๏ปฟOur students are an important part of Danceworks and we can't wait to all dance together soon. As we think ahead to reopening our doors later this summer ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต for our students, staff, and faculty. ๐Ÿ˜ท Leap over to our website (danceworksmke.org) to learn more about how we'll be slowly reopening with summer camps and in-studio classes. We will also continue to offer virtual classes for those who enjoy taking classes from the comfort of their home. โฃ๐Ÿ 
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2 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.

#Repost @loveyourenthusiasm
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"Remember why you're doing this and don't lose your passion for it." Missed Kim's podcast about connection through movement? Listen to this clip with @u.p.dancer of @danceworksmke, then check out the full episode.โ €
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๐ŸŽง Link in bio...or find Love Your Enthusiasm on all of your favorite podcast apps.
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3 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.

#throwback to last summer w/ @danceworks_on_tap's show: ๐“๐š๐ฉ ๐“๐š๐ฅ๐ค! @nikkifabfeet, @francisf21 & @gabsterdance doing a little Coffee Talk (๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ)! Do ๐˜๐Ž๐” remember this show!? Share your memories w/ us in the comments ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡โฃ
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๐Ÿ•บCome tap along with us this summer w/ a variety of #virtual class offerings, as well as ๐๐„๐—ช ๐ข๐ง-๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฎ๐๐ข๐จ ๐œ๐ฅ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ!! Exciting announcement coming soon ๐ŸŽ‰
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Danceworks Blog

Observations on the Run (Paleontology of a Woman)

Posted on by Deborah Wenzler Farris

I usually like to write a story before a show, not on the day of its closing. But thatโ€™s not how this one worked out. Yes, we do close tonight but you still have two more chances to see the performanceโ€”at 5:00 or 7:30 tonight at Next Act Theatreโ€”and of course, I recommend it. But call first for tickets because the houses have been full.

There are a few ways to approach writing about this concertโ€”one way (new and fun for me) is the focus on fashion. Paleontology of a Woman was first a fashion event by designer and Project Runway contestant, Timothy Westbrook. Itโ€™s set to music as rich as Timothyโ€™s textures by composer Allen Russell and the Tontine Ensemble. It was Allen who connected Timothy and Dani (Kuepper, Artistic Director, DCP) to turn the fashion event into a dance experience.

Danceworks Performance Company

(L to R Andrew Zanoni, Kim Johnson, Alberto Cambra, Christal Wagner, Liz Zastro Gina Laurenzi, Melissa Anderson)

Then there is the theme itself that Dani ran with. She said, โ€œWorking on Paleontology of a Woman caused me to think more deeply about ideas on women, men, identity, perception, projection, stereotypesโ€ฆโ€ Her artistic approach and focus gives as much distinctive texture to the concert as the designs and music.

Dani Kuepper with Allen Russell and the Tontine Ensemble

Dani Kuepper with Allen Russell and the Tontine Ensemble

But it was the process behind it all that moved me mostโ€”how to sustain. Be sustaining. Timothy is a sustainability driven fiber artistโ€”he weaves strips of plastic grocery bags with cotton, would never think of throwing out a flat bicycle inner tube and works during the day so he doesn’t waste energy on lights.

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I was standing in the lobby at Next Act Theatre last night and met Timothyโ€™s parents, Susan and Chris Westbrook, who had driven 16 hours from upstate New York to see the show. (Is there anything better than having parents that travel far and wide to support you?)

The black dress Susan Westbrook was wearing became the first topic of conversation. โ€œTim made this dress for me,โ€ she said as I was admiring it.

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Susan Westbrook at Next Act Theatre

I told her that days before Iโ€™d watched Timothy backstage working on his treadle sewing machine (foot pedals, no electricity) and had asked him how he got started sewing and designing.

โ€œWhen I was five,โ€ he said, โ€œI saw my Grandma jabbing at something with a sharp spoke, I thought maybe she’d broken her fork, and I asked her what she was doing. Iโ€™m sewing, she told me. It fascinated me! I wanted to understand it and didnโ€™t stop until I did. I was just that way. Like when I was taught how to tie my shoes, I practiced all day long until I could do it.โ€

Timothy and his sewing machine

Timothy and his sewing machine

I was happy to have the chance to meet Timothyโ€™s parents because he had talked a lot about them and how special they are. He told me, โ€œMy mom advocated for my sister and me who are both gay. We lived in a small town in the northern foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in New York. That wasnโ€™t easy to do. She always supported my passion for design and encouraged me.

“One of my dadโ€™s famous quotes is, I am always proud of you, but not always sure what I am proud of. He is a beacon of strength in the background; heโ€™s like the wind in our sails while mom has her hand on the back of the boat helping to propel us forwardโ€”the ever watchful father, and the mother, uttering, Come on, come on!โ€

I was truly amazed when Susan told me, โ€œTim gave me this dress for Christmas in 2003. This side panel is made out of unraveled cassette tapes. Timโ€™s grandfather was legally blind so he would listen to books on tape. Tim wove all those old tapes on a four shaft loom with organic cotton. He took what was audio and made it visual.

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Dress and purse designed and constructed by Timothy for his mom

โ€œHe wove the fabric on the sides of this dress to match this pocketbook he had made for me years before. The fringe on the purse is from one of my macramรฉ plant holders which were all over the house when he was growing up.โ€

โ€œWhatโ€™s the story behind these?โ€ I asked noticing the different panels and fabrics on the flared skirt.

โ€œI really donโ€™t know. They could be from old curtains. He lined this dress for me so it would be easier to wear.โ€ She let me continue examining the beauty of the variety of panels as she went on talking. โ€œWhen Tim showed us the costumes from the show this afternoon, he said, I used Auntie Joโ€™s wedding dress! I even recognized my grandmaโ€™s embroidered table cloth on one.โ€

Christal Wagnor, Liz Zastrow, Gina Laurenzi, Andrew Zanoni

Christal, Liz, Gina, Andrew

โ€œHeโ€™s brilliant!โ€ I said.

โ€œI know. He had the woods around him growing up. He was surrounded by nature and always loved it, has always cared for it.โ€

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So I went home last night thinking about that conversation and had to write it down. You can see that Timothy shows us through his work how fulfillment can come by accomplishing more with less. That cutting back can mean more creativity, less tension, more peace, less stress, more joy.

Alberto Cambra

Alberto Cambra

He showed me that when it’s all said and done, sustainability really does mean sustenance.

Thank you, Timothy, for an exquisite show. And thank you Susan and Chris Westbrook, for a truly amazing son.ย  –Deb Farris

Performance photo credits: Paul Ruffolo

For tickets, call Next Act Theatre Box Office 414.278.0765!

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Danceworks is a proud member of the United Performing Arts Fund

 

 

 



About Our Blog

Welcome to the Danceworks blog, where we're hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworksโ€ฆ 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.