Deviated Theater Sets “siGHt” on More Shows
Mad dashes of dancers shift into dreamlike rhythms that transport audiences during Deviated Theater’s modern dance performance “siGHt,” right before the dancers awe viewers by defying gravity doing tumbles through a hoop swing.
Modern dance company Deviated Theater started in 2008 aiming to “depart from the norm,” and it’s latest dance opera “siGHt” does that in spades with a three-week long run that is very rare for modern dance companies that usually do three or four evenings because of the time, money and physical demands on dancers.
Running for more than 16 performances between September 19 and October 7 at Joe’s Movement Emporium, the dance opera “siGHt” at the center of the evening features the story of a family’s love and struggle. A rotating cast also brings different opening acts every show before the company performs the main event created by company organizers Kimmie Dobbs Chan and Enoch Chan.
These evenings of acrobatic tales are a short drive on the Maryland border with Northeast in D.C. in Mount Rainer. Anything worth seeing is worth a journey, says Enoch Chan, a stage combat veteran whose energy obviously supercharges the company’s gymnastic storytelling.
“Good news! You’re not in a movie theater! You’re allowed to react!” Enoch Chan exclaimed, running around the stage to rev up the audience.
A commission from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts helped fund the long run of “sight,” and choreographer Kimmie Dobbs Chan credited that program with helping the growth of Washington’s dance companies during the past decade.
While said Enoch and Kimmie Dobbs Chan hope to do another long-running show next year, they said it is difficult for modern dance companies to attract an audience for profitable long run and transition to larger venues at the Kennedy Center, beyond the free performances at Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, where “siGHt” was first performed.
“It’s hard to get a big audience. People have a pre-conceived notion of what dance is. Some people expect it will be something so abstract they won’t be able to sit through it,” Enoch Chan said. “We feel if you give audiences a story it will really give them something to latch on to.”
Even though the Chans’ gambled with “siGHt” because dance is less established in Washington than theater or music, dancers still enjoy D.C.’s post-millennial renaissance of culture. Supportive communities and opportunities for dancers to distinguish themselves are easier to find than in a jungle of performers seeking bright lights in New York.
Auditions to open for the dance opera enabled professional performers to bring their acts to a venue, and it helped students cut their teeth with a company. One example is dancer Lauren Marsden, who joined the show after her friend Nikki Kelly found her on Facebook.
“Lauren and I went to Towson together and she posted she wanted to do more serious dancing,” Kelly said.
Kelly feels more freedom performing with Deviated Theater as opposed to her usual dances for more structured ballet companies. Dancing a storyline during the long set of shows is closer to a long-running play, meaning dancers will become immersed in the characters later in the month.
“With ballet you are given a part and you just do it. Here we learned every bit of choreography in case we need to fill in if someone got hurt,” Kelly said. “It’s not just dance, we are acting.”
Performances of “siGHt” from September 19 through October 7 at
Joe’s Movement Emporium [3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, MD.
For more information go online to http://www.deviatedtheatre.org/
Short URL: http://bit.ly/PzxAX5