Discover Dance: Exploring New Works

Crescendo issue: March 2014
  • Gina Patterson warms up her dancers as they prepare to work on the choreography for "Facing Home."
  • Visual artists from Interlochen and beyond gathered in the Director of Dance's office, plotting out set and costumes.

The Interlochen Dance Department reached out across the artistic spectrum to bring together artists from across the campus and country.

“The performance showcased a collaborative piece featuring Interlochen Arts Academy dancers, singer-songwriters, visual arts and music students,” said Cameron Basden, director of dance at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

"This program had something for everyone - contemporary movement grounded in ballet, theatre elements, live music, singing, passion and beauty," Cameron continued. "You don't have to know a thing about dance to enjoy this show - just possess the ability to let your senses guide you."

While the newly revamped Spring Dance forum, now titled Discover Dance, contained four tantalizing pieces, choreographed by the likes of Wendy Masterson, Matthew Lindstrom, and Justin Koertgen, it is the fourth piece, titled "Facing Home," that drew the most buzz across campus. One of the many reasons for that buzz was the fact that so many Interlochen student artists had a hand in the production.

The piece was conceived during Interlochen's recent "intermester" session. It brought together the worlds of visual arts, music, singer-songwriter and, of course, dance. Choreographed by Nashville artist Gina Patterson, this piece tells the tale of Interlochen Arts Academy student Hannah Ayrault's original song "Webcam Wasteland, Beautiful, Secrets, and Home." Hannah worked with Peter Bradley Adams during the creation of this new piece. In the song, they speak of a longing to unfold, to grow into a more true being, a more relevant self.

From this piece and its music sprung costume and set design by visual artists, score and voice by musicians (faculty and students) and interpretation and movement by the dancers themselves. A true cross-campus collaboration.

In addition to "Facing Home," the piece titled "Dustbowl Overture" featured music from Steppin' In It, a blues, bluegrass, funk, zydeco and jazz band that got its start when the members met at Lansing's legendary Elderly Music and has since enjoyed nationwide acclaim.

"Here and There and a Space Between," the first piece performed in the program, featured music from Clocks in Motion, a group from Wisconsin that performs new music, builds many of its own instruments, and "breaks down the boundaries of the traditional concert program."

Finally, "The Love Between" featured a poetry reading by Benjamin Lohrberg, who read a work by Carol Christ.

The collaborative effort brought into each of these pieces allowed the students to bring their own individual art to bear alongside the art of others and to see their art mesh seamlessly with those others. Not only did this collaboration allow for artistic growth within each of the artists involved, it gave them a glimpse into the wider artistic world beyond Interlochen's campus.  

Watch this performance now:

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