5:30 am
Thu January 31, 2013

[VIDEO] 'A Modern Night' Highlights Local Choreographers

Choreographer Andrea Skowronek says after she creates a new work, she steps away and lets it have a life of its own. She says it then "becomes the dancer’s piece."  The annual event called "A Modern Night at the Folly” celebrates local choreography and dancers, brought together for one night of dance on the Folly stage.

"Fractals," by City in Motion co-director and choreographer Andrea Skowronek, is one of the ten works showcased in this year's performance.

During a recent rehearsal, six dancers -  in painted costumes decorated with spots, spirals, and stripes - leaped across the floor of the upstairs dance space at City in Motion School of Dance.

Interview Highlights

Stephen Plante, Dancer
City in Motion Dance Theater

"It's a collaboration of a community of dancers coming together on one night to show the works we are proud of. It's a process that a lot of dancers in Kansas City would love to be a part of, " Plante said.  "It's something where we can present our works to the public where we may not get a chance to do it in such a grand space. It's great for choreographers to be able to have the opportunity to a bigger, more broad audience."

Andrea Skowronek, Choreographer of "Fractals"
Music by Steve Reich: New York Counterpoint
City in Motion Dance Theater

"It's an older piece of music, but it's great for dance. Dance is about theme and variation and his (Reich's) music is also about theme and variation, so it just works really well," Skowronek said. "And it is interesting enough so just when you think, 'Oh no,' and it sort of starts to drive you crazy with the repetition, then it changes. So it does kind of keep you on your toes."

Tuesday Faust, Dancer
City in Motion Dance Theater

"It's really tricky because it's taken a lot of time to get used to the music and know what you are listening for," Faust said. "One of the most challenging things I think there is to do is there are a couple little moments of improvisation built in where we're mostly working with this concept of streaming and stretching the movement out, and having it build and moving through the spaces in between each other. And that's where we have to count and it's really hard because you are creating movement.  So you are thinking I am going to move my arm this way and move around this person and not run into them and at the same time you have to be counting really diligently."

Stephen Plante, Dancer

"Since we've done it so many times as dancers, when you hear a piece of music over and over again, you start to delve into the deeper parts of the music.  And I believe this is a piece of music that has so many undercurrents.  The is multiple layers of sounds," Plante said. "We, as dancers, have started to feel the counts, but now we almost feel we can push those counts a little further because we know the next set of beats and the next piece of music."

Andrea Skowronek, Choreographer of "Fractals"

"Once the piece is done, there is an interesting thing that happens and that is I step away from it and it has a life of it's own," Skowronek said. "And it really becomes the dancer's piece, which may sound odd. But the hard part is the process and counting the music and figuring out what's going to happen next. That whole creative aspect is so exciting.  But when it is done, the choreographer really steps back.  I can give notes, but ultimately it is up to them, because they are the ones performing it."

City in Motion Dance Theater presents "A Modern Night at the Folly" on Saturday, February 9, at The Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. Kansas City, Mo. 816-474-4444.

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