On scene | SteamboatToday.com

On scene

Stage left

All dancers have their own style. But in modern dance, they have their own vocabulary, too. Every movement is a metaphor, and the really important ones are repeated in different directions.

I went to the modern dance performance that was part of the New Works Festival at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp last Saturday night. Only at Perry-Mansfield do you walk past horse corrals to see world-renowned choreographers and dancers perform.

We were on Steamboat time and arrived a little late, so we had to sit in the back where you could see only half the stage. But everything happening on the right side of the stage was amazing.

Choreographer Kristofer Weinstein Storey has a well-rounded modern dance vocabulary. The performance was the first time I’ve heard an audience laugh and seen it cry from watching a modern dance performance.

There was one piece in particular that really got me. It was one of those moments when you see something truly different. The piece “For All we Know” evoked that feeling.

It was a duet with two men, and I didn’t figure it out at first. But it was refreshing to see a sort of love story unfold in movement about the relationship of two gay men. It was beautiful and shocking but so tastefully done that it had a magic realism quality to it.

Percussionist, vocalist and composer Paula Jeanine, who composed the music to Storey’s two new works, also was amazing. She used her voice to create sounds I didn’t think know were possible, and her eclectic instruments made sounds that were as modern as the movements around her.

The whole performance almost gave me a headache because I got so wrapped up in the emotion of it. Modern dance can be hard to interpret for someone who may not understand the art, even though it is translated differently to every spectator.

What was novel about this performance was that Storey came out in between some of the pieces to explain what they were roughly based on and how he created them. After the performance, he and Jeanine sat down and answered questions.

The only question I had was about who hired the bird to fly across the stage during the performance. Apparently it was a bat that lives in the main studio and flies across the stage at the same time every night.

Even the bats at Perry-Mansfield are performance artists.

‘Tis the season

You know it’s barbecue season when the weather warms and people emerge from their winter lairs.

It’s time for beer-boiled bratwurst, fresh guacamole and watching the sunset on a deck with good friends. Or in some cases, it is a chance to borrow a neighbor’s paddleboat for a couple laps around the neighborhood pond.

Barbecues are the perfect opportunity to relax after a long work week and to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while – or meet those people you always see but never got to meet.

It’s a sweet American tradition that made hot dogs, burgers and Budweiser chickens famous. And the best part of having your own barbecue is that when everyone leaves you can just walk upstairs and go to bed.

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