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The Movement and the Music

LCC dance concert highlights artistic connections
Dancers perform in Sarah Nemecek’s in dresses sewn by our grandmothers at LCC
Dancers perform in Sarah Nemecek’s in dresses sewn by our grandmothers at LCC

The Lane Community College Dance Department’s annual Collaborations concert earlier this month offered three performances by LCC students and faculty as well as Eugene Ballet Academy’s company, Eugene Youth Ballet. 

The March 2 concert opened with Happening, by choreographer Sarah Ebert, set on dancers from Eugene Youth Ballet.

With high energy and precision, Ebert’s dancers interweave through connected pathways, looping and jutting through the space, as they carve elliptically to music by John Zorn. 

Next, a reconstruction, a solo by alumna Hannah Downs — with music written, performed and recorded by Downs — creates pockets of inquiry and introspection, as Downs explores low level shaping and the twisted, angular, but inevitable progression towards vertical. 

(be)tween, by alumna Mariah Melson offers sharp, quick changes in focus, with an expressive range of shapes, as she and dancer Kyra Bannister exchange tense, powerful bolts of energy. 

Bonnie Simoa’s contribution, Fold, featuring Arianna LaMora, Colleen Kiyuna and Zoe Winchell, explores the tenuous filaments binding dancers in unison, as movers roll and sweep, expand and contract, in a kind of chrysalis of momentum. 

Jana Maszaros’ Whisper, featuring Maria Antonieta Alvarez and Kelcie Laube, has an intimate fragility, built across an armature of terrific strength. One of the most compelling pieces of the evening, the work arrests in its accessibility, exploring relationship through collaboration and contrast, a divination on knowing. 

Sarah Nemecek’s in dresses sewn by our grandmothers takes a slow, meditative approach, with dancers curling, sliding, falling, all on the floor. A wide, illuminated net above them seems to hold the dancers into a low-level space while pulsing original music by Christian Cherry and cumbersome dresses by Mari DeWitt add to the theatricality of wrapping and removal. 

Alumna Jackie Thelen’s Finding Strength in Vulnerability layers ambient distortions of self-perception with bursts of raw, energetic rhythm.

Simoa’s Arrive, again delves into weight-sharing and lifts — and, finally, features some men. In rosy, glowing light, ten dancers dart in and out of shifting focal points and mood, intertwined in their deep community. 

Finally, Nemecek’s Field of View offers grounded complexities of balance and weight. Superficially austere, the work takes a read on the vital signs and viscera that connect us all.

Throughout the performance, masterful lighting direction by James McConkey continually bathes the work at hand in eloquent color and form.