Retrospective, the final offering of the group's 20th season, will be performed by the CORE Performance Company, the professional performing company within Several Dancers Core. As its name implies, the program will feature some of the company's early works, as well as showcase the new.
"We wanted to present a span of time," says company founder and director Sue Schroeder. "We've put something in from our very first concert, and we've also included a world premiere."
Founded in 1980, Several Dancers Core has continued to operate in two different cities simultaneously: Atlanta and Houston. But the artistic vision has remained uniform.
"We've always been dedicated to contemporary work and the process of creating it," says Schroeder. "We don't go about it haphazardly."
The earlier pieces to be performed in Retrospective include Schroeder's "Flight Dreams," set to the music of contemporary composers such as Richard Stoltzman, and "Arrows," a 1987 duet created by choreographer Cheryl Factor.
To some artists, revival means revision, and Schroeder had to make a conscious decision as to which creative road -- and attitude -- to take.
"I had to review all our old tapes in order to decide what to do," she recalls. "It's funny to look back at it. Some of it looks dated now. But it always spoke to the times."
Schroeder chose compromise, making only minimal, mainly non-dance changes, thus keeping the original intent and voice of the works intact.
"When you are remounting old work, you have to decide whether or not to leave it as it was or change it," she says. "The changes we made weren't drastic -- just bits here and there, such as costume changes, to make the flow work better. The movement and vocabulary haven't been changed."
Schroeder says that since those early days, the original artistic vision of the company has matured.
"Our work now is much more human than it was before," she admits. "We've gotten much clearer. That's because the human element is more interesting to me now. Before, it was about making dances. And now, it's about using dance to express and reveal human qualities."
Retrospective includes a world premiere, "William's Lost Night," by Berlin-based choreographer Jacalyn Carley. Based on writings of the American expatriate poet, author and arts mentor Gertrude Stein, the work is set to music by the German composer Bardo Henning.
Schroeder will use six other performers, including dancer D. Patton White, who has been with the company for 10 years, and who danced some of the numbers in their original performances.
"People are always asking me if I still dance," Schroeder says. And in this celebration, the director will take her turn in the spotlight for a couple of solos.
As for the present-day incarnation of Several Dancers Core, the founder feels strongly that the company's past has been a springboard to the present.
"We've gotten very clear about the culture of who we are, the environment we work in, and how we work together," she says. "It used to be the environment was more mysterious and unspoken. But now, we express more vividly the human condition. And the integrity of what we do has given us a stronger sense of identity."
Several Dancers Core presents the CORE Performance Company in Retrospective April 6-7 at 8 p.m. at the Beacon Dance Studio Theater, 410 W. Trinity Place, Decatur. Post performance artist talk Fri. Dance party, dessert reception Sat. at the studio, 139 Sycamore St., Decatur. $8-$13. 404-373-4154.
Little harsh, in'it?
Oh that's right...I DID say enjoy yourself.
Go to hell Kombo!
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