Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dance Canvas showcases emerging choreographers

Posted By on Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Jennifer Davis of Dance Canvas

Choreographers are often presented with an impossible Catch-22 at the outset of their careers: How do you get a commission to work with professional dancers, established companies, experienced producers and skilled designers when you don't have a significant body of professional work, and how do you accumulate a significant body of professional work if you can't work with professional dancers, established companies, and experienced designers?

Enter Atlanta choreographer Angela Harris who has sought to alleviate some of this conundrum in Atlanta by building bridges between up-and-coming choreographers, professional dancers, and audiences with her presenting company Dance Canvas. “I figured I couldn't be the only one in this position,” she says about founding the company three years ago. “When the first Dance Canvas show happened, it became evident to me really quickly that I absolutely wasn't the only one!”

Dance Canvas provides up-and-coming Atlanta choreographers with the resources they need—such as dancers, rehearsal space, professional contacts—to get their work produced and seen in an annual showcase at 14th Street Playhouse. It's a diverse show, featuring ten short works by ten emerging Atlanta choreographers and around 50 professional dancers. “If a ballet lover comes to see the show, they're also introduced to some modern, jazz and hip-hop, and vice-versa,” says Harris. “It acts as a great introduction to dance.”

The choreographers are provided with a professional recording of their work to add to their resumés, as well as the opportunity to have their work seen by audiences and established professionals in Atlanta's dance community. “The level of talent that Atlanta has is very, very strong,” says Harris. “We shouldn't be looked at as an alternative place to dance. We are a dance city, and these choreographers demonstrate that there is a really high level of professional dance right here in Atlanta.”

Dance Canvas' 2010 Fall Performance Series will play at the 14th Street Playhouse on Friday, November 5, at 8 pm and Saturday, November 6, at 8 pm. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Dance Canvas.

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