In the Works Preview: Denton Dancers Will Bring Interactive Experience

Modern dance can mistakenly be seen as too artsy fartsy for the general viewer to understand. UNT grad Rebecca Lopez intends to bridge a gap with non-dancers by presenting an interactive experience at a show called In the Works on Thursday, August 11th at Voertman's. In addition to showcasing several prepared pieces, Lopez has activities planned that include placing audience members in the role of choreographer.

Dance doesn’t have to be intimidating. With audience members having an opportunity to give prompts to dancers they’ll see how each artist can interpret simple commands differently. Lopez recognizes the importance of having a connection with the audience. She says, “The audience is just as important as the performers putting on the show. We need them just as much as they need us. If we want to keep local art growing we have to build up interest.”

In the Works will break the mold from typical theater viewing of performing arts. Audience members will sit on different sides of the dance space which will give everyone a slightly different viewing angle. They’ll also get to engage with the performers themselves. Each featured exhibition will be followed by a discussion to allow dancers and choreographers to explain how they built up their movements and expression. 

Lopez will present a choreography of  a duet that is also work in progress. Audience feedback will be extremely valuable in helping her shape her art. She describes her concept as being about how people build up relationships and then drift apart due to various social elements changing.

Alex Cole and Westin Portillo collaborate to bring postmodern realness in a piece that’s completely improvised both musically and with its movements. Westin creates the music primarily using his voice with effects from his iPad. Aside from a looped pulsating sound and the Persian rug that confines Alex’s movement space, each performance is different from the previous one.

Reyna Mondragon and Pepe Valdez will also collaborate for a postmodern piece with improvised elements. Erin Whyte choreographs a duo performance with Lopez and Annalise Boydston which focuses on how social media has an effect on intimacy.

Most of these performers are UNT or TWU grads and Denton is very fortunate to have a such talent sticking around in hopes of building an audience. Whether it’s continuing studies in grad school, traveling for dance workshops, or finding new artists to collaborate with, these performers will not stop improving their skills. 

In the Works is a free event and Dorothy's Kitchen Table is providing catering services. 

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