Playing with the Big Dogs

Over the past few weeks, we have had the honor of performing along side some of the best and most established companies and choreographers around. First at PROMPTS, a recurring series for artists to show new work around a central prompt/theme. This event, organized and hosted by my friend and mentor Justin Tornow, was held at the charming Carrack Museum in Durham, NC on Saturday, January 18th. We arrived fashionably late, but soon found out we are damn good at cramming three people in a small bathroom to change clothes, and performing 15-minutes after getting out of the car from a 2.5-hour ride. We premiered “In the Wintertime”, a collaborative piece featuring Allison, Ben, Faith, Kenzie, Melissa, and me (which we will perform in Dance Under the City Sounds with our friends Bless These Sounds Under The City June 12th at the Chop Shop). The space was about half the size that we are used to, and if you’ve ever seen Baran Dance in action, you know we MOVE. But, in true BD style, we adjusted on the fly and danced incredibly well (not just for being under pressure and in a tight spot). The theme of the exhibition was “experiments”, which perfectly summed up our performance. We also had the pleasure of witnessing some of the most innovative work from some of the most innovative artists in NC, including our friends Taproot Ensemble. I can’t wait to see more of what all the movers and creators at PROMPTS have to offer!

This weekend we performed “Intro/Outro” at the NC Dance Festival concert at UNC Charlotte. This piece, co-choreographed by Kate Micham and me, premiered in May 2013, and we also performed it at the Friendship Gardens Party last Fall. We were invited to present at the NCDF-CLT show a few months ago, and have been primarily focused on our upcoming June concert, so we hadn’t really given this piece and performance much thought (aside from re-rehearsing it, which wasn’t too hard since we LOVE the piece and are pretty comfortable with the movement). But when we arrived at our (45-minute!) technical rehearsal on Thursday, reality started to sink in. The stage in Robinson Hall at UNCC is GORGEOUS (and big!) and we had a real-life lighting designer, stage manager, and crew. Until this point we had peformed as a company with bare bones production resources, so this was the first time for many of us to be in such a “legit” gig. Our energy on performance night was electric, and “Intro/Outro” was finally presented in the way it deserves. To quote our friend Hardin Minor, we look somewhat like “angels in the architecture of time and space”, which is hard to embody when you are four feet from the first row of audience members. After our performance we got to watch the second half of the show, which included a fiercely beautiful piece by the uncomprable Kim Jones. The evening as a whole was inspiring, humbling, and truly cathartic (for many reasons). We even had a random “fan club photo opp”!

I’d like to offer our deepest gratitude to Justin Tornow, NCDF, and UNCC for giving us these opportunities to perform. There just aren’t enough outlets for dance in our area, so THANK YOU! We are honored to share the floor with such gifted, fearless, creative artists, and hope to see them on stage, or in the wings, again soon. I recently heard that Charlotte was named one of the least upward-mobile cities in the country. I beg to differ… just watch.