Even if you think of yourself as being more cultured than the average American, it can be hard to work up the courage to attend ballet performances. What if it’s too long? What if it’s boring?
Those fears can pushed aside this weekend at Dance Place when ballet choreographer Stuart Loungway’s Terra Firma Dance Theatre presents an evening length show in a presentation by local non-profit DanceMetroDC. Loungway says that it’s his intent to create “dance for dance’s sake” and present something that audiences will finds utterly relatable and cathartic. “Dance is a tool for capturing the essence of what it means to be a human being. I think that’s what audiences look for. And you can speak to the ‘human condition’ without being pandering or sappy or maudlin,” he said.
Currently on the faculty of the The Washington Ballet, Loungway had a performing career as a member of The Houston, San Francisco, and Joffrey Ballet Companies. His dances and dance-making are informed by his years performing the works of Balanchine, Forsythe, Morris, Stevenson, and others.
“While the caliber of the dancers involved and the technique and training [is traditional], we want there to be a sense of inclusion and we want to serve the community at large,” Loungway said.
This weekend his company will perform “Mockingbird”, “Stagioni”, and “Chamber Duet”. “Mockingbird” explores themes of love, loss and redemption while “Stagioni” is a modern interpretation of Vivaldi’s famous “Four Seasons”.
The company is performing at Dance Pace through Dance Metro DC’s 2016 Presentation Grant award. The mission of Dance Metro DC is to serve the whole spectrum of dance in DC, and to increase accessibility for local audiences of dance.
Dance Metro DC Executive Director Stephen Clapp said, “The dance community in DC is incredibly vibrant, incredibly diverse, and incredibly hardworking. The resources are also extremely limited, which is part of the reason Dance Metro DC exists.… One of our initiatives is to look as how we are serving the entire spectrum of the dance community.”
Clapp said he is excited to introduce new audiences to dance with Terra Firma.
Katie McDermott is a 2016 DC Arts Writing Fellow with Day Eight and a copywriter and social media manager for Plaza Artist Materials. She is also a freelance writer, musician and D.C. area native. She earned her undergraduate degree in English in 2010 and a master’s in Teaching in 2011, both from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She is also a freelance writer, musician and D.C. area native. Tweet at her at @kcmcder.
This article was produced through the DC Arts Writing Fellowship, a project of the non-profit Day Eight, through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Humanities DC, Brink Media, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and DCRE Residential. To read additional articles produced through the fellowship visit Artapedia.com.