Questioning beauty and discovering women warriors with Columbia dance event

Kinetics Dance Theatre will present "Ignite" on Nov. 4
Kinetics Dance Theatre will present "Ignite" on Nov. 4(Courtesy photo)

Kinetics Dance Theatre will present “Ignite,” a modern dance performance, on Nov. 4 at Slayton House Theatre. Featuring a collection of work, the fall show will also premiere four new dances.

“More than half of the show is premiers,” said Lauren Tait, artistic director, who will debut her new piece, “Drawn.”


“I’ve been doing research about women who were warriors,” Tait said. “My piece channels ... all women warriors with a focus on the female samurai. Their weapons, stances and philosophies. “

A lot of the movement in “Drawn,” she said, is based on the shape of the weapons the women warriors used, from the curved swords and arched bows, to the very long sticks with curved end.s The dancers’ costumes were also chosen specifically for the performance.


.“The costumes show fully the dancers’ backs. Women’s backs are not tradtionally feminine. They are very similar to men’s,” Tait said. “It is finding beauty in strength rather than beauty alongside strength.”

Former Kinetics’ artistic director Ken Skrzesz ‘ will also premier a piece in the show. Titled “It’s All the Same,,” the dance is Skrzesz’s response to the racial protest in Charlottesville, he said in an email.

“I kept seeing images and wondering what fundamental beliefs led people to this place. Specifically, how did the fundamental teachings of the major three religions in our world become so distorted?” Skrzesz said in the email.

Using a score that includes Christian, Islamic and Judaic voices, the work examines meditative movement differences and similarities in each, he wrote.

“It is a very joyful and inspiring piece that really shows human courage,” Tait said, of “It’s All the Same.”

For the first time at its performances, Kinetics will have program notes featuring the choreographers talking about their different pieces, Tait said. Typically, program notes are a little controversial, Tait said, as some choreographers want the audience to have their own take on the dance while others want the audience to see their vision.

“I think the audience wlll like to have the comments,” said Tait, noting that none of the show’s choreographers objected to writing them.

At past performances, the company has held a question and answer session. They discovered that attendance varied. A wine and cheese reception will follow the Nov. 9 show.

“People talk more informally and get to eat,” Tait laughed. “A reception seems a nice way to talk about our art.”

LucidBeings Dance, a new company created by former Kinetic dancers, will premiere the piece “Permeating Presence,” featuring four dancers .

“It is just about energy,” Tait said. “The rise and fall of the dancer together.”

Promoting the works of a new dance company may seem like conflict, but Kinetics, a non-profit dance company, it is a natural part of its mission.


“Kinetics is dedicated to the promotion of dance as a vital art form in the community,” Tait said. “Our goal is to be a creative hub for community dance artists and to connect them in as many ways as we can.”

The fourth premiere will be a collaborative piece between the professional and student dancers, Tait said, called “Look Pretty.”

“It takes a critical look at feminine ideals and expectations about looking pretty in public,” Tait said. “There is a strong visual element.”

The remaining program includes two dances by Tait and another by Mariah Appleton titled “A Quiet Darkness.”

“I am a busy person,” said Tait, who is in her fifth season as artistic director. “We have seen growth. I am working really hard to … build the company and attract talented and dedicated dancers.”

Kinetics Dance Theatre presents “Ignite” at 8 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Slayton House Theatre, 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia. Tickets range from $10 to $18. Go to www.kineticsdance.org or call 410-480-1686.

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