Dancing with a deadline
What: 7-Day Dance Festival performances
Where: Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.
WHEN: 5pm and 7:30pm Sat., Aug. 10
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
It’s too late to register to be in the group rehearsals that are part of Bellingham Repertory Dance’s third annual 7-Day Dance Festival taking place this week at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, but that doesn’t mean those with an interest in utilizing their bodies in the quest for creative expression are out of luck.
Sure, you could just wait it out until public performances on Sat., Aug. 10 reveal what a number of contemporary dancers and choreographers who’ve been been hard at work since Fri., Aug. 2 have done with their dedicated time in the studio—more on that in a minute—but since part of the inclusive festival focuses on offering a variety of drop-in workshops that are also open to the community at large for a nominal fee of $10-$15, it’s still possible to get in on the action.
For example, a Contemporary Dance workshop taught by longtime BRD member and community collaborator Juliette Machado at 6pm on Wed., Aug. 7 at the Firehouse is open to all levels of experience. Beginners are also welcome to show up at 2:45pm Thurs., Aug. 8 for a Restorative Flow class that will be helmed by Tatyana Stahler, and at a 7pm Hip Hop workshop with Hannah Rothschiller—both happening across town at Opus Performing Arts in downtown Bellingham.
Back in Fairhaven at the Firehouse, Charlotte Stickles’ Improvisation dance class will be open to everyone who wants to take part at 3pm Fri., Aug. 9, and a noontime Dance Church gathering preceding the Sat., Aug. 10 performances will bring a nonexclusive approach to movement. “Dance Church is a communal space for everyone who wants to move their body,” organizers say. “No previous training is required, but open-mindedness is a prerequisite.”
You’ll want to bring that same exploratory ethos to the 5pm and 7:30pm 7-Day Dance Festival shows later that day, which will feature pieces by the dancers and choreographers who’ve spent the past week coming together to create new work. The content of the production won’t be known until the audience watches it unfold in real time, so take a chance and purchase a ticket to witness the unfiltered creativity that emerges.
Machado, the festival’s organizer, says the event is inspired by the internationally touring 48-Hour Film Project, and she sees the movement-focused version as a unique opportunity for dance artists to create.
“One of the biggest barriers to making work can be the lack of a deadline,” she says. “This festival aims to bridge that gap and give dancers a chance to play, not overthink their choices, and perform something new.”
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