A Resonant Collective (dance) 06.07.2010

A Resonant Collective (dance) 06.07.2010


Click here to view Ace coverstory PDF p 7 A Resonant Collective

Less than a week before
opening night, the practice
room three stories up in ArtsPlace
pulses with movement
and sound. A tribe of
dancers communicates in a kind of pidgin or scat, improvising
hums, woops, grunts,
plosions of air, and percussive
clicks to replace words
as they rehearse and demonstrate
moves for one another.

There are flurries of color everywhere
from tanned limbs and scrunched-down
socks to jewel-colored garments, glints of
silver jewelry and winks of turquoise nail
polish on toes, all rebounding from a wall of
mirrors to slam into the hardwood floor or
perforate the air.
Threading through the cacophony
dressed in demure gray and black, Stephanie
Pevec calls out direction and encouragement.
She stands no taller than any of her
dancers, but there is no doubt exactly who
is at the helm of this energetic new company,
the Contemporary Dance Collective
(CDC). Her voice sharpens and warms as
she steps in to illustrate just how deeply a
movement should well up from or to what
angle a leg must extend. All of this while taking notes for lighting design, monitoring
the soundtrack, and keeping an eye on the
clock. She’s modified costumes, designed
the show’s program, and wrangled schedules
to include
artists like Kurt
Gohde, who is
well-known for
his photography
and documentary
with local and
regional drag
With opening night just days away, it is
clear that while there is much to do, much
has been accomplished. It is an overarching
vision that seems to drive Stephanie,
who works by day as Development Director
for the Lexington Art League, “As an artist
and choreographer, I believe strongly in the
power art can have in each of its disciplines
to influence our experiences, inspire our
thoughts, engage our actions, and produce
our visions.”
When she speaks of her inspiration,
Stephanie might mention Sylvia Plath or
David Gray in the same breath as Alvin
Ailey and Bill T. Jones. She finds herself
moved by visionaries in her field and also
the potential for personal growth, “Modern
dance is intuitive…Learning a modern
dance piece is an exercise of the body, mind,
and soul where connection to the work you
are performing is as necessary as having
proper placement.”
Her formal training at Kent State University
culminating in degree in concert dance
performance, served as a platform for her
career as a specialist not only as a performer,
but also teaching modern dance technique,
improvisation, and master classes along
with choreography workshops, “I believe
that dance is a vehicle to provide the ability
to speak without words and transcend the
space between trying to explain what your
work is about and actually gifting the audience
with the ability to feel it.”
Building a company from the ground up
has proven both challenging and rewarding.
Stephanie hopes the debut of the CDC
in their first feature-length performance,
The Resonance Project, will move the audiences
on both visceral and cerebral levels,
“The audience can expect something engaging,
inspiring, and unique. This concert is
based upon the concept of a living breathing
performance space.”
She also looks forward to growing the
company in an organic sense by gauging
the interest of Lexington audiences and
potential members of the CDC, “I am interested
in working with dancers who not only have skill but also the ability to be creative
on their own. Improv and peer teaching are
important as well, so I want to work with
dancers who have these qualities. A spirit
for collaboration
is a must
as well.”
Putting on
this scale of
for a choreographer
is no
different than
a composer’s
debut of an opus or the opening of a visual
artist’s solo exhibit. There is meticulous attention
placed on every detail in over an
hour-length show. But for Stephanie Pevec,
who has infused The Resonance Project with
a decade of her life’s experiences, choreographing
serves as a natural and dynamic
vehicle for expression, “I felt compelled to
create this body of work as a way to celebrate
the things that life has brought my
way both good and bad that have shaped
and defined me.”
It is a less than a week before opening
night and Stephanie and the CDC dancers,
Lee Erik Eachus, Kate Hadfield, Cara Terry,
Brooke Thomas, and Erica Maryman, with
guests Lucy Arthur-Parately and Natalie
Drucker, are feeling it. They coach one another,
murmuring or shouting direction between
moves honing their bodies through
bruises, soreness, and sweat. They dig in,
trusting one another to reach higher, hold
longer, and whittle down excess pauses. It
is clear that beyond their shared artistry, the
CDC is not just nurturing to life a new company
of dancers, this collective resonates
with community. ■

What: The Contemporary Dance Collective
presents The Resonance Project
Where: Downtown Arts Center, 141 East
Main Street
When: June 17 at 6:30 PM, Dress rehearsal/pay
what you can June 18 at 7:30 PM, Opening Night,
Reception Following June 19 at 7:30 PM, Closing
Night, Final Performance
Tix: $18, students $12 with ID