One of the most highly anticipated dance programs of the year — Vashon Center for Dance’s annual “Original Works” — will take place at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23, and 1 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at Vashon Center for the Arts.
The production provides a showcase of newly choreographed works by students, teachers and other professional choreographers affiliated with Vashon Center for Dance (VCD). Launched in 2014, the annual program typically includes contemporary, modern, tap, ballet and hip-hop. This year’s show will be no exception in terms of the genre- and body-bending forms of dance on display.
Kevin Hoffberg, executive director of Vashon Center for the Arts, said the emphasis on giving creative license to student dancers is a special part of the dance program at VCA.
”You will have to search a long way to find another dance company that gives its students the opportunity to showcase this much of their vision and talent in such an original way,” Hoffberg said.
Advanced dance students Duncan Barlow, Tamsen Henry and Talia Roybal are among the seasoned students who have choreographed new pieces for the production.
Barlow, a student now designated by VCD as a pre-professional dancer, has created two ballet pieces with a contemporary texture, weaving modern influences into this classical art form.
Henry and Roybal have participated in Original Works for five years, becoming fan favorites with edgy modern dances. This year, each will debut new pieces that show off their intense approach to storytelling and ability to work with large groups of dancers to create multi-layered pieces.
Other younger dancers, newer to Vashon Center for Dance’s program, will experience the thrill of creating works of choreography for the first time in this year’s “Original Works.”
Tap student Olivia Boyes will debut her choreography skills for the first time in “Pink Panther,” a duet with Sadie Choo. Jaylie Carleton will perform her first solo, and Signe Blomgren, Diana Strachan-Trundle, and Lena Puz are participating for their first time with “Circus Dreams,” a piece that combines their ballet training and modern work. A young designer-in-training, Grace Harvey, has created the costumes for “Circus Dreams.”
Works by VCD teachers and other professionals will also be a part of the mix.
Director of Dance Vadne White will bring classical ballet, on pointe, to the production. Crissy Baker, who is VCD’s associate dance director and tap instructor, will contribute two new tap pieces to the show. Professional choreographer and VCD instructor Vanesa Wylie, who has danced with Seattle choreographers including Pat Graney and the Big Red Dance Company, will show off her choreography and storytelling chops again this year. And Allison Trundle, a local visual artist, has created “ReWild,”—not only choreographing the dance, but also composing the music, designing the costumes and including her paintings in a multi-media dance piece that tells a story of a tracker finding his way through his inner world.
Tickets to “Original Works” range in price from $13 to $20; buy them in advance at their discounted price points at vashoncenterforthearts.com.