Helen Simoneau Danse Presents Life in Color for 7th Company Season
From Medieval European danses macabres, to the jump-dancers of the maasai tribe to the graceful ballerinas of Russia, dancers have been adapting to their culture’s needs and tastes for centuries, and today is no exception.
This week, Helen Simoneau Danse will showcase a vivid and colorful performance that fuses modern-day art forms in its 7th Company Season at Hanesbrands Theatre.
The dance company will be exploring human connection, interaction and conversation in three visually-striking works, including the new works of Décalage and Object Loop, and the re-staging of the signature company work Flight Distance (2009). The combined show integrates dance choreography, live music and projection artistry in a “raw-yet-sophisticated investigation of repetition and reverberation.” The piece includes six dancers and will echo recurring themes of call-and-response between physical bodies and artistic mediums.
“We will have three art forms colliding and collaborating at once,” said founder Helen Simoneau. “While dancers are performing, Jared Draughon of (the band) Must be the Holy Ghost will play live and on stage, and Evan Hawkins of Weapons of Mass Projection will create live, projected visual art during the performance of Object Loop.
Though the show is innovative for the art of dance, Simoneau says it’s not that far of a stretch for her company.
“Every year Helen Simoneau Danse commissions composers and musicians to create original scores for new works, as well as costume, lighting and set designers, and visual artists,” she said. “Collaboration has always been a huge part of the way Helen Simoneau Danse generates new dance works.”
Helen Simoneau Danse first began working with Must be the Holy Ghost and Weapons of Mass Projection last April for a short project and performance at Phuzz Phest. “After Phuzz Phest, we wanted to explore the possibilities of what we could do on a larger scale,” Simoneau said. And thus the company’s upcoming 7th Company Season production was born.
“Must be the Holy Ghost has a specific sound that lends itself really well to dance,” she continued about the electronic, indie rock band. “The looping that Jared uses allows for a cyclical pattern and a multiplying repetition that for me conjured up so many movement ideas.”
The show, with its vivid colors and lively music certainly puts an updated twist on the form of dance—modernizing the art form for today’s audiences.
“Dance makers have been collaborating with musicians and visual artists since the beginning of time, so I would say, ‘Yes, it is the future of dance,’ as well as the present and the past,” Simoneau said. “Artists are part of the community, not separate from it, and adapting it, they are actively shaping culture, working within.”
Wanna go? Helen Simoneau Danse presents its 7th Company Season Thursday through Saturday at Hanesbrands Theatre, 209 N. Spruce St., Winston-Salem. Tickets are $14-$40. For tickets and more information visit hanesbrandstheatre.org, or call 336-747-1414.