photo (5)Written by Livia Abuls

Students look forward to the bi-annual productions of Dance Workshop as soon as the black curtain of the Kathryn Mohrman Theatre, previously known as the Armstrong Threatre, drops each December and April. Dance Workshop, a production on many students’ Colorado College bucket lists, is a choreographed show put on to showcase students’ talent and creations. But, Emmy Heyman ’16 and Izzy Nathanson ’16 have felt a gap in the dance community at CC. They miss the community of their home studios and have been craving a new space for dancers looking for the same; so, they created one. The CC Dance Co-Op will be hosting its first show on Thursday, May 5, in Taylor Theatre.

The Co-Op is a production in which “people can just come together and be creative and move. They can do any kind of form of dance they want and incorporate mixed media, they can do poetry movement or song movement,” says Heyman. “It is a space to dance and create.”

The two felt limited by the constraints of the Kathryn Mohrman Theatre in Armstrong and they wanted “a new space for people who have non-conventional types of expression to share their art with people in an informal way that encourages community around dance,” says Nathanson.

This semester’s show of CC Dance Co-Op will prove an experiment for the two. They are excited to see how both the performers and audience react, and gauge the future of the group accordingly. They are looking for pieces as short as 30 seconds or as long as five minutes, giving students the ultimate freedom of creation. This form of production will break through the space constraints of traditional dance by incorporating film, spoken word, and improvisation to distinguish the production from Dance Workshop.

photo (6)The two, who are both heavily involved with Dance Workshop, agree that they are not in competition with this CC tradition, rather the production is about the “process of creation and the support of a community of dancers sharing their love and passion for dance with other people.” Primarily, the CC Dance Co-Op is not a show, it is not a competition, it is a space for expression.

Nathanson and Heyman encourage people who do not necessarily think of themselves as dancers to experiment with movement and improvisation, they would like the CC Dance Co-Op to grow into a community rather than simply the production itself. With this in mind, there are no auditions and very little guidelines other than to be ready for dress rehearsal on May 4. They do not require a showing or an in-depth description, they give power to the choreographer to find dancers and collaborate via their open Facebook page, “CC Dance Co-Op.”

The two were inspired by their peers and past experiences to add a new face to the dance community at CC. Heyman said, “I’ve never seen dance in a small black box theatre before on campus, I think it will be new and fun.” Both believe that dance is based on community and can bring people together, so they searched for a new platform on campus to do so. When they found themselves constrained by Dance Workshop, they thought bigger. Reserving the space was the primary duty of the two because while they have kick-started the production, they do not want to set limitations to choreographers or dancers and want to keep the CC Dance Co-Op as informal as possible.

The Co-Op is accepting ideas for the May 5 show until Spring Break. Anyone interested is encouraged to email or or visit the Facebook page “CC Dance Co-Op.”

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