Dancers to break in new arts center stage

Sunday, April 7, 2002

The Prairie Wind Dancers, the resident dance company at the Lawrence Arts Center, will inaugurate its new home with a dance concert at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday at the arts center, 940 N.H.

"New Visions, New Spaces/A Moving Experience" will feature works that will take advantage of the center's spacious stage and technical possibilities.

Company members will premier works by artistic director Candi Baker, guest choreographers Deborah Bettinger and Susan Warden, and company members Kimber Andrews, Sarah Grunwaldt, J. Damian Houston and Jennifer Wilson. Mary Shahrokhi is also a company member.

The program's highlights:

� "Catching Wind," choreographed by Baker, features dancers romping through the space with 12-foot scarves, finding illusive images and moments of quiet. The piece is set to "Kinder Symphonie," a composition by Leopold Mozart, the father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

� "Water, Paper, Stone, Metal" explores the shrinking and the demise of the world. The work is choreographed by Bettinger, artistic director of the Lawrence Ballet Ensemble and a former Prairie Wind Dancer.

� Warden, a choreographer and teacher, has created a piece that redesigns the dancers' boundaries and relationships.

� A new work that showcases the theater itself is being created in consultation with technical director Lee Saylor.

Company members also will contribute new works. Grunwaldt's work is set to music from Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Ladies." Houston's pieces are influenced by his studies of East Asian theater and dance and are set to "Metamorphosis" by Philip Glass and "Chinsagu no Hana" by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Wilson's choreography sends the dancers into a dream scene.

Prairie Wind Dancers II members Ellie Goudie-Averill, Michael Inge, Megan Jensen, Danielle Meyeres and Jennifer Pierce will perform a suite of dances choreographed by Andrews.