AIM Dance Company to stage annual Point B Dance Carnival this weekend

Thursday, April 30, 2015

There’s a lot to see and do at a carnival.

“You go to the batting cages, then you go on a ride, then you get popcorn,” says Cathy Patterson, explaining the idea behind AIM Dance Company’s upcoming Point B Dance Carnival. “A carnival suggests variety.”

Patterson, who owns Lawrence’s Point B dance studio and directs resident company AIM, is staging her seventh Carnival this weekend. The annual springtime showcase is slated for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.

If you go

What: Point B Dance Carnival

When: Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Where: Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.

Cost: Tickets cost $10, and can be purchased via the Lawrence Arts Center's box office online or in person.

Seven choreographers and a variety of styles — from hip hop to jazz to musical theatre — will be represented over the two nights.

Audiences can expect an “upbeat, fun” performance of California-inspired choreography, says Patterson. They might even recognize a song or two in the lineup, which includes contemporary tunes from Beyonce, Sara Bareilles and Sia.

The show’s opening number incorporates music by Postmodern Jukebox, a group of musicians who “take current music and make it like it would have sounded in the past,” says Patterson. For example, in the Point B Dance Carnival, Britney Spears' 2008 hit “Womanizer” is turned into a 1940s torch song, she says.

When Patterson and AIM presented their first Carnival in 2009, the company had “maybe eight people in it.”

These days, “it’s more people, more production numbers, adding lights and media,” Patterson says of the show, which moved from Abe & Jake’s Landing to the Arts Center in its second year and added another performance night in its third year.

AIM now boasts 30 members. They’ll all dance in the Carnival this weekend. The company includes a lot of Kansas University students, Patterson says, while also welcoming “working people in their late 20s and early 30s” back into the dance fold.

That varied roster spans from Allie Howland, a senior at Free State High School, to Michelle Stewart, a full-time attorney and mother of two.

Patterson says the group provides an outlet for older folks who may have grown up dancing but wouldn’t otherwise have an outlet for it now that they’re done with school.

“There are all these people at different places in their lives,” Patterson says. “Some have kids, some are married, some are at KU. Dance brings them together.”