WCA Dance Department presenting ‘New Works’ March 6

WCA Dance Department presenting ‘New Works’ March 6

Members of the Wayne Center Ballet rehearse for their upcoming performance of “New Works” on March 6. The performance will be presented virtually on MCTV, YouTube and Facebook.


The Wayne Center for the Arts Dance Department will hold an evening of new choreography as dancers present “New Works” on March 6. Like "The Nutcracker" last December, this performance will be presented virtually on MCTV, YouTube and Facebook.

Last year was the first performance of “New Works,” a project created to challenge both dancers and choreographers to learn quickly, explore creative ideas, and stretch both minds and bodies with new techniques. Rehearsals started in early January with each choreographer having about 90 minutes to work with dancers to create each piece. This year rehearsals took place in a hybrid format with some dancers and choreographers meeting by Zoom and others in the studio.

“The day we record the performance will be the first time our whole company has been together since 'Nutcracker,'” Wayne Center Ballet artistic director Brian Murphy said.

This year’s choreographers include Lieneke Matte of Verb Ballets, Carolyn Noriko Feher of Kailua Dance Academy in Hawaii, Holley Johnson of Holmes Center for the Arts, and WCB instructors Lauren Stenroos (also of the Cleveland Ballet), Ethan Michael Lee and Katie MacCutcheon.

Members of Dancing Wheels, an integrated dance company from Cleveland, also have joined the choreography team as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Wayne Center Ballet. Also featured will be dancers from Holmes Center for the Arts, continuing a long-standing relationship between the two local arts organizations.

One of the goals of the “New Works” project has been to share the artistic process behind creating new choreography. With that goal in mind, Murphy has interviewed several of this year’s choreographers to talk about their work. Interviews can be found on the Wayne Center for the Arts YouTube channel and social media.

Creative ideas in “New Works” also extend into the visual presentation of each piece. Each choreographer is developing their own costuming with many colorful and varied effects. In one piece local artist Ben-Christo van Westhuizen will draw upstage while dancers perform.

“We wanted to provide an environment to explore creativity,” Murphy said. “That’s the goal of the entire project.”

The virtual premiere will take place Saturday, March 6 at 7 p.m. and is free to all viewers. More information may be found at www.wayneartscenter.org/visit/new-works.html.

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