Arts and Entertainment

Dancers become choreographers in local showcase

Bremerton Dance Center
Bremerton Dance Center's Peninsula Dance Theatre will perform original choreography at the Admiral this weekend.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Kent Soule

The Choreography Showcase by Peninsula Dance Theatre features original dances of all varieties — movements of all different styles and moods, created by dancers of all different ages.

Three of the show’s choreographers are still in high school, but they’re fast on their way to a career in ballet, and this showcase is helping them get there.

“I’ve always wanted to be more of a choreographer than a dancer,” said 17-year-old Central Kitsap High student Logan Martin, a member of Peninsula Dance Theatre, which is a company based out of the Bremerton Dance Center.

Martin hopes to work his way through the ranks of a professional dance company and choreograph in the future, so he can then take his dances to regional companies such as Peninsula Dance Theatre, “so that I can give back to what they’ve given me.

“I really love dance because of Peninsula Dance Theatre.”

This showcase has gone on every year for 36 years, becoming a recurring venue for dancers to debut creative new works. A representative of Regional Dance America, an organization of which the company is a member, will critique the showcase and choose at least one piece to be performed in a larger festival. The Olympic Ballet Theatre of Edmonds will also perform three programs during the show.

Director Lawan Morrison said it can be a challenge to choreograph a dance, because all dancer skill levels must be taken into account — and creativity is key.

“They’ve got to be very creative about their movements,” she said. “It’s a real challenge, and they’re finding out how hard it is.”

There are 20 dancers in the company, ranging in age from 14 to their mid-20s, and there are 10 teen dancers in the junior company.

Martin, who has danced since he was 5, choreographed a piece called “Middle Ground,” a dance about making compromises.

“I knew that I wanted to really emphasize the way that they move,” he said of his six dancers. One of them is good at turning quickly and is upbeat, another has a peaceful presence, and strikes beautiful lines, so he highlighted those characteristics, and in his last section creates a compromise of both.

Martin has studied with the Houston Ballet and has taken local choreography camps.

“Throughout the whole deal I constantly went back to what other choreographers have told me about how to do things,” he said. He put the piece together in four weeks.

Also featured are works from Bremerton High senior Alexandra Webb, who studied last summer with Alonso King’s Lines Ballet in San Francisco, and Bremerton High junior Ivy Rice, who studied last summer at American Repertory Ballet in Princeton.

The showcase also includes Lara Littlefield’s “Final Gathering” and “Farewell” from former professional dancers Nicole and Jason Cisler.

“Diamonds,” a modern ballet from visiting choreographer Charles Maple, will also be included. Maple, founder of the Maple Conservatory of Dance in California, worked with the studio last month.

Take it in

The showcase begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28 at the Admiral Theatre in Bremerton. A 6 p.m. dinner is available Saturday. Tickets are available at the Admiral Theatre box office, 515 Pacific Ave., or at the Bremerton Dance Center, 515 Chester Ave. Prices are $25 for reserved seating; or for festival seating, $18 adults, $14 students and seniors, $12 children. Reserved seating with dinner is $60. For information call (360) 377-6214.

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