Entertainment

Bellingham Repertory Dance celebrates 10th anniversary

“Eyes East,” choreographed by Gina Bolles Sorensen, is one of the works in “Ten,” from Bellingham Repertory Dance Nov. 19-21 at Firehouse Performing Arts Center.
“Eyes East,” choreographed by Gina Bolles Sorensen, is one of the works in “Ten,” from Bellingham Repertory Dance Nov. 19-21 at Firehouse Performing Arts Center. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Bellingham Repertory Dance is celebrating its upcoming 10th anniversary with a program of contemporary dance works in a performance appropriately called “Ten,” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19-21 and 5 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center in Fairhaven.

Established in 2006, Bellingham Repertory Dancers are selected in an annual competitive audition. Many of this season’s dancers have performed professionally across the country.

We explore extremes of dancing with power and moving with military sharpness and quickness.

Diane Williams, dancer

Diane Williams, who has danced with the company since its inception in every season except one, says the company is lucky to work with choreographers who bring fresh challenges and new ways of approaching movement.

“Gina Sorenson’s ‘Eyes East’ has inspired me to discover new ranges of dynamics in my dancing,” Williams says. “Gina talked about having to be ‘ferocious’ as dancers, which resonated with me. Throughout the piece, we explore extremes of dancing with power and moving with military sharpness and quickness, all while being hyper-tuned into one another.”

In all moments there is a blissful kinetic freedom.

Alethea Alexander, dancer

“Ryan Corriston’s ‘Exodus,’” Williams says, “has challenged me to dance with a new level of trust in my body’s instincts. It’s a kinetic roller-coaster ride that doesn’t allow hesitation or over-thinking. Dancing in ‘Exodus’ is the closest I’ve ever felt to flying in a dance piece.”

Alethea Alexander, a dancer for three seasons, says that in rehearsals for “Exodus,” “sometimes we catch each other, sometimes the floor catches us, sometimes the momentum of the next movement is our rescue, but in all moments there is a blissful kinetic freedom.”

Kevin Jenkins, who has been a guest choreographer for two seasons and is contributing two works to “Ten,” says the company is bringing dance to Bellingham that is “well crafted, beautifully performed, and artistically presented, while being accessible to both well-educated arts patrons and general audience members.”

“The talent level of the dancers is wonderful,” he says, “but even better is their ability to convey the ideas and emotions behind dance and to connect with the audience.”

Sarah M.F. Oxford, who is dancing with the company for the first time, she that people should go to the show for a “moving evening of entertainment.”

“The same reason we go see a movie, or a band, or a play, or any kind of performance — we want to get lost in the moment, we want to get caught up in someone else’s experience, lose ourselves in the show, and return moved, having felt something stir within.”

Margaret Bikman: 360-715-2273, @bhamentertainme

“Ten”

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19-21, 5 p.m. Nov. 21

Where: Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave.

Cost: Advance tickets at Village Books and brownpapertickets.com. Admission: $15 advance, $20 at the door, $5 student-rush tickets available 5 minutes before showtime if available.

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