Betsy, Ellen, Sylvana and Emma cover their mouths as part of a dance movement.

Photo by Colin A Danville

I started working with Glade Dance Collective after I attended Eureka Dance Festival open auditions – thanks to a Facebook invite, believe it or not! – so I owe a lot to Eureka for the incredible growth my D.C. dance circle has seen in the past six months.

The culmination of the year-long festival was a two-night performance at Dance Place. I still feel like I have to pinch myself for the fact that I’ve performed on one of best-known dance spaces in D.C. – one night to a standing-room only crowd!

As a collective, Glade counted as one “choreographer” for our piece, “District. Defined?”

It was definitely interesting for me  – this was the first time I had ever worked on a piece where there were more than two “head” “choreographers.”

As artistic director, Sylvana was the keeper of the piece’s vision, while administrative director Heather kept our schedule in line. (Along with financial director Betsy, Syvlana and Heather are co-founders of the collective). Beyond those roles, every collaborator had a chance to develop movement sequences, choose music, name the dance, talk about costumes and lighting and otherwise develop the piece. We relied heavily on journaling and non-dancing meetings to hammer out a lot of details.

Although it seemed slow at times – especially with Eureka’s once-a-month public showings where we shared our process with a group of other one-person choreographers – I think the Glade collective process produced the most well-rounded and audience-friendly piece in  Eureka Dance Festival. (I’m biased, of course, but my non-dancer friends all loved being able to relate to “District. Defined?”!)

Again, I feel fortunate to have been a part of this year’s Eureka Dance Festival. Through Eureka I got to work with Glade – which is truly making gains in establishing a name and a collective process. I hope I continue to work with it next year – at the very least as a workshop participant and audience member.

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