San Fran dance troupe visits Dance Center

By Heather Scroering

By Tyler McDermott

Contributing Writer

Kicking off the Center’s spring 2012 season ,Members of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company explored the connections between emotion and nature Feb. 9 at the midwest debut of “Light Moves” at Columbia’s Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Ave.

The San Francisco-based dance troupe ventured onto campus Feb. 9 for a three-day run of the collaborative piece that portrays the simulation between shifting emotional characters, physical velocity and the stories these cycles create, according to The Dance Center’s website.

“We began [with] talking about light and the ways in which light moves,” said founder Margaret Jenkins. “We have memories that we share. We talk about different hours of the day. That became our launch [pad] to start developing movement material.”

“Light Moves” is Jenkins’ first collaboration with San Francisco-based multimedia artist Naomie Kremer, whose vision behind the video mix for “Light Moves” came from previous video sources that were adapted, refined and worked within the movements.

“Each scene is really composed of at least two or three layers, and sometimes more than that, of different types of video material that is processed,” Kremer said.

Jenkins reunited with internationally recognized composer Paul Dresher and award-winning poet Michael Palmer for the production, which contains original material from both parties gathered through their observations of rehearsals with Jenkins and the dancers.

“[Palmer’s] text always comes from ideas we’re working on,” Jenkins said. “It’s not like we pull poems from books of his and make them work. His language grows out of our experience.”

Ticketholders attending the Feb. 9–10 performances were able to attend pre- and post-performance discussions with Jenkins. During the Feb. 9 conversation, Jenkins opened up about the collaborative effort between herself and the dancers within her troupe.

“It’s a constant negotiation among all of us,” she said. “Since so many of these dancers have worked together for quite a long time, I trust their relationships with each another, something that you don’t get with someone who’s new to the company.”

Senior dance major Nora Younkin feels it is a “privilege” to have dance companies come to Columbia and said it represents the mission of the college.

“It really speaks to [Columbia’s] dedication to collaboration that we’re trying to create within the school,” Youkin said. “[Jenkins’s] example of the collaborative process between dance and visual art and music is a really great example for students. Hearing her process can also influence

us as artists.”

Check out other performances The Dance Center has to offer at