Arts and Entertainment

Free program makes sense and excitement out of modern dance

The Eastside
The Eastside's only contemporary dance festival Chop Shop: Bodies of Work is coming to The Theatre at Meydenbauer Feb. 12-13. The festival's producer, Eva Stone, is offering free classes and lecture demonstrations in January.
— image credit: Photo Courtesy of The Stone Dance Collective

It's time to break down the barrier between audience members and performers. At least, that's what Eva Stone, choreographer and producer of the Eastside's only dance festival Chop Shop: Bodies of Work, believes. Abstract by nature, difficult to define, modern dance is sometimes misunderstood or puzzling for people who have never seen it before. Stone aims to make modern dance accessible, even exciting for everyone.

"I want audience members to know that if they have a question, it's OK to ask," Stone said. "You had a whole art section, theater, arts, movies and you chose to see a dance show, so you deserve to really get it and be moved by it."

That's why Stone, partnered with Bellevue's Parks & Community Services and Theatre at Meydenbauer will offer two free dance events at Bellevue Parks community centers in January. For families and participants of all ages, these special events are part of the Experience the Arts Project, funded by King County 4Culture, as well being part of a community outreach effort supporting Chop Shop: Bodies of Work. This, the Eastside's only dance festival, is coming up next month, Feb. 12-13 at Meydenbauer theater.

"Reading Dance," an engaging lecture/demonstration format will be presented by Stone and members of her dance company, The Stone Dance Collective. Audience members will explore the type of movement language contemporary dance uses, learn how a dance is created and discover some of the hidden meanings and kinetic imagery used by choreographers.

"What's the first and last thing you see in a dance? What's the mood? What's the title? Is the choreographer male or female? These are certain things we examine in the lecture," Stone said.

Stone teaches a separate Introduction to Modern Dance class offered for adults of all ages and youth 10 and older. This class will get participants moving and is open to all levels, no experience required.

Both the lectures and classes are free.

Class Schedule:

- "Reading Dance" lecture, 6:30 p.m., Jan. 12 at Bellevue Youth Theatre

- "Reading Dance" lecture, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19 at Crossroads Community Center.

- "Introduction to Modern Dance," class, 12:30 p.m., Jan. 22 at Bellevue Youth Theatre.

- "Introduction to Modern Dance," class, 12:30 p.m., Jan. 29 at Crossroads Community Center.

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