One of the hottest tickets in town this week is the Gash/Voigt Dance Theatre Weaving the World Through the Eyes of Women collaboration with dance troupes from Europe. Each company, in turn, offers its best onstage at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park's Bastian Center for the Performing Arts; then four dancers from each group join for the eagerly anticipated "Ancestors" collaboration. (See "Stage.")
Dancers and their fans are also excited about the panel-discussion breakdowns to take place at the same venue. Susan Gash, Meltem Tezmen of the Dance Factory of Istanbul and Sophia Spyratou of the Roes Dance Theatre of Athens will discuss a wide variety of issues relevant to the world of modern dance after Sunday's performance. This is the second of two chats scheduled to follow the dancing.
Each woman on the panel is the artistic director of her troupe. Movement on the Border: The Body Language in Culture is the title of their discussions, which are moderated by Dr. Alice Bloch, head of the Lindenwood University dance program. The free talks promise to be an eye-opening exploration of the captivating movements just performed, as well as larger issues such as the meaning and place of dance in society; comparing and contrasting the state of the arts and how they interface with politics and gender issues in the U.S., Turkey and Greece; the crossover influences and history of world dance; and the universal importance of body language. The discussion may include a bit of explanatory dance and movement.
Whether you are a lifelong fan of dance or a newcomer to the medium, the combination of individual troupe performances, the cultural melange of the collaboration and the illuminating postdance talks should leave you satisfied. Let us give thanks to the all-female Gash/Voigt Dance Theatre for sharing their gifts for expression and to the invisible hand of private and government agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, who make these events possible.
Movement on the Border: The Body Language in Culture, a panel discussion featuring Susan Gash of Gash/Voigt Dance Theatre, Meltem Tezmen of Dance Factory of Istanbul and Sophia Spyratou of Roes Dance Theatre of Athens, begins at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Bastian Center for Performing Arts, St. Louis Community College-Forest Park. Call 721-0052 for more information.