Friday, November 18, 2016

Big Muddy Dance Kicks Off Its New Season — and New Works — on Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 6:37 AM

click to enlarge Big Muddy dancer Kelly Schneider. - PHOTO BY GERRY LOVE.
  • Photo by Gerry Love.
  • Big Muddy dancer Kelly Schneider.

The end of the year may be quickly approaching, but the Big Muddy Dance Company is just getting started  — with so intentions of slowing down any time soon.

The Grand Center-based contemporary dance company is presenting its season kickoff at the Edison Theatre (6465 Forsyth Blvd.) this Saturday at 8 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese reception downstairs. The performance will include four varying pieces — two by artistic director Brian Enos, and two by contributing choreographers.

"It’s a mixed rep program, so with all of our mixed rep programs we try to have a little bit of something for everybody," Enos explains. "It’s a very diverse mix of repertoire."

As such, Saturday's show includes an array of styles. One of Enos' pieces, "La Manzanita," is a world premiere with a Latin flavor, set to classical Argentinian guitar. Another world premiere, titled "Whirlpool," was created for the entire company by New York-based choreographer Bryn Cohn and shows the dancers working as a unit to create geometric structure. A piece by Chicago-based choreographer Autumn Eckman, "Umbra," premiered at the Pageant in January and showcases the athletic ability of the women in Big Muddy. And then there's Enos' second piece, "Jet Stream," which will close the show.

"I don’t know how to best describe it. It’s just a lot," Enos says. "It’s bold. It’s very in-your-face. It’s exciting, to say the least."

The company is, as always, looking to develop, hone its voice and grow in its pieces' sophistication this season, Enos says. According to executive director Erin Warner Prange, the strategy appears to be working.

"I think just from speaking to some of our audience members from show to show, their feedback tells us that we are growing in our technique, growing in the complexity of our work in general and the artistry. And so we kind of gauge off of that feedback a little bit. But it’s a constant process. I hope to say that this will be our best show ever, and I hope to say that for every show we do."

In addition to the main stage lineup, the show will open with Big Muddy's Elevate Student Project, a group of local high school dancers. They will be performing "Storm," a dance choreographed by Prange.

Enos is hoping the audience will leave inspired.

"I really just want the audience to step away having felt something, feeling invigorated and that they want to be up dancing themselves after one of our shows," Enos says.

For tickets to the Big Muddy Dance Company Season Kick Off, visit

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