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The historical past of dance leaps into focus at upcoming Inman Park Dance Pageant


What occurs to a dance when the creator-performer who as soon as breathed life into each motion and gesture is gone? As time leaps onwards, who grasps the golden thread that ties bygone pioneers to modern innovators?

Carolyn Stine McLaughlin contemplated these questions as she programmed the twentieth Annual Inman Park Dance Pageant. The lineup on Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24, goals to move audiences by 350 years of live performance dance. Each performances are free and can happen at The Trolley Barn in Inman Park. They're a part of the bigger Inman Park Pageant and Tour of Houses, which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this spring and incorporates a juried artwork exhibition, dwell music, a group market and a curated tour of historic properties.

“Due to the character of dance, the alternatives to see historic works are only a few and much between,” says McLaughlin. “In case you personal a portray, you possibly can take a look at it everytime you need. Footage of work are nice, and recordings of dance are nice, however dwell efficiency is the quintessential solution to expertise the work.”

McLaughlin choreographs and teaches by her studio, Motion Arts Atlanta, and is captivated with presenting historic dance, classical ballet and fashionable dance facet by facet, illustrating how one kind blossoms out of the opposite.

Inman Park Dance Festival
Kat Nagar has been performing historic dance at occasions and within the movie trade for 20 years. (Picture by Salvation Images)

For this yr’s pageant, Atlanta Historic Dance will carry out dances from the mid-1600s that laid the inspiration for live performance dance. The corporate is directed by Kat Nagar, who studied historic dance at Stanford’s Baroque Music and Dance Workshop and with Consort de Dance Baroque in England.

The Georgia Ballet will signify ballet’s classical period with excerpts from Marius Petipa’s dazzling Paquita, first carried out in 1846. (Atlanta Ballet will carry out Paquita on their combined invoice Could 13-15 at Cobb Power Performing Arts Middle.)

In transitioning from ballet to fashionable, McLaughlin determined to convey dance pioneer Isadora Duncan into the image through the work of contemporary choreographer José Limón, who thought-about Duncan his “dance mom.”

In 1971, the yr earlier than he died, Limón created Dances for Isadora as a tribute to her. The work consists of solos for 5 girls, every evoking a special aspect of Duncan’s colourful and tragic life.

McLaughlin licensed the work and introduced former Limón dancer and reconstructor Natalie Desch to Atlanta lately to set three of those highly effective solos on Atlanta dancers Mercy Matthews, Andie Knudson and Julianna Feracota.

“It's astounding that these small particulars have been in a position to be handed on from era to era, and I really feel fortunate to carry this data in my thoughts and physique,” says Feracota, who will carry out the tragic solo “Niobe.” “I’ve loved exploring elements of Duncan’s historical past by Limón’s motion vocabulary, which was extremely influenced by her. I'm glad that Limón was prepared to discover the darker sides of her historical past and used his personal motion fashion to honor her legacy.”

McLaughlin hopes audiences will be capable of hint the threads that bind these dances collectively — from the baroque footwork echoed in classical ballet, by the liberty of Duncan’s Greek-inspired solos as interpreted by Limón, to the intricate hand gestures layered inside fashionable choreography.

Inman Park Dance Festival
Isadora Duncan in a photograph by Arnold Genthe

“Up to date artists want to recollect what got here earlier than them,” provides McLaughlin. The rehearsal course of was a steadiness between preserving the integrity of the unique choreography and tailoring every motion to the person dancers she says. “It’s good for us to honor the individuals who got here earlier than us and admire their work.”

Three modern Atlanta corporations will even carry out at this yr’s pageant.

Full Radius Dance — a part of the pageant since its inception — will provide excerpts from its latest work, Undercurrents. Ballethnic Dance Firm, which has appeared in 15 of the festivals, will current two duets, one set to Brian McKnight’s “One other You” and the second set to Vivaldi’s “Autumn” from The 4 Seasons.

Lastly, pageant newcomer ImmerseATL, based by Sarah Hillmer in 2017, will usher within the subsequent era of rising, modern artists with excerpts from BEAST carried out by 5 dancers. (Picture at high)

McLaughlin is an Atlanta native and a 25-plus-year resident of the Inman Park neighborhood. She based the Inman Park Dance Pageant in 2001. Since then, the occasion could have offered 39 free performances and engaged tons of of Georgia’s motion artists.

In September, she's going to do a deeper dive into Duncan’s life and legacy in her formidable new challenge, A Time with Isadora. The three Duncan solos will probably be carried out together with new works by Douglas Scott, creative/government director of Full Radius Dance, George Staib, creative director of Staib Dance, and McLaughlin herself. There will even be a moderated dialogue.

“We've got all these connections to the previous, and if we select to acknowledge and honor them, I believe it's going to make us stronger within the current,” says McLaughlin.


Amanda Sieradzki (MFA) is an arts journalist, dance educator and creative director of dance firm Poetica. She teaches on school on the College of Tampa and the College of South Florida, and writes for Inventive Pinellas’ Arts Coast Journal, the Tallahassee Council on Tradition & Arts, DIYdancer Journal and ArtsATL.



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