William and Mary "Dancevent" finds meaning in movement

sbirkenmeyer@vagazette.com

The art of movement offers a different style of storytelling than the likes of literature and film. Thursday through Sunday, the College of William and Mary’s “Dancevent” allows the college’s dance faculty to unleash their original ideas while students gain some professional experience and the audience witnesses something out of the ordinary.

“I think, a lot of times, movement has the ability to transcend verbal expression,” said Leah Glenn, associate professor and director of William and Mary Dance. “Dance and the arts in general, they allow us to see the world and experience the world in a variety of ways that don’t require verbal expression.”

Glenn and two fellow faculty members, Denise Damon Wade and Lauren Morris, choreographed a series of seven original dances for the performance, each telling its own story. Glenn’s “Youngest of Nine” explores the emotions of Carlotta Walls Lanier, the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine. Wade’s “Forget Me Not” tackles the toll of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia; Morris’ “Where We Left” explores similar themes of memory and its impact on relationships.

“There’s such a diverse offering. There’s just the beauty of seeing bodies in motion,” Wade said. “I think it gives different perspectives. It makes you think about things in a different way.”

Morris said the audience doesn’t necessarily need to grasp every detail of the story. Instead, it’s more about emotions experienced.

“I hope they feel inspired and moved,” she said. “Dance is such a visceral experience that I just want them to feel something from it.”

Want to go?

“Dancevent” runs 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Phi Beta Kappa Hall, 601 Jamestown Road.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for military and $7 for students and children, available at wm.edu/boxoffice, by calling 221-2674 or at the Phi Beta Kappa Hall box office.

Birkenmeyer can be reached by phone at 757-790-3029.

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