From the DC Dance Journalism Project
PREVIEW: A Light Mix: Wine, Cheese, Dance by Light Switch Dance Theatre at CHAW
by Kacie Peterson
When Sandra Atkinson, founder and artistic director of Light Switch Dance Theatre (LSDT), started her A Light Mix series, the idea was to connect with other artists and provide a space for feedback and growth. This edition of A Light Mix: Wine, Cheese, Dance at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) is Saturday, October 22, at 6:00pm, and eight local dance companies will be performing works in progress or revised works.
Those companies include: Agora Dance, ArasDance, Taryn Packheiser Brown, darlingdance, Katie Sopoci Drake, Next Reflex Dance Collective, Shruthi Mukund and Deepti Mukund, and Light Switch Dance Theatre.
LSDT, a resident company of CHAW, will begin the evening with a pre-show in the galleries at 5:45 p.m., followed by a prompt introduction of artists and performance of choreography in the dance studio beginning at 6 p.m.
You can expect an engaging evening of post-modern dance, ballet, contemporary, world dance, and other styles. Artists on the roster for Saturday’s event will be performing full length versions of their works in spring 2017, providing audience members with the opportunity to see a piece evolve from a work in progress to completed project.
Atkinson hopes the evening will spark intimate conversations between the audience and performers, rather than a talk-back style evening of questions and answers. The night allows artists to present what they have and solicit feedback about what a viewer may or may not have liked, Atkinson said.
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, LSDT will be performing a new section of The Girl Child Project: Hollow. It’s a piece Atkinson returns to every other year; the off year is filled with research to fuel the next step in the creative process.
Hollow is created out of Atkinson’s exploration into the topic of child brides and human sex trafficking. She’s specifically focusing on the psychological effects of those circumstances on the victims and their communities and the resilience of women.
While Hollow debuts as a brand new section, guests will witness the work in its entirety, though it might not look the same as they remember. Having reached a good point in her research, Atkinson began revising the choreography she had. “There are significant changes,” Atkinson said. “There are tighter moments when [the choreography] didn’t feel authentic.” The works created by Atkinson are based on extensive research, interviews, and experiences and are performed in order to raise questions and solve issues.
With the presentation of Hollow, she’s asking for feedback but also charging the audience to start a conversation and to do more – to go out and volunteer or to donate. ‘How can we be a part of the change?’ is a question Atkinson poses to herself. ‘How will you answer?’
What started out as a residency with students at Community College of Baltimore County has become the second piece LSDT will be performing that evening: Between the Lines. The work addresses the topic of human connections. ‘How do we connect with each other and how is that similar or different?’ Atkinson asked. Her work explores the human condition of needing touch and interaction and what happens when that doesn’t work out.
Through performing this piece previously, Atkinson has found many viewers assume that Between the Lines takes place while the dancers are incarcerated or in a post-apocalyptic setting. What will your interpretation be? Watch the achievements and challenges that come with connecting with human beings and share your thoughts over dessert.
Atkinson plans on having two evenings of A Light Mix a year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Proceeds from the evening will go back to the artists presenting work to encourage and fund development of their works.
Student tickets are $12 at the door with valid ID.
Saturday, October 22 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
545 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Tickets available: https://www.artful.ly/store/events/10031