PREVIEW: “Spacetime Suite” by Katie Sopoci Drake at Dance Loft on 14

From the DC Dance Journalism Project

Preview: “Spacetime Suite” by Katie Sopoci Drake at Dance Loft on 14
by Raquel Lake

When audiences come to see SpaceTime Suite by Katie Sopoci Drake, they will be rewarded with a concert that is uniquely nuanced, well-researched, and methodically thought out by a thoughtfully engaged dancer and choreographer.  SpaceTime Suite is an original piece that choreographer Katie Sopoci Drake began working on 2009. She became fascinated with not only all things space but also with the idea of exploring the 4th dimension. For this piece, she has researched the universe’s big ideas and phenomena like the event horizon, black holes, and gravity. In her piece she is trying to find the connections between all these things through movement. Her dancers will serve as facilitators, helping to engage the themselves and the audience on this journey of “dance experiments in a astrophysics and human dynamics.” During the “dance experiment” Sopoci Drake hopes to reveal some insights into the nature of how all things in the universe interact with each other.

I met with the choreographer to learn more about what to expect at the upcoming performances to be held on September 29th and 30th at the Dance Loft theater. We spoke about everything from how she planned on staging the concert, which will take place in a theater with no curtain, to the potential audience take away on seeing the 4th dimension explored through dance. She began by giving me a little background about Laban Movement Analysis, which she used to help create this work. Katie described it as “a system of looking at movement and how to become aware of movement from inside your body and out into space.” She explained how Laban lends itself to getting to the bottom of what movements means to an individual dancer’s body. Laban uses words like efforts to describe the quality of a movement and how it comes from inside to the body to an external expression. It then dawned on me how her Laban knowledge has influenced her interest in wanting to explore the 4th dimension, space, and our bodies in space, because Laban is all about exploring. Ultimately one thing Sopoci Drake wants to understand is the “how” of the universe for dancers. How can a dancer “use what is naturally there to explore the idea of 4th dimension” and present what they find through movement to an audience. What the dancer and audience experience from dancing and watching will hopefully be what her grand experiment will reveal.

In my opinion it is clear that Sopoci Drake is using her art and research to try and get some deeper cosmic meaning. Seeing what happens when you take two things that seem unrelated, astrophysics and dance, then joining those two worlds and seeing what you get. Her passion for each will captivate the audience as it did me. I left the interview not only wanting to see SpaceTime Suite but wanting to know more about universe and how I might use my own art to explore just what we are all doing here as we float on this rock out in space.

I truly feel that SpaceTime Suite will be an extremely unique dance concert worth seeing. The concert will take place at the new Dance Loft on 14 theater. The theater is stark, like an undiscovered planet with it’s wooden floor, grey walls and four large windows and open set up. While the lack of a curtain presented a new element to the experiment for Sopoci Drake, she is eager to see how the dancers being exposed for the entirety of the concert influences the piece. SpaceTime Suite will also feature the choreographer’s  own original sound score.

I got the sense that Katie Sopoci Drake could have talked about her piece all day. Her enthusiasm to share SpaceTime Suite from beginning to end was enthralling. When needed she even took to the floor to dance, for example demonstrating what descending a staircase looks like in her movement vocabulary. The choreographer is ready to share the product of this extensive research and experimentation with an audience, so come out and be a part of these exciting new experiment.

Thursday, September 29 @ 7:30pm
Friday, September 30 @ 7:30pm

Dance Loft on 14
4618 14th St, NW
Washington, DC 20011

$18-22 click here to purchase online
$25 at the door