20MOONS Dance Theatre is about to bring art alive with its new show, “Inside Looking Out.”
Starting May 11, dancers in the ensemble will bring their own stories to Durango Arts Center’s current exhibit, “The Wall,” in the Barbara Conrad Gallery.
The dancers will perform among the pieces on display, a concept the dancers look forward to, said Anne Bartlett, co-artistic director for the company.
“We have performed in lots of different spaces, partly by necessity and part of it is by choice,” she said. “We enjoy the challenge and experience of performing in a site-specific situation, choosing a new place and seeing what that does.”
The way the show will take place, Bartlett said, is that about 40 audience members per performance will enter the gallery. There is no formal seating; the seven dancers will move through the audience that can take in the art pieces while watching the show. Both live and recorded music will accompany the piece. But, Bartlett said, don’t expect traditional dance numbers.
“In terms of dance style, it’s more performance art or installment art,” Bartlett said. “It’s an adventure for us. It’s a huge stretch.”
20MOONS Dance Theatre was founded in September 2012 and has collaborated with all aspects of the local arts community, working in theater with Merely Players, performing at art openings and performing its own shows.
Bartlett said 20MOONS had been looking for an opportunity to perform at DAC, and the timing of “The Wall” exhibit fit. While not a formal collaboration between the artists who planned “The Wall” and 20MOONS, Bartlett said the art exhibit and dance performances are parallel pieces, and that “Inside Looking Out” can also stand alone.
The show’s theme of exploring the meaning of walls – literal and figurative – was also something the dancers were attracted to and something they’ve been working on since January.
“I think it’s going to be powerful,” Bartlett said. “The stories are powerful. We went into personal stories about barriers and walls and what that means to us personally in our history. The stories are very, very intimate.”