Dance ExpERIEments

Categories:  Events    Arts & Culture/Entertainment
Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at 11:00 AM
Dance ExpERIEments by Sara Toth

Friday, April 29

What moves you?

If it’s the art of human expression and mining the depths of human existence, you’ll want to check out Dance ExpERIEments.

In an evening of original, experimental, dance-based performance works, Erie’s Shen & Bones Performance Group will take the stage with dance, video, and live music.

In an evening of original, experimental, dance-based performance works, Erie’s Shen & Bones Performance Group will take the stage with dance, video, and live music (created and performed by Andy Hasenpflug, a veteran dance musician).

Lani Weissbach, Shen & Bones’ artistic director, says the group’s name “comes directly from my interest in penetrating to the deepest aspect of our existence.” “Shen” is a Chinese word for “spirit,” and “combined, the words ‘shen’ and ‘bones’ suggest the entirety of this human existence, from the intangible (ethereal) to the most tangible (corporeal),” she says on Shen & Bones’ website.

This weekend, Weissbach, Laura Swedenborg, and Hope Schultz will present a new, multi-layered, dance-based work titled “The Calligraphy of Birds.”

Shen & Bones will be joined by slowdanger, a Pittsburgh-based duo made up of performance artists Anna Thompson and Taylor Knight, who use their bodies as mediums to express an energetic and sensual connection to body and spirit. Their work, as their website says, is to “use performance as ritual practice to delve into patterns of the circular rhythm of life.” As part of the Erie event, slowdanger will perform an excerpt of their new work, “memory 4.”

Thompson and Knight are both trained in choreography, but began to delve into improvisation in Pittsburgh.

“We anchor ourselves in structure,” Thompson says in a video on their website, “but the improvisation is what brings the atmosphere and the life to it.”

There’s an intimacy to their work, as well; watching slowdanger perform is like looking at something tender and precious.

It’s also a little sexy, and with the mood of the concert and its performances ranging from humorous to somber, Dance ExpERIEments is best for mature audiences. Think a PG-13 rating, and leave the little kiddos at home. It’ll be more fun with a romantic partner instead. – Sara Toth

8 p.m. April 29 – 30 (Reception following Saturday’s show) // PACA, 1505 State St. // Tickets $12 // paca1505.org

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James Mercer's gift for melody hasn’t faded in Heartworms. 

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