Dancers Studio joins Indy troupe on stage

tatic architecture and fluid dance make great, creative partners. Alma Wiley of the local Dancers Studio Inc. firmly believes that.

“They go together beautifully. Just beautifully,” Wiley said. “Both are all about design.”

“Architecture is about design in a space, and dance is about design moving through a space,” she added.

Wiley’s friends at Indianapolis troupe Dance Kaleidoscope, frequent collaborators with the local dance company and its students, will demonstrate that concept Saturday. Three of its professional dancers from 11 a.m. to noon will perform improvisational pieces at — and inspired by — three Exhibit Columbus artistic installations downtown.

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Those will be “Conversation Plinth” at the Bartholomew County Public Library; “Wiikiaami,” at First Christian Church and “Anything Can Happen in the Woods” at the Cummins Corporate Office Building.

Moreover, at 3 p.m. Sunday, the two troupes will join forces of sorts for a free public show at The Commons. Dancers Studio Inc. students will open the event with an excerpt from Kaleidoscope’s 2011 “Piaf: A celebration.” David Hochoy, Dance Kaleidoscope’s artistic director, choreographed the work.

It marks only the second time in Hochoy’s 27-year career that he has chosen a student troupe to perform one of his pieces.

“We always enjoy any collaboration with them,” Wiley said, “but this one is particularly important to us.”

Sunday’s performance will then continue as Dance Kaleidoscope takes the stage with its athletic and contemporary dance style. The Columbus Area Arts Council has organized the weekend. The presentations have been made possible through the support of the City of Columbus, Johnson-Witkemper Inc., and a Tourism Grant from the Columbus Area Visitors Center.

Dancers Studio Inc. also received a Welcoming Community Grant from the Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County.

Dancers Studio Inc. performers, working alongside Dance Kaleidoscope instructors such as Liberty Harris, have found the piece as a challenge.

“I was really nervous about it at first because I really love Dance Kaleidoscope,” said Maika Shibata, 16, now in her 11th year of ballet and seventh year of modern dance.

For now, she sees one element as especially important to a piece with a theme of no regrets.

“We’ve been working to make sure we have enough emotion and character in it,” Shibata said. “This is just my point of view, but I kind of see it as someone with no regrets in life — one who’s happy with decisions and with how everything has been laid out.”

Emma Nolting, 14, of Dancers Studio Inc., sees the chance to present the piece as nearly too good to be true.

“It’s crazy,” Emma said. “And it’s been a really good experience.”

It comes at a perfect time for her arts experience, too.

“Just recently, I’ve been taking dance a little more seriously as something I might later pursue (in college),” Emma said.

She sees Hochoy’s work as a look at “a kind of resistance to the norm (in society),” as Emma put it. “Everybody is over here doing this. But you want to be over there doing that.”

Emma considers the arts as an ideal format to express such a desire or emotion to challenge the norm.

However people interpret the piece, Wiley already feels one emotion above all others as she watches rehearsals.

“I’m just really very proud of my dancers,” she said.

Dance partners

The Columbus Area Arts Council presents a performance by Dance Kaleidoscope, an Indianapolis-based contemporary dance company, in concert with Columbus-based Dancers Studio Inc. The performance will take place at The Commons at 3 p.m. Sunday is expected to last 45 minutes. Doors open at 2:30. Attendees have an opportunity to mingle before the performance and visit the cash bar. This event is free and open to everyone.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.