UA dance clubs get ready to show their talents at local showcase

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Dust Dance Collective in collaboration with UA dance clubs Ardor and Dia Clones will host a showcase on April 20.

Members from two University of Arizona dance clubs, Ardor Dance Company and Dia Clones, are putting on their dancing shoes and hitting the stage for the Place + Space showcase put on by Dust Dance Collective. 

“It’s going to be a really unique dance experience,” said Monique Garcia, the co-founder of Dust Dance Collective.

Dust Dance Collective is a contemporary dance company created in 2017. Community collaboration and multimedia productions are some of the key initiatives in the collective.

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“We do a lot with photos, and we post YouTube videos,” Garcia said. 

Place + Space isn’t an average dance recital, Garcia said. Instead of dancers performing on a stage while the audience sits in the crowd, the showcase allows the audience to have a deeper connection with the dancers.

According to the event page on Facebook, Place + Space gives choreographers, dancers and audience members alike the place and space for intimate connection through dance.

“It is a play-based performance,” Garcia said. “We do a lot with setting, too.”

Garcia started coordinating the event back in December. Since then, she has been selecting different choreographers for the showcase as well as getting the word out to the Tucson community.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s very exciting,” Garcia said. 

Ardor Dance Company, one of the UA’s only contemporary dance companies, will have some of its dancers performing at the Place + Space showcase.

“I started Ardor in the hopes to create a community where dancers can continue to grow and enjoy dance, even if they no longer belong to a studio,” said Jason Spector, the artistic and executive director of the company. “Ardor is a company that challenges dancers to push the boundaries of their art but also provides the support and positive energy we all need to succeed.”

The dance company has allowed its members to branch out and meet other people who share the same passion, which gives the dancers new chances to dance for the Tucson community. 

“It is a great way to connect with students at the University of Arizona and artists from the Tucson area,” said Ashtyn Bernard, one of the dancers in Ardor. “Having dancers from other dance companies and studios opens up opportunities to dance outside of rehearsals.”

Spector said only a small part of the company will be doing the Place + Space showcase. Victoria Dempsey, a dancer in Ardor, is in charge of the section and is tasked with creating the choreography. 

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“We are doing an upbeat piece to a song by Rainbow Kitten Surprise,” Dempsey said. 

In preparation for the showcase, Dempsey and the dancers have been trying to spread the word and have been hard at work in rehearsals. 

“We are doing a lot of promotion on social media and posting flyers all over the community,” Dempsey said. “We are having rehearsals to work on the piece and to try to create something really special.”

As the showcase date draws nearer, Garcia said she is most excited to see what each performer brings to the stage.

“I’m excited to give non-professional dancers a space to perform,” Garcia said. “I’m also excited to see what each choreographer comes up with since I don’t get to see what they are doing until the show.”

Similar to Garcia, Dempsey is excited to see what the other performers are up to.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what the other artists create and showcase to the community,” Dempsey said. 

Garcia said she believes community members should stop by for the showcase because it will be a different experience for the audience and will give them the chance to be close to the dancers.

“Dance is the most accessible form of art,” Garcia said. “All you need is a body to do it.”

Place + Space will be April 20 at 6 p.m. in the Historic Y and The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre. For more information, you can visit the Dust Dance Collective’s website or the Place + Space event page on Facebook.


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