Bellevue College Dance Company amazes

dance 2Enthusiasts of the wonders of dance were welcomed to a tour de force 2014 Bellevue College Dance Company concert on the nights of May 9 and 10 in Bellevue College’s Carlson Theater.
The event was made up of nine performances, directed by a handful of choreographers both native and foreign to the Carlson Theater.
The Stone Dance Collective, founded by Bellevue College’s contemporary dance instructor Eva Stone, was among the groups who presented their pieces.
They had been rehearsing “pretty much every Sunday” since September, said Madison Bristol, one of the 19 dancers who performed for the concert. Bristol performed in “…you may want to adjust your dress…,” a piece coming from The Stone Dance Collective.
“’…you may want to adjust your dress…’ was choreographed this year,” said Stone at the May 9 performance. “It premiered at Chop Shop Bodies of Work, my dance festival that I produce.”
The dance featured a unique blend of active, not-quite-chaotic movement with raw, flatly inflected dialogue which emanated from the wall hanging speakers. The dancers seemed to be blown through their movements by some background propelling force, as a quiet voice gave a monologue that sounded like the cynical stream-of-consciousness manifesto of a dying woman.
“I love working with movement and text,” said Stone. “Everyone reads something a little different from it, and I know it’s very overwhelming to watch all of that movement and all of that text, especially when the text isn’t linear, but I just threw it out there to see what would happen. I’m really enjoying it.” Stone had asked each of her students to bring in written dialogue from a TV show they watched or text from a book, which she condensed, scrambled and recorded prior to the performance.
Stone also choreographed “Difficult Beauty,” a dance with the more straight forward plot of tea party gone wrong. “Difficult Beauty” was the opening act and made liberal use of props, including chairs, teacups and large hats.
The piece incurred themes of sexuality and envy in an abstract but unmistakable way. When asked about the controversial undertones, Stone laughed. “It has its moments, I will agree.” In fact, the piece was originally choreographed to end with the lead dancer standing nude, but was rewritten for production at BC.
Despite the fact that the majority of the performances were written by figures associated with BC, many of the choreographers were guests brought in from the surrounding area to diversify the event.
Among the guest choreographers was Markus Wiley. Wiley choreographed and performed in his dance, “The Lover.”
“I’ve been making work, art, dance for 10 years now,” he says.
“The Lover” began slowly, with a several minute interval where the music just played as Wiley sat at a table, rumpled bouquet in hand, staring at the floor. The first song ended, and a minute into the second Wiley smashed his flower into the table repeatedly. He continued staring for a few more moments, then broke out into a series of hectic but well-polished movements that all cried out Wiley’s artistic interpretation of desperate loneliness.
The silence at the beginning “was like trying to capture a moment in time, as time passes,” Wiley said in this tale of unrequited love.
No matter the show the audience receives, it seems the dancers are the ones who find themselves most curious to see what happens each night.
“You get in a different zone every single night, depending on what’s happened during the day in your life,” said Bristol. “It’s just interesting to see how that plays out on stage.”