At 7:30 p.m, on May 2-4, Bellevue College will open its theatre doors, presenting the 2013 production of Eastside Moving Company, a collaborative dance concert produced under the artistic directorship of Betty Platt, a dance instructor at Bellevue College. The performance will be held in Bellevue College’s Carlson Theatre, bringing together distinguished choreographers from the dancing community and students from Bellevue College.
BC has several dance concerts a year, such as last quarter’s “So You Know You Can Dance,” an audition-less show where students created their own choreography and there were no requirements beyond attending one of BC’s dance classes. This show is different. The choreographers are all professional, and every single dancer in attendance is hand-picked. The choreographers in question are: Kari Lee Florentine, who specializes in hip-hop, Wade Madsen, a teacher at the esteemed Cornish College of the Arts, Christina McNeil and Amy O’Neil, who are both specialists in Jazz and Contemporary Dance, and Adam Parson, resident teacher at the Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, and The Dance Department in Italy.
The dancers are all students at BC who passed auditions on the first day fall quarter, and attended the Dance Ensemble classes from fall quarter to spring quarter. Secondary auditions were held primarily during winter quarter, where the above-mentioned choreographers selected the dancers they found most fitting for their pieces.
Though last year’s show was themed around World Dance, this year the only theme is dance, and there are several modern varieties being represented. “There are all kinds of dance that people can show their best qualities in,” says Betty Platt, artistic director for the production, adding that it is easier on the choreographers to allow them to practice what they specialize in, and allows dancers to perform to their own strengths. “It’s arranged to be, instead of a team that’s competing, [more] of an artistic approach, emphasizing the art form of dance.”
This show is an opportunity for aspiring dancers to showcase and perfect skills onstage, which is where any professional dancer will ultimately find themselves. For aspiring dancers, hobbyists and onlookers alike, this is an opportunity to see what the results of professional collaboration look like.