Area dancers and choreographers will join forces this weekend for the third annual Dance Collective concert, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at the University of Hawaii at Hilo Performing Arts Center.
The dance concert brings together new and experienced choreographers and dancers from groups such as Island Dance Academy, Center Stage Dance Alliance, Paradise Performing Arts Center, N2 Dance and the UH-Hilo Dance Department.
Producer Dori Yamada said that unlike a studio-specific show, the performance will “be a mix of everybody.”
The goal is to “build bridges and kind of cross-pollinate between all the dance studios,” she said.
According to a news release, Yamada came up with the idea several years ago of creating a platform to bring together talent from the dance community to share resources, ideas, energy and space.
As a dancer herself, Yamada said in a phone interview that she knows what the art form has done to improve her life.
Although funding is often cut from the arts “especially in times when stuff is hard,” Yamada said people tend to turn toward the arts when solace is needed.
Dance Collective is “just my tiny, very small way to keep art alive (and) make sure it stays important and gives relevance when I see the value in it for myself personally and I’ve gotten a lot of value out of the medium myself,” she said.
Friday’s performances will feature “a range of styles,” from hip-hop, musical theater, jazz, contemporary and everything in between.
“I think this year in particular, we have a lot more newer choreographers and younger choreographers who have participated, which is nice, because they bring a different perspective to the work (and) to the show,” Yamada said.
Dancer and choreographer Lawrence Mano will present his last Dance Collective piece before moving to the mainland to pursue a career in dance.
“Being able to express myself through my choreography and being able to showcase the results of our training are some of the reasons I enjoy participating in the Dance Collective,” he said in the news release. “I love that it strives to involve the entire Big Island dance community, whether they belong to a studio, dance for the (university) or dance independently. Everyone is welcome.”
While some other shows have been geared toward more family-friendly topics, Yamada said choreographers were “sort of given the opportunity to present any sort of work that they want to, that they need to express,” and some pieces may address adult themes.
It’s “not all warm and fuzzy,” she said. “(We) wanted to provide a platform where people felt free and safe to present their work in a creative medium without censoring their selves.”
Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for UH-Hilo and Hawaii Community College students with a valid ID and children 17 and younger.
Call the UH-Hilo Box office at 932-7490 or visit artscenter.uhh.hawaii.edu to purchase tickets.
Email Stephanie Salmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.