Collaboration with DanceWorks Chicago

Cameron Basden
March 10, 2015

Sometimes it takes a while before things come to culmination. The collaboration between Interlochen and DanceWorks Chicago was a two year process. When Julie Nakagawa, the artistic director of DanceWorks Chicago, came to Interlochen as a guest instructor two years ago, we knew it was the beginning of something – we just weren’t sure what. During the next year, DanceWorks Chicago (DWC) and Interlochen students worked on a distance learning project – DWC in Chicago, Interlochen students at Interlochen using Skype both here and there and the big screen in the Mallory-Towsley Center for Arts Leadership learning, coaching and exploring choreography.

This February has been the culmination of the two years with new choreography by Christian Denice and the presence of DWC on the Interlochen campus. The professional young DanceWorks dancers rehearsed, performed and shared space with the Interlochen students. Christian’s new work, "Spectrum," was inspired by his mother’s work with autistic children. Each rehearsal pushed the boundaries of the students. The students and young professionals were helpful and interactive, each pushing the other, learning from one another and uniting as friends, colleagues and artists. While only a portion of the division was in the piece itself, the entire division was impacted by the drive that continued through the tech rehearsals and each performance. The "Dance Happenings" concert was a true artistic journey in every sense of the word.