DanceForce Member: Jacquie Davis
Artist: Monica Bill Barnes
The project provided a wonderful opportunity for the community to work with Monica Bill Barnes for a second time, this one with the full company. Following a very successful choreographic residency last year when Monica was commissioned to create a site specific work on 20 local dancers there was great interest in seeing a concert of her company work. Monica is a wonderful collaborator for residency planning and a number of lengthy conversations determined the focus, content, and schedule for this residency.
The week began with an open company rehearsal in the theater followed by a 2 1/2 hour repertory and performance techniques workshop for 55 experienced dancers. Because there was a waiting list, a number of people came and observed. During the next four days, Monica Bill Barnes & Company taught six additional classes, visited four classes, and performed “Everything is getting better all the time” three times. On the final residency day, Monica looked at and commented on works by ten local choreographers in a very full afternoon. The total number of contacts reached during the residency was over 1200.
Monica made classroom visits to about 150 non-dancer students before attendance at their first dance concert, with the intent to better prepare them for this new experience. Another 100+ non-dancers had a full movement class with Monica. Materials were made available to all dance teachers for distribution and many students saw company video and other information in advance. The extensive preparation was thought to be effective – the audience was interested and responsive.
Other special sessions were geared specifically to advanced dance students who had interest in deeper understanding of Monica’s work. Most activities during the week were open for observation.