It’s what they do for love! Members of the In-Sight Dance Company, a Queens-based troupe which will be premiering a new ballet this week at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City, gathered recently at a dance studio to go through their routines.
The dancers, who receive only slight financial remuneration for their efforts, practiced like they were at one of the world’s great venues, while one company member, temporarily sidelined by injury, was on hand for moral support.
Established in July 2008, In-Sight Dance is a grassroots, professional organization that produces new works that inspire critical thought, collaborating with other groups to improve society through performance.
“An Extraordinary Echo,” a new full-length ballet, explores issues impacting Generation Y. Through contemporary ballet set to classically infused pop music, the work focuses on progression, polarization, globalization, global climate change, information overload and the impact of the Internet.
The characters in the performance come of age as they grapple with their ability to inspire change and build a hopeful future. It is a piece that celebrates life.
Choreographed by the group’s artistic director, Leeanne G-Bowley, and assistant director, Donna Manganello, the dance is set to music by Ian Axel, whose new album, “This is the New Year,” with its often quirky lyrics, provides the soundtrack for the ballet.
The performance is divided into several short segments, among them, “Leave Me Alone,” wherein two young people experience their angst phase; “Hangman,” which focuses on the first step one takes in becoming a leader; and a work based upon Axel’s title song, “This is the New Year,” which brings the dance to its hopeful conclusion.
Several shorter pieces, including selections from the group’s still-young repertoire are scheduled to open the evening.
One, “Shenandoah,” based on the famous American folk song, is given a new twist. With choreography by group member Tim Chester and G-Bowley, the piece focuses on the relationship between two women and the song becomes a moving tribute to a love denied.
ºn light of recent media attention focused on teenagers who have committed suicide after being tormented for their sexual orientation, the piece takes on especially emotional overtones.
In-Sight Dance has held outreach performances at senior centers and created a special program for students with disabilities at a public school.
“We bring dance to people who don’t have access” to arts programs, G-Bowley said.
She also likes to give her troupe members the opportunity to choreograph pieces.
Chester, who said he gets “a really different feeling” when he serves double duty, explained that, as choreographer, he feels responsible for the entire piece, while, as a dancer, he is concerned primarily with his own performance.
Allie Lochary, another dancer who also choreographs for the group, has to videotape numbers in which she dances to her own choreography to check her moves because “I don’t really have eyes to watch it.It’s difficult but fun.”
Asked about the hardest part of being a dancer, company member Lina Kent replied, “We want to do it all the time, but we can’t. I get in trouble all the time for dancing in restaurants.”
What they do for love, indeed.
When: Oct. 7th through 9th at 8 p.m. with a matinee, Oct. 9th at 2 p.m.
Where: Secret Theatre, 44-02 23 St., LIC
Tickets: At insightecho.eventbrite.com and at the door. $10 advance; $12 at the door.