Movement Hub showcases dances in progress Feb. 17

Movement Hub showcases dances in progress Feb. 17

Dance, says practitioner Karen Castleman, is one of those things we think we’re supposed to grow out of doing. That misapprehension is one of the things she wants to change within the arts ecosystem of Northwest Arkansas.

Castleman, one of the founders of the NWA Movement Hub, wants to encourage audiences to attend a dance performance; encourage people of all ages to try dancing; and encourage choreographers — even if they don’t call themselves that — to create dance by giving them a place to show their work and an audience to see it.

All of those things come together Feb. 17 when the Movement Hub presents DanceChance 3.2, the second installment of Season 3, at The Medium in downtown Springdale.

DanceChance is described as a “choreography lab that features an array of diverse dance genres, from contemporary dance and ballet to circus arts, Broadway tap, and more, showcasing the versatility and creativity of Northwest Arkansas’ burgeoning dance community.” It is intended to highlight works in progress, this time choreography by Brittany Paul, Sarah Webb, Allison Wheeler and Jessica Znidarsic.

Znidarsic, a student at the University of Arkansas, calls her performance “Waiting Room” and says she wants, via her choreography, “to show the ups and downs of relationships. Whether it be platonic, romantic, or something in between, we all crave that human connection.

“I have always wanted to perform,” she adds, “and being able to dance gave me an outlet to be able to … navigate really big feelings I didn’t understand.”

Webb, from Rogers and an instructor at Arkansas Conservatory of Classical Ballet, says her piece, titled “Catalyst,” is “really about persistence.”

“What do you do when your creative tank is empty,” she muses. “How do you move forward as an artist when you’re not feeling particularly inspired? The music, ‘Creative’ by Jon Batiste, was a catalyst for me. The first time I heard it, I thought, ‘This is what my brain feels like.’ And I set to work.

“’Catalyst’ is really about enjoying the work of creation and keeping at it even when it’s hard,” she adds. “It really is a work in progress for me, and I look forward to sharing it — whatever it looks like — at Dance Chance 3.2.”

Both choreographers will also be part of a Q&A at the performance Feb. 17 to help, as Castleman says, “demystify the process of dance making as an artform.”

The best case scenario, Castleman says, is that someone comes to the performance both a little curious and a little nervous and leaves with their curiosity piqued, “interested in seeing something else and knowing they don’t have to have all the answers when they go to see the next dance performance.”

The next DanceChance showcase will be in April, followed in August by a season showcase bringing together all of Season 3 in a more formal production. NWA Movement Hub also continues dance classes at the Backroom Social Club in Bentonville, the previous CACHE Studio location, and through February will teach contemporary dance Monday mornings and Wednesday evenings at The Momentary in Bentonville.

The DanceChance 3.2 performance should provide great inspiration, she adds.

“One thing I love about contemporary dance as a genre — or modern dance, dance being made now in response to an environment or an idea — is that the body speaks a universal language,” Castleman says. “We read faces and bodies all day long — your coworkers, your boss, your children, your parents, your partner — and audiences can give themselves permission to own what you know about looking at the human body.”



DanceChance 3.2

WHAT — Featuring choreography by Brittany Paul, Sarah Webb, Allison Wheeler and Jessica Znidarsic

WHEN — 6 p.m. Feb. 17

WHERE — The Medium, 214 S. Main St. in Springdale

COST — $10


Categories: Theater