Dance outside the box (or inside a new one)

Posted by Victoria Barber on September 20, 2013 

Aerialists are suspended from the roof of the Anchorage Museum in Anchorage, AK on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 with clouds lit by the setting sun reflected from front of the museum. The Light Brigade is rehearsing for a performance on the front facade of the museum on Saturday, September 21. The production will also feature music and and video projection onto the building.


Has Anchorage ever had a more vibrant dance community? Where before there were a handful of dance schools (or less), today there are more performing dance companies than ever. There are hip hop, modern, burlesque and ballet troupes, and as of this weekend, dancers rappelling off the shiny edifice of the Museum.

As the dance community grows it has been launching bigger projects that stretch the boundaries of traditional performance. This Saturday there are two good examples of that (and if you hustle, maybe you’ll be able to catch both).

In what’s probably a departure in the intended use of the Museum addition, Momentum Dance Collective will dance off the side of the building while suspended mid air. The 30-minute piece is called “Over, Beyond, Across, Through,” and it’s the most ambitious project to date from the artistic collaborative group The Light Brigade. The dance will explore “how light and its absence affect Northerners.” The dance is set to original music by Ethan Woods and a light show, and is free to watch (the after party, however, is $50). 

  • 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 (rain or shine) at the Anchorage Museum 

"Big Feat, Little Feet" is not specifically a dance performance, but it’s being put on by the hard-driving Pulse Dance Company. The event is a contest—13 dancers, actors and comedians were given three prompts: an object (an umbrella), a grape vine dance move and a phrase from a foreign language phrase. Whoever uses the prompts in the most creatively compelling way gets $300. Pulse founder/director Stephanie Wonchala said there should be “heavy performance art to prom night-themed contemporary dance,” as well as hip hop dance and comedians putting on a puppet show. That’s a lot variety for just $5. 

  • 7 p.m. at UAA's Jerry Harper Studio Theatre. 

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