Just another reminder that no matter what happens in the world around them, a
significant handful of dance artists in Cincinnati stubbornly and successfully
hold on to their art and continue to do it honor.
Founder Diane Germaine, who codirects this second annual event with Ka- Ron Brown Lehman, says the collective is devoted to bringing “innovative, provocative and entertaining contemporary dance” to the stage — not to speak of “the brilliant dance artists who live primarily in the Greater Cincinnati area and Ohio.”
Germaine is a longtime Cincinnati presence whose renowned career
includes performing as principal soloist of the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company in
New York City, choreographing (much for local venues) and teaching. She
originally envisioned the Small Streams project as a collection of
“small gems — solos, duos, trios — in an intimate concert setting.”
“This time we have a mix of new work and prior work that merits restaging,” she says. “I think we have great people, and each piece is different.”
Brown Lehman, who brought a rich legacyof performning, choreography and teaching when she arrived in Cincinnati in 2007, says, “Diane asked me to come on board after I helped her last year.
We jelled — we have the same kinds of
ideas, we are both from the ‘old-school’ type of training. We’ve chosen
wellrounded, professionally qualified artists. We delight in providing the opportunity for them to reignite all the
drive and passion they have put into their careers.”
Germaine and Brown Lehman have also choreographed for the concert.
“My piece is called ‘Missing Items,’ ” Germaine says. “It’s based on my poetry; I read one poem before each of four sections. I cast three dancers, and, of course, there is me — the poet, a dancer who can’t dance.”
Brown Lehman says, “I’m a very social choreographer — I like to
visit life-changing situations, political situations, situations that make you
think and feel. I noticed that often people here in Cincinnati aren’t that fond
of deep and emotional work, they’d rather to be entertained. Yet, I didn’t want
to compromise my vision — so, in ‘Bus Stop’ I combined. It happens at a bus
stop between a homeless man and a young girl, equally afraid to move forward —
to ‘get on the bus,’ if you will — and open up their lives. In this piece, I
imagine what will happen if these two can close the ugly doors of the past and
move gracefully into the future with kindness and love. In a way, it also kind
of revisits my reluctance, when I arrived in Cincinnati, to break out of my
comfort zone and move forward.”
Also on the bill is “Leaves of Absence,” a lyrical and romantic contemporary work from founder and director of ballet tech ohio, Claudia Rudolf; Cincinnati native and SCPA grad Amy Seiwert’s “Push,” with former Cincinnati Ballet soloists Jay Goodlett and Tricia Sundbeck (a must-see for many fans of the two); Cleveland’s Lisa Lock in her solo work “Silent Prayer for a Drowning Fish”; a trio from Yellow Springs-based Tricia Gelmini called “My Love is Alive”; Cincinnati tap artist Gloria Esenwein in “What I Kept”; and a provocative solo from Ohio State grad Danah Bella’s “…and still, we must…”
SMALL STREAMS-2, presented by Cincinnati Choreographers’ Collective, takes place 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Contemporary Dance Theater (1805 Larch Ave., North College Hill).