Contemporary dance isn’t stuck in a black-box theater anymore – at least, not this month in Tacoma. The Barefoot Collective, which over its four-year existence has moved from a home studio to a guest residency, a temporary Spaceworks location and finally a nomadic lifestyle, is presenting its fall program in a unique way: free concerts that mix up styles in non-traditional venues from bookshops to libraries to bars.
“We’re modeling it on the way a band would play a set,” says BFC co-director Katie Stricker. “They’re pop-up gigs in local establishments where people go who maybe would not normally seek out (dance) It’s cross-pollination.”
The collective’s dancers are working with seven local choreographers including Michael Hoover, April Nyquist, Stephanie Pederson, Lucas Smiraldo, Dana Livermore and Stricker herself to create one-act programs of 30-40 minutes that feature improvisation, contemporary dance, dance-theatre, butoh-inspired dance and body percussion works, all brand-new.
Some are even specific to the venue: Stricker’s duet runs in “extreme slow motion with the dancers working with their environment” while telling an emotional narrative. Pederson’s piece, which will play at the library, involves the building’s broad staircase to create a kind of procession leading audiences into the main dance space.
“Dancing Into Fall: Steppin’ Out In Tacoma” runs 6 p.m. Nov. 7 (King’s Books), 7 p.m. Nov. 8 (Indochine), 7 p.m. Nov. 14 (The Mix), 7 p.m. Nov. 15 (Indochine), 8 p.m. Nov. 16 (Cork Wine Bar) and 3 p.m. Nov. 17 (Tacoma Public Library main branch.) All shows are free. Venue details: King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma; Indochine restaurant, 1924 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; The Mix, Tacoma; Cork Wine Bar, 606 N. State St., Tacoma; Tacoma Public Library main branch, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S, Tacoma. 206-745-0492, barefootcollective.org