Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yow Dance - 3 In Motion

Tonight - Saturday, February 6th, at 7 PM, Yow Dance will collaboratewith with Valencia Dance and the Dr. Phillips High School Dance department at the Dr. Phillips High School Auditorium (6500 Turkey Lake Road) at part of Arts Fest. This is the sixth year these three dance companies have joined together on the same stage.
Yow Dance marks itself as Central Florida's most dynamic modern dance company. I went to a rehearsal at the Center for Contemporary Dance in Winter Park. Artistic Director Eric Yow was nice enough to take the time to explain a little bit about what they were rehearsing the night I sketched them. "We were rehearsing "Compromising Raven", a favorite piece of older repertory. The music was by Philip Glass. The theme of the piece is quite dark. Iit is about rising above those oppressive feelings that may come about from any of the many variables around you."
Besides drawing dancers at rest and stretching in the background, I sketched a section of the dance where the dancers would be on their knees and bent over in what looked like a position of reverent prayer. They would then slowly rise up into the position sketched and then roll over and repeat the movements. These dancers put in some long hard hours. I had arrived a bit late to the rehearsal since once again, I got lost looking for the place. But I think that panicked, rushed quality to the sketch actually helped breath new life into the sketch.
One of the dancers had her son on the sidelines as she rehearsed. As expected, he became infatuated with what I was doing. He stood beside me pointing to each of the dancers as I drew then and he would identify them for me. When he stood in front of me, David Mooney had to come over and pull him aside. The boy had a non-stop stream of questions and I patiently answered them, but it was a little distracting at times. Dance rehearsals are always inspiring with the non-stop movement and high energy. My sketch developed in pieces as I caught dancers at different times during the rehearsal freezing them at the moment when they best filled their role in my composition. In this way sketching is alot like theater viewpoints exercises, I try and capture scattered illusive moments in time as the action unfolds quickly before me.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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