If you live in Steamboat, you probably haven't experienced rush hour on the subway for a long time.
It's 5 o'clock and you stream down the stairs toward the train platform. The doors open and a rush of people pour out. You push past the crowd to get inside before the doors close. There's always room for one more as faces press into armpits and chests and everyone stares blankly, pretending not to see each other.
The memories will all come back as you sit in the audience of Perry-Mansfield's performance of "Evening of Dance."
The dancers in "Rush Hour" wear dark blue jumpsuits. They move mechanically to the sound of a violin that screeches like brakes hitting a metal train track.
Robert Battle choreographed the piece. Battle moved to New York from Miami, said Linda Kent, director of dance at Perry-Mansfield.
"I think New York was a shock to him," she said. In "Rush Hour," dancers slip from robotic, industrial movements to panic. Battle was in Steamboat Springs for Perry-Mansfield's New Noises Festival earlier this summer and left the "Rush Hour" piece behind for the students to use later in the season.
The eight pieces in "Evening of Dance" are choreographed by six people with one piece designed by the students. The styles vary from industrial modern texture in "Rush Hour" to Brian Frette's classical ballet piece.
Frette's ballet is set to Bach's Concerto in D Minor. The piece was originally choreographed for professional dancers in Los Angeles. It is a celebration of the body.
"I love the clean lines of this piece," Frette said. When he brought the piece to Perry-Mansfield, he expected to make concessions for high school and college-age students, but it didn't turn out that way.
"Nothing is watered down for the students," Frette said. "I haven't changed one step for the students from the piece we did in L.A. In fact, I got a chance to improve the piece."
As Frette was pushing his students to perfect lifts and ballet partnering, choreographer Paula Hackett was teaching students a contemporary jazz piece, set to the music of "Footloose." She abridged the story of "Footloose" into 10 minutes.
She wasn't expecting to add tap dancing to the mix, but the talent of student dancer Brian Moore demanded to be used.
Moore gets a chance to show how high he can leap and how well he can carry a story through rhythm.
"When the students get a chance to choreograph, they begin to understand what the choreographer is going through," Kent said. "It makes them more valuable because they are not just a lump of clay. Choreography is about problem-solving, and they feel part of that."
Elizabeth Kenn, who is Kent's colleague during the school year at Julliard, handed the stage completely over to her students. They choreographed and she shaped, she said.
The piece titled "Sunshine and Shadows" is set to music by the Bulgarian Women's Chorus.
"It's folk dance," Kenn said, "which means there is a strong beat, sending patterns that travel through space. It's about the darker side of feelings. It's about the things they have known, witnessed and heard that offend the idea of being a human being. They derived movement from those feelings."