It's hard not to hold your breath while watching "My Life Revolves Around You," a piece by Julie Ludwick. Their muscles tense as they hang in the air on a single trapeze. The success of each move depends on another dancer, whose body keeps them in balance.
The dance is a metaphor for intimate relationships -- between parents and children, between lovers, between friends.
¤ "An Evening of Dance" ¤ 8 p.m. today and Saturday ¤ Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, main studio ¤ $12 for adults; $10 for children 10 and younger ¤ 879-7125
The idea for the piece came after Ludwick had a child. She originally choreographed it for Fly By Night, her dance company in New York City. At Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, she adapted the piece to include six dancers and added some floor work instead of keeping the entire work suspended.
"The story is built around a person or group of people who are in your life in an intense way for a period of time, and then they are gone," Ludwick said. "Intimacy and risk increases as the piece goes on just as it does in a relationship."
Ludwick's piece is part of an evening of seven original choreographies -- five of which were developed at Perry-Mansfield. Students ages 18 to 20 have been rehearsing for five weeks on the work in this "Evening of Dance."
The concert will include pieces from all genres of dance. Choreographer Brian Frette's piece "Concierto D'Amore" is choreographed with traditional ballet vocabulary executed in a stylized way. Like Ludwick's piece, "Concierto D'Amore" explores relationships. The centerpiece is a duet for two men. They are close friends, but restricted by society's fear of male intimacy, they are limited in the ways they can express their deep understanding of each other.
"There are points in this dance where they look like they almost become each other," said Linda Kent, Perry-Mansfield director of dance.