Allison Plean: Eye candy


Allison Plean

Allison Plean's column appears Fridays in the 4 Points arts and entertainment section in the Steamboat Today. Contact her at 871-4204 or e-mail

I remember when I started dance classes. I wasn't a 5-year-old ballerina who looked cute in her tutu. Rather, I was an awkward high school freshman.

It made me less clumsy and improved my posture. It also taught me another language. I learned that my body has a memory. I got to feel muscles work that I didn't know existed.

But it wasn't until I learned how to feel the music run through my body that I had actually started dancing.

Dancing is one of the most difficult forms of artistic expression. It's a hybrid of art and sport, and no one is born with this talent. You have to work really, really, really hard for it.

Dancing teaches you how to live in the moment. When I dance, the world vanishes, as do my stress and worries.

The moves I saw at Hubbard Street 2 Dance Theatre's performance Thursday night was not your ordinary dancing. I should have gotten a hint when the company's artistic director, Julie Nakagawa Bottcher, could not describe the genres of dance that were going to be represented.

The performance was hard to describe. I didn't want to miss anything. There were points when I thought I might cry.


One woman made a comment about the fact that this show wasn't sold out. "How embarrassing for Steamboat," she said. "People should feel bad about not coming."

Their loss, I say.

There's something magical about translating a song into movement.

"There's a big wide world of dance out there," Bottcher said. "It's an artistic world about communication and exploration of emotion and physicality of movement."

She described the performance as a conversation between the dancers and the audience.

"A performance should not be a one-sided communication," Bottcher said. "It's an open exchange where you have the vulnerability of being a human being."

OK, maybe that's a little abstract. But sitting in that large auditorium, everything she said made sense.

The best part of the show? The costumes for three of the pieces were designed by "Yo Ma Ma."


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