Lieneke Matte and Jacob Paulson rehearse a dance duet Tuesday at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. They were preparing for “An Evening of Dance,” which is at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Lieneke Matte and Jacob Paulson rehearse a dance duet Tuesday at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. They were preparing for “An Evening of Dance,” which is at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Perry-Mansfield to offer 'An Evening of Dance' in Steamboat

Show debuts at 8 p.m. today at Perry-Mansfield

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Dancers rehearse Tuesday at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.

If you go

What: “An Evening of Dance,” with the Pre-Professional Intensive students of Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp

When: 8 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday

Where: Perry-Mansfield’s Main Studio, 40755 Routt County Road 36

Cost: Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children

For more: Call 970-879-7125 or visit www.perry-mansfield.org

— Looking back on her life, Jennifer Golonka sees her past in a series of flashes. Moments and feelings imprinted in separate spaces in time, as if one were to zoom in on a photo and find beauty in a conglomeration of blurry pixels.

“I see it in parts and pieces that make up me,” said Golonka, a Denver-based dancer.

When Golonka choreographed an original piece for the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp Pre-Pro­fes­sional Intensive Program’s showcase, her own window into her past served as the inspiration.

“Each section is a different part of me,” she said. “It kind of ebbs and flows. It starts off with what I feel is this kind of internal rumble. Then there’s this flirtation piece, which is a huge part of all of our lives. And it ends with this desire to go forward.”

Golonka’s piece, titled “A Pixelated View,” is just one of several featured in the “An Evening of Dance” performance by about 40 Perry-Mansfield students.

Performances take place at 8 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday at the campus’s Main Studio. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children.

The entire performance is a macrocosm of “A Pixelated View,” offering a journey through a multitude of periods, styles and memories.

Dance director Linda Kent, a Juilliard School instructor during the school year, said the program’s strength lays in its variety.

“And almost all of (the dance pieces) were created here,” she said.

Only one performance was created by someone outside of the Perry-Mansfield compound.

Set to the music of The Andrews Sisters, the World War II-era piece “Company B” was choreographed by Paul Taylor, and it is profound in its ability to reach the audience through layers of meaning, Kent said.

“It may just look like happy people dancing, but, oh, look, there’s someone lying on the floor,” she said. “Or there are people being shot in the background.

“He tries to capture the camaraderie of that era, but also the loss.”

In another piece, guest choreographer Brian Fretté traveled to Perry-Mansfield from Los Angeles for a two-week stint with a group of pointe dancers. He created what Kent called a “cinematic nightmare en pointe,” rife with melodrama and tongue-in-cheek emotionality.

Although some of the pieces are plot-centered and focused, dancer and choreographer Er­­nesta Corvino’s original ballet piece, in the style of Baroque and set to an Italian trumpet concerto, is devoid of a tangible plot.

“There’s no story,” Corvino said. “It’s all about the movement and style. The way the dancers relate to one another and the arm gestures … it’s very pure.”

Other pieces explore unique and contemporary art forms, like Janet Taisey Craft’s original aerial dance.

Using canvas slings and knotted climbing ropes hung from the ceiling, Craft taught eight dancers the art of aerial dance in less than five weeks.

“They had never done aerial before,” Craft said. “Now they’re performing an 8 1/2 minute piece. The group of students, they’re very creative and experimental. They’re quite daring and fearless.”

The piece, set to an original score by Perry-Mansfield faculty member Paula Jeanine Bennett, is based on the essays of a travel writer who is experiencing a trip he took long ago.

“It’s a piece of travel and how we remember experiences,” Craft said. “It’s about who we are and how we remember places.”

Like “A Pixelated View,” Craft’s aerial dancers bring to life the windows through which people see their own experiences.

And for Craft, translating introspection into movement is a significant part of choreography.

“In dance, you end up working in metaphor a lot,” she said.

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