One of the best things about Barre Bee Fit is the talent that members of the team bring to the company, and those talents are amazing and varied. As you probably already know, several BBF team members have impressive backgrounds in dance and continue to make dance an important part of their daily lives. Instructor Stephanie Williams is one of the most prominent, having started her own dance company in 2009.
Through the Body has teamed up with Megan Adams Dance for this show, Surface Stained. It will be at the Fasseas Whitebox Theater at the Drucker Center Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls. The theater is located at 1535 N. Dayton Street. Parking is free and plentiful, and the theater is also walking distance from BBF Lincoln Park! The show will be held on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16 at 8:00 PM, and on Sunday, March 17 at 7:00 PM. The suggested donation for tickets is $15.00 ($10.00 for students and seniors), and you can purchase tickets online or at the door.
We sat down with Stephanie and asked her few questions about the upcoming show. Continue reading to learn more, and join us next weekend for Surface Stained!
Tell us about your dance company and how it was started.
My dance company, Through the Body, came to be in 2009. When I graduated from Columbia College Chicago, one of my fellow graduates, Megan Adams, and I decided to produce a show together featuring my work and her work. It went so well that we’ve continued to produce work together with our companies combined. Through the Body consists of women dancers, and we pull from personal experience to create modern dance works that the audience can connect with. I feel that if the dancers can take something from their lives and put it into the movement, it provides an honest work that touches the audience. We’ve done pieces related to poems from Saul Williams, examined the cycle of heroin addiction, and looked into topics like open relationships and women scorned. This show will explore ideas of the night scene culture, life pathways, and how we get thrown off those pathways.
What can we expect to see in this show?
First off — everyone should be aware that there is foul language in Them. Them is mocking the night scene culture; the characters people make for themselves and the masks they wear. When you strip all the glamour away it’s empty. I decided that a band called The Weeknd was doing a similar idea when he created his album, “House of Balloons” so I’m using that entire CD as music for the show. We’ve tried to create a circus like atmosphere. The second piece, Hearts of Steel, is about pathways in life. Things happen to throw us off our pathway; do we continue on that pathway? Or choose a new one? And do we take our past experiences with us, or move on? Hearts of Steel is told through the eyes of the four women dancers; it’s been a way for us to air out some things/people that have hurt us in the past. I always like to use my dances as sort of a healing process.
What are some of the challenges of choreographing/producing a show?
I’d say the biggest challenge to producing a show is funding. I do this because I love it and it keeps me sane, not because I get a profit. We try to do fundraisers and get grants. There is also the race against time; we rehearse for about 6 months to create a show. Most people don’t know how much work goes into it, and then it’s performed maybe two or three nights.
What is the most rewarding thing about choreographing/producing a show?
The most rewarding thing for me is seeing the final product — watching everything come together and seeing my vision translated through my dancers’ bodies (hence my company’s name, Through the Body) to the audience. I love hearing everyone’s interpretation of what they thought the work was about or moments that touched them. I also love my dancers; they are the sole reason my dances work. They devote their time to an idea I have, they believe in me and my work, and I am so thankful that they dive into these adventures in creating dance with me.