Perpetual Motion Dance brings regional dancers together with Contemporary Dance Festival

Perpetual Motion Dance’s ninth annual Contemporary Dance Festival takes place Friday and Saturday.

The event represents collaborative effort between professional choreographers across Oklahoma, Minnesota and Missouri and local performers in Oklahoma City.

It features performances by 37 local dancers selected by audition who will perform choreography by eight choreographers.

This year, the group includes alumni of the University of Central Oklahoma: Brandon Fink of MADCO in St. Louis, Allison High of Race Dance, Sarah Smith of Race Dance and Alana Murray and Katie Noble of Perpetual Motion Dance.

“It gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment to see our former students growing into such strong artists,” said Michelle Moeller, director of Perpetual Motion Dance.

Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival begins at 8 p.m. at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd. Tickets are available via the group’s website or at the box office one hour prior to the show. Ticket are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

Perpetual Motion Dance, a local dance company, began hosting the festival in 2006. Moeller, the company’s director since 2002, said that the festival grew out of an idea to provide OKC dancers performance opportunities outside of their respective studios or schools and help build a sense of community among the dancers. She added that the festival has only grown since it began nine years ago.

“We started with about 10 dancers and have grown to between 30-40 each year,” Moeller said. “We have worked with choreographers nationwide for the festival over the years, and while we still like to bring in two to three choreographers from out of state, we also feel it is very important to promote the artistic talent we have in the state.”

Planning the festival takes time.

“We select around eight choreographers at the beginning of each year. Then, in the spring, [we] audition dancers and cast them in different works that are age- and level-appropriate,” Moeller said. “We want dancers working with new people, breaking out of old habits and having new experiences.”

Moeller said that Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) was instrumental in the growth of the festival and Perpetual Motion Dance. OAC has funded the festival every year since 2006.

“Oklahoma Arts Council has been receiving budget cuts each year via state appropriations, but they continue to support our organization and many others to the best of their ability,” Moeller said. “We will be using the grant funding for things such as theater rental, costuming, publicity and artistic fees.”

Moeller expressed the importance of dance in the art community.

“All the moments of joy, sadness, anger, boredom, impatience, struggle — they all have physical sensations and attributes, and I believe that is the foundation of dance as an art form,” Moeller said.

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Print headline: Perpetual steps, Perpetual Motion Dance hosts a festival to bring OKC’s dance community together.

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