LANSING, Mich. — Happendance Impulse, Happendance’s vibrant youth performance company dedicated to developing creative, college-ready dance artists, presents Collected Works, a concert of contemporary dance, at LCC Dart Auditorium Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m. and 7 p,m.
“Our choreographic theme for Collected Works is Mother Earth,” says Artistic Director Lisa Whiting Dobson, “and we are also showing works that were created for dance festivals including a reflection on the words of Dr. Martin Luther King.” Happendance Impulse is a versatile and dynamic company that produces four concerts each year. Concerts include a one-hour long story ballet created for children; a Broadway/Jazz/Lyrical concert, Feet On Fire; Our Turn, a concert of choreography created by the dancers themselves, and Collected Works, a collection of works created by multiple Mid-Michigan choreographers including Lauren Mudry, LCC Dance Instructor and Happendance Impulse Associate Director; Patricia Villanueva, Director of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Dance Division and Happendance Impulse Assistant Director; Amy Stice, Happendance Impulse Assistant Director; Anna Faye Evanson a local dancer and choreographer; Brad Willcuts MSU Dance Professor; and Jim McEwan Greater Lansing Ballet Company Artistic Director. “The intent is to give Impulse dancers a wide variety of experiences to develop them into well-rounded and confident dancers and people. We care about who these young people become as dancers, but more importantly, we care about who they become as people and leaders now and in the future,” says Whiting Dobson. “Our program started out as an innovative experiment, and over time we have found our program works.” According to Jamie Yeomans, parent of senior dancer Rebecca Yeomans-Stephenson, “During the past five years that our daughter has been an active member of Happendance Impulse, we have seen dramatic growth in her dance ability, as well as her confidence. Our shy daughter, who preferred to hide in the background, has grown into a technically stunning dancer with the confidence to choreograph and perform solos to a variety of audiences. Lisa Whiting Dobson creates a safe, nurturing, collaborative environment that allows dancers to take risks and try new things, as well as to develop at their own pace. We are grateful for the positive lifelong impact that Happendance Impulse has had on our daughter.” And Happendance Impulse dancers agree. Juliana Theis, a High School senior says, “Impulse has helped me become a better dancer and choreographer. It has also helped me become more social and less self-conscious.” And Sophie Parks, also a senior says, “Impulse has not only brought so many amazing people into my life, it has also taught me valuable lessons about dance, leadership, and confidence.”
Besides creating a welcoming atmosphere that allows dancers a safe space for exploration and self-development, another important part of the Impulse program is company exchanges. Exposing dancers to other quality youth companies allows them to grow in their understanding of the possibilities in the world of dance. In Collected Works, Northeast Academy of Dance located in Oscoda, Michigan, will perform
choreography by Scott Heinrich; Greater Lansing Ballet Company will perform choreography by Jim McEwan; and Midwest Dance Collective, from Chicago, will perform choreography by Ellen Werksman. “These exchanges are a win/win for everyone. Visiting dancers gain performance experience in a new venue, all dancers get exposed to quality dance from other companies, and we build a larger dance community which, frankly, is often missing because of the competitive nature of so many dance schools,” says Whiting Dobson. “It has been such a joy to partner with likeminded individuals who create healthy, creative environments that put the needs of young people first while also developing them as artists.”
Collected Works is appropriate for all ages. Tickets are available at the door, and are $10.
For more information on Happendance Impulse or Collected Works, contact Lisa Whiting Dobson at (517) 281-3147, or firstname.lastname@example.org