By MARTY CLEAR
The distinction may seem like a delicate one to the casual dance fan, but Moving Current has always insisted it's a "dance collective" rather than a "dance company."
The distinction shows in the steady stream of outsiders featured in Moving Current performances.
Its growing national reputation allows Moving Current to bring in prominent choreographers whom local audiences might never get a chance to see otherwise. A case in point is Nathan Dryden, an internationally known aerial choreographer who's joining Moving Current for its concert this weekend at the University of South Florida's Tampa campus.
"He's an extremely accomplished aerial artist," said Erin Cardinal, one of Moving Current's three artistic directors.
"He's performed all over the world — Turkey, New Zealand, all over this country — and he's performed many times at the Florida Dance Festival."
("Aerial dance" essentially refers to dance that takes place above the stage in a trapeze or some other device that hangs from ceiling.)
The concert also features a new work by Dionne Sparkman Noble, a former USF dancer and choreographer who now heads her own company in Texas.
Both the guest artists are setting works on Moving Current's growing number of excellent dancers. This year, three dancers moved to Tampa specifically to dance with Moving Current.
"We were actually kind of nervous when they did that," Cardinal said. "We were afraid we weren't going to be able to give them enough to do. But they've turned out to be the kind of dancers who just jumped right in and started presenting their own works in the community. They've all presented works already, even outside of Moving Current."
Cardinal and the collective's other two artistic directors, Cynthia Hennessy and Kristin O'Neal, also have pieces in this weekend's concert. One is a somewhat experimental collaboration between Cardinal and O'Neal.
"I made a dance that was completely inspired by a piece of music," Cardinal said. "I worked with our dancers on it and then I gave the movements to Kristin, only without the music. She found different music to go with the movements."
The result, she said, is that even with virtually identical movements, the piece took on different tones and meanings and made artistic statements she never envisioned in her original choreography.
Cardinal has also reworked a piece from 2005 for this concert. Hennessy has two pieces in the concert, including a new version of a work she created some years back with videographer Devin Rice.