By MARTY CLEAR
Outside of New York and a few other arts-friendly cities around the country, it's a prodigious achievement for a modern dance company to last 15 years.
So, it's appropriate that Moving Current, unquestionably the Tampa Bay area's premiere dance company, to plan something special for its 15th anniversary concert this weekend at the University of South Florida's Tampa campus.
Actually, it was hundreds of Moving Current's fans who did the planning. The company posted video clips from some its best works from the past decade-and-a-half on its website, and let fans pick which ones they wanted to see again.
There were hundreds of votes and five winners: two from guest choreographers and three from Moving Current choreographers. They'll all be performed at this weekend's concert, aptly titled "15 Years of Fan Favorites," along with one new work.
"We were a little surprised," said Erin Cardinal, one of the company's founders and artistic directors. "Choreographers actually campaigned to get people to vote for their work. Even some dancers went on campaigns because there were pieces they wanted to perform."
The guest choreographers whose works will be on the program are George Staib from Atlanta and Boston-based Sara Sweet Rabidoux.
The works by Moving Current choreographers are Cardinal's To Russell With Love, Cindy Hennessy's Shifting Sands, and Shelley Bourgeois' In the Moment. (Hennessy and Bourgeois are the company's other artistic directors.) A new solo work called … With a History, choreographed by Hennessy and danced by Cardinal, rounds out the program.
For both the company and the audience, the concert promises to be something out of the ordinary. Moving Current rarely stages works that it has already presented in the past, so audiences don't often get to see pieces a second time, or to see pieces they may have missed.
"We're kind of a choreography factory," Cardinal said. "We really don't pull from our repertory very often at all. We're always wanting to make dances that draw on the strength of particular dancers. And when we're doing (pieces) we've done before, we tell the dancers, 'This is how it was done the first time, now you do it your way.' It's been really interesting. I think we'll probably do it again."
Marty Clear can be reached at [email protected]