Partnering: Dancers do it all the time in performance, and the results are often wonderful. So why shouldn't dance companies do the same in business?
That's what Cheryl Chaddick of Chaddick Dance Theater and Katherine Hodges of Ready|Set|Go! wondered. After more than five years each of presenting dance in various venues around Austin and tiring of trying to solve the perennial problem of where to rehearse and perform, these local troupes decided a pas de deux was better than a pair of solos. So they teamed up to found a new venue for movement classes and performance: First Street Studio.
The 1,400-square-foot space where East Cesar Chavez crosses Pedernales contains just the kind of features that matter to a contemporary dance company: wall-to-wall mirrors, a true sprung unfinished wood floor, ceilings more than 25 feet high, a lighting grid, a sound system, a custom-fitted scrim, and audience seating for 50-75 people. Chaddick and Hodges tricked it out with so many goodies not just to benefit their own companies, but so other local dance companies and small arts groups of all kinds could have a complete, well-equipped, accessible venue to rent for classes, rehearsals, and performances. (Plans are to rent by the hour, with rates based on time of day and amount of time rented. The studio becomes available this summer. For more information, visit www.firststreetstudio.net.)
Of course, the founders get first crack at showing what First Street is like as a performance venue. For the studio's debut, Chaddick Dance Theater is presenting Turned Inside Out, the latest edition of the company's annual spring showcase of original choreography. Chaddick has created two works: "Right to Wrong to Right," an examination of family dynamics and the ways that moms, dads, and siblings influence the development of one's identity, set around a dinner table; and "The Perfect Offering," a look at how women's views of femininity, beauty, and power are shaped – and warped – by such idealized female figures as ballerina dolls and slender mannequins. Hodges will also offer a pair of shorts: "Someone to Hold Onto," a romantic duet, and "Wallflowers," a story of two women striving to engage more. And rounding out the program will be Lindsey Taylor of Little Stolen Moments with the piece "Jupiter," which combines movement with film, animation, music, and actors, and is set in a bizarre, psychedelic, all-female future society. We won't even hazard a guess as to how things turn out in that scenario, but we're pretty confident that the future for this female-run arts space on the Eastside is bright.
Turned Inside Out runs May 22-31, Thu.-Sat., 8pm, at First Street Studio, 2410 E. Cesar Chavez #202. For more information, visit www.chaddickdancetheater.com.
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