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A rose by any other name

Wren Wertin

If you didn’t know dance can evoke a sense of smell, think again.”If a rose falls,” the work commissioned for the 2003 Vail International Dance Festival’s Choreographers Collection, focuses on all the senses.Created by Julia Adam, formerly a principal dancer for the San Francisco Ballet, has set her work on the Atlanta Ballet, the oldest professional company in America. The music is a compilation of Bach.”It’s all solo instruments,” said Adam, who has choreographed pieces for one to 45 dancers. “It goes from piano to cello to violin to harp to harpsichord. So each movement is a solo instrument, representing one of the senses.”Five dancers, five movements, five instruments, five senses. Critics describe Adam’s work as idiosyncratic and whimsical. Conceptually, it’s easy to see why. Though her roots are classical – she was a classical-trained dancer until she retired from the stage in 2002 – her voice is contemporary. Like much of dance today, she blends the old with the new.Her works begin with ideas, not music. After she’s honed in on what she wants to do, she goes looking for the right music.She’s the first female choreographer in the five-year history of the Choreographers Collection. She traveled to Atlanta to work with the ballet company several times over the past year.Dance is not just bodies moving – it incorporates music, lights, theater. According to Adam, the costumes are very important.”If they don’t work with the sound or the movement, they take away from the performance,” she said. “And the human element – you can’t forget that, that’s what makes it so wonderful. I feel like I’m painting the stage with people, it’s really special. Sometimes it’s challenging.”The hardest part, in some ways, is letting go of the creation – relinquishing control.”When you’re a dancer, in some ways you’re controlling it,” she explained. “It’s a good spiritual exercise in letting it go. You have to give it away, give it away to the audience.”Audiences will be receiving the dance today and Wednesday at the Vilar Center. For more information visit http://www.vvf.org or call 845-TIXS.Choreographers collectionwhat: If a rose fallswhen: Today and Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.where Vilar Center, Beaver CreekWren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.


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