UI Dance presents 'Same Bed, Different Dreams'


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Bubble wrap, lawn chairs, and newspapers — seemingly ordinary and unrelated objects that are often unnoticed. Unless of course they are used as costuming, as in this year's Collaborative Dance Performance.

The students in the dance department's Collaborative Design class will put on a show this year that examines everyday objects from a new perspective. They use the motto "Same Bed, Different Dreams" as an inspiration to explore different perspectives.

A group of dancers, musicians, and designers will show off the creative collaboration at 8 p.m. today through Saturday in North Hall's Space/Place. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for seniors and youth, and free for UI students with valid IDs.

"The main objective is to provide an open environment for artists to investigate and develop new works of art as collaborators and to fully explore the myriad of creative possibilities that such an endeavor encourages," said the teacher of the course, dance Professor Alan Sener.

This year's performance is different from that of other years because the students in the graduate-student-level class decided to create one full-length evening piece together. Students in the class split up into smaller groups to aid the collaboration.

"When you work on your own, you forget that there are other things that can embellish [your movement]," said dance graduate student Amy Barr. "It's about being OK with letting someone touch what you have made."

The Collaborative Design class this fall consists of five choreographers, three composers, one costume designer, and two stage managers. While the class is usually limited to graduate students, this semester, two undergrads are included in the creative mix.

"I feel really, really equal [to the graduate dancers], and I feel like that's especially because of our decision to work together as a whole," said senior dance major Krista Mills.

Mills and roommate Nicole Klein are dance majors who took on the challenge of the Collaborative Design class because they saw it as an opportunity to practice a real-world application.

"You learn a lot about how to work with people and how to kind of give a little and take a little," Mills said. "You look at your work in a different way and think of ideas that you hadn't before."

Communication is a challenge that the students agree has been a difficult part of the process.

"You end up with a lot of people with a lot of ideas, and no one wants to make a decision," Barr said. "There have been a couple showdowns."

Accounting for the creative perspectives of dancers, musicians, and designers also adds a level of difficulty. Different types of artists don't always work at the same pace or with the same focus.

Despite the difficulty that accompanies most group work, members of the Collaborative Design class believe that the project will be a success.

"It's a new kind of weird for our department," Mills said. "We all kind of have a quirky side to our choreography, which tends to work really well."

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