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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Performing artists collaborate on multi-disciplinary production

Musicians, choreographers and dancers don’t often take the stage at the same time. But in a new show called 6 Degrees, that’s exactly what they’ll do.

Dandelion Dancetheater, an experimental theater company, will present 6 Degrees at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at UC Davis University Club on Old Davis Road.

The show will be divided into two parts. The first half will feature five-minute pieces created by the participants, while the second half will feature all the artists performing in a piece directed by Eric Kupers, co-director of Dandelion Dancetheater and UC Davis theatre and dance alumnus. Kupers’ interdisciplinary piece will feature many forms, styles and approaches to performance-making.

Julia Hollas, Dandelion Dancetheater’s administrative coordinator, said that the project largely represents Dandelion’s ideals. A “radically inclusive” company, Dandelion welcomes the work of people from various walks of life and multiple artistic disciplines. Their intermeshing of disciplines means that a hip-hop dancer might teach a dance routine to a musician, while an actor and modern dancer might work on a duet.

“All artists perform in both their specialty and forms they aren’t entirely familiar with,” Kupers said. “Watching a Dandelion show is about seeing the energy created when vastly different people come together to create. 6 Degrees creates a matrix of artists, some of who know each other and others who will be meeting for the first time.”

Founded in 1996 by Kimiko Guthrie and Eric Kupers, Dandelion Dancetheater performs in various collaborative events and festivals throughout the Bay Area in addition to holding an annual home season in San Francisco.

Their shows aim to dismantle the barrier between artist and viewer, enabling the viewer to see himself reflected in the performance. Both the creator and the means of creation are determining factors in the significance behind Dandelion Dancetheater’s art.

Dana De Guzman, administrative assistant and performer in 6 Degrees, has learned and benefited from 6 Degrees’ interdisciplinary approach. De Guzman said she had seen herself as more of a musician before joining Dandelion, where she immersed into a new world of artistic expression.

“I have learned many styles of dance and movement as well as many new perspectives on musical approaches,” De Guzman said. “Everyone is at some level a student or a teacher of specific talents. This has ultimately opened my interest in further expanding my definition of ‘performer.'”

“What comes out is pure energy, a display of the magic or making performance,” Hollas said. “Davis students should expect to see some great and varied performances, but also to be immersed in an experience.  In more ways than one, they will be drawn in!”

For more information, go to dandeliondancetheater.org

ELENI STEPHANIDES can be reached at arts@theaggie.org

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