"Hixon dancers hope to involve audience in McConnell Arts Center show"
Olivier Minnier, This Week News Worthington
October 16, 2018
Members of the Hixon Dance company hope to break down the barrier between the audience and dancers with their newest show.
“From the Ground Up,” scheduled this weekend at the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington, will allow the audience to create a dance.
Hixon Dance was founded 11 years ago by Sarah Hixon, 38, after she completed her master’s of fine arts at Ohio State University.
The eight-member company is in its third year as the McConnell Arts Center’s in-residency dance troupe, according to Hixon.
Hixon said the goal of the weekend show is to make dance more approachable for the audience.
“I feel like modern dance is a little hard for people to understand,” she said. “One audience at a time, we can break down those barriers.
In the first section of the show, the audience will be given 10 cards with a variety of words that can be used to dictate how the dancers move, Hixon said.
The next part is what Hixon likes to call “build a dance,” in which the audience members will make decisions on the speed of the dancers and how to put together the movements they have created.
“It’s kind of a ‘choose your own adventure’ for them,” Hixon said.
During the performance, a jazz trio will improvise music based upon how the dancers are moving, Hixon said. Short, choreographed pieces will be included but all eight dancers will improvise otherwise, she said.
Jon Cook, director of the McConnell Arts Center, said the performance would be inside the facility’s gallery space instead of the stage that is normally used, to help with physical proportions.
“I think that comfort level will rise,” he said about the audience.
“From the Ground Up” will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, and at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at the McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St. Tickets, which cost $20 for adults and $10 for students, may be purchased at mcconnellarts.org or by calling the center at 614-431-0329.
Hixon said the weekend dates are the only scheduled performances, but that troupe members hope to set up more.