Lewisville — Is the hustle and bustle of the holiday season already wearing you down? Do you have The Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker running non-stop in her head? Maybe it’s time to take a step back and reflect upon the true reason for the season. ImPULSE Dance Project’s (IDP) annual Snow production is one way viewers can gain some perspective with dance works that explore different aspects of the holiday season on a more meaningful level.
IPD’s Artistic Director Anastasia Waters created Snow in 2014 as a means to give viewers a unique holiday dance experience during a time when all the theaters in the area are being inundated with Nutcracker productions. Over the last five years Waters has seen the show grow with the addition of new dancers and choreography. According to Waters, what started out as a program with six dancers and three dances has now become a show featuring 12 dancers and six dances.
“My intent for Snow is to create an intimate, inspiring and unique holiday dance experience and an atmosphere of magic and beauty for our audience,” Waters says. “It is an evening-length show performed in-the-round with candles surrounding the dance space. The overall theme of the production is inspired by the following quote, ‘A thousand candles can be lit from the flame of one candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness can be spread without diminishing that of yourself’ – Gandhi.”
Water goes on to explain that each work in the show is inspired by the choreographer’s thoughts and experiences of the winter and Holiday season and range in topics from not being able to be with the ones you love at Christmas, family drama, the anxiety of the season and the magic and mystery of this time of year. This year’s program includes previous works by Kristin Daniels, Sandra Pudasaini and Waters as well as new works by Miranda Ingram and Leah Williams.
Ingram’s Following Yonder Light is inspired by the song “We Three Kings” and the journey they take with their gifts to visit the new born baby Jesus in Bethlehem. The work points out that many holidays fall around this time of year so the three kings who came from different places also represent different cultures, ethnicities and religions.
Williams says she was motivated to create her new work, Seasonal Anxiety, in response to the anxiety she experiences in her own life. “I am the kind of person that tends to put too much on my plate,” Williams says. “However, I have been fortunate to find my person in life that calms me down. In this dance, one dancer goes through the stresses of the Christmas season like cleaning, decorating, wrapping and cooking, which add up and drive her crazy. The other dancer, her friend, observes this and tries to calm her down throughout the dance.”
How Williams’ plans to show this narrative through movement is by showcasing the internal struggle of anxiety by bringing it outside of the body. “Anxiety controls the dancer by making her move at ferocious speeds, having quick shifts of direction and showing a clearly distressed disposition,” she says. “In contrast, the other dancer represents the reassuring presence. She moves with a slow yet strong pace and dynamic to act as the support for her friend.”
As for what she enjoys the most about being a part of Snow Williams says, “I love the creative and experimental process leading up to the performance. Working so hard with my fellow dancers fills me with joy and energy. I’m grateful to Asia for creating this and giving me (us) an amazing space to pursue our craft.”
You can experience ImPULSE Dance Project’s Snow Dec. 8-9 at the Medical City of Lewisville Grand Theater in Lewisville