By Bailey Lucero-Carter
Once a factory for underwater ammunition used in World Wars I and II, the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria is now a cultural hub for innovation and creativity. While the art center always showcases painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture and other media, on Nov. 13 “A Niche in the Hall” presented by Jane Franklin Dance will bring artwork to life.
Jane Franklin, choreographer and educator, founded her dance company in 1997, basing it in Arlington for its enduring acceptance and advancement of the arts. Since then, the company has performed routines at multiple venues throughout Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. This dance troupe specializes in modern dance, which Franklin describes as “using the human body to express certain ideas.”
“Modern dance is freedom from anything like a standard technique vocabulary. A lot of modern dance still uses dance technique, such as ballet, but it’s really not something that has to be there. People often develop their own styles of moving that shows up in their dances, so it’s very individual.”
Jane Franklin Dance is no stranger to the Torpedo Factory Art Center; the group has often danced in the stairwells and halls of the art center. Yet this upcoming after-hours performance introduces new elements to enhance the spectacle. In addition to performing alongside live musicians Eric Ryan and Brian Page, the dancers will perform within the artists’ studios for the first time.
Side by side are the studios of Rosemary Covey and Dawn Benedetto, where two dancers will separately perform identical routines. While Covey’s studio displays prints and paintings, Benedetto’s displays dangling jewelry which the dancer can incorporate into her movement. “Part of the reason I’m doing this is that the surroundings in which you see movement change your perception of it so much,” says Franklin.
The dancers will wind and weave on all three floors of the art center. Because the audience can move throughout the building, the performance becomes physically involved for them as well. Audiences can also interact with the performance by placing items on a projector, creating shadows and colors for the dancers to interpret.
Experience the intimacy and creativity of modern dance as it is rightfully displayed among other works of art.
A Niche in the Hall
Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union St., Alexandria
Nov. 13, 8 p.m.