Truckee-Tahoe dance talent hits the stage for annual event | SierraSun.com

Truckee-Tahoe dance talent hits the stage for annual event

Paul Raymore
Sierra Sun

After three years of performances ranging from highly choreographed ballet pieces to abstract installation art exhibits, the dancers who make up the InnerRhythms Dance Theatre have matured in ways that the theatre’s founder and artistic director Elizabeth Archer has only started to realize.

But that doesn’t mean Archer won’t call upon their new found maturity and strength for the company’s upcoming performance. The Appetizers for the Arts fund-raiser and Concert GALA is set for April 8, with an encore presentation of the gala the next evening in the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Showroom in the Cal Neva Resort in Crystal Bay.

“We’re combining Appetizers with the Gala concert,” Archer said, “and our reason for doing so is just so that our community can see what InnerRhythms is all about. It’s our full concert rather than just little bits and pieces of choreography that we’ve randomly worked on.”

A culmination of nine months of hard work by the InnerRhythms dancers, the gala show will feature seven original works of choreography by professional artists Silvia Martins, Sheri Woods Green, Anett Eichler, Ryan Curren and Archer herself.

By combining the gala with the company’s annual fund-raiser, Archer said, the audience will be treated to food from local restaurants and will also get to witness just how far the dance company has come in the three years it has been in existence.

“Appetizers is our fund-raiser, and the gala is our gift back to the community for their support,” Archer said. “It’s important to me that our community know that [the gala] is an artistic expression; it’s an artistic way of giving something back. And, as I’ve said before, communities that have art are healthy communities.”

The gala will open with a commissioned piece, “InnerAction,” integrating dance with yoga, moving into a Poi spinning, Polynesian-style rhythm. This will be followed by a contemporary Hip-Hop piece, expressing the rhythms and attitudes of the young adults in the company. Seventies-style classic jazz in “Rollin’ with Annie Mae Bullock” will close the first half.

Confetti colored tutus will embellish the classical ballet piece, “Gems for Lynn,” honoring appreciation for classical movement and the music of Bach and Mozart, while “Swans” represents a transformation to music by Tchaikovsky, the Tin Hat Trio and Willie Nelson. “El Vuelo,” a lyrical jazz piece with a sultry Latin flavor will follow, with a piece choreographed to “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” closing the program with a celebration of emancipation and freedom.

The transition between rhythms will be fused by percussionists throughout the performance.

In all, the performances will showcase much of the artistic talent the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee communities can bring together, Archer said.

“We’re really excited about this program because I think our community is going to see a difference between last year’s performance and this year’s performance,” Archer added. “They [the dancers] are stronger physically, their stamina is better, they’ve been able to take more classes this year, and, while they’re not a professional company, they’ve come a long way.

According to guest choreographer Silvia Martins, whose modern dance piece “Swans” will be featured, the magic flows both ways when working with younger dancers such as those in the InnerRhythms company.

“It was really fun seeing young dancers tackle the new concept of how to be a modern dancer. They’ve done a lot of jazz and ballet, but not a lot of modern. So it was really fun seeing them change and try out new things,” she said.