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Bean’s show seeks to blend styles

Professional dancer Eric Bean Jr wants you to know that his upcoming show is not a ‘dance recital' it is a professional dance concert. Got that? Okay.

‘An Evening of Contemporary Dance' will be held on August 16, 17, and 18 at the Earl Cameron Theatre at City Hall and will feature some of Mr Bean's fellow dancers from the Koresh Dance Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as dancers from Bermuda.

“A lot of people don't know how to distinguish between the different aspects of dance,” said Mr Bean who runs dance charity Jaricco Dance. “A lot of times I say, ‘oh, I'm doing a show', and people in Bermuda say, ‘oh, you're doing a recital?'. A dance recital is for students. The dancers in my concert are all professional dancers. If you are going to see a Beyonce or a jazz artist Joel Scott you wouldn't say you are going to see their ‘vocal recital'. You are going to see their concert.”

The evening will be broken down into two works, The Beginning and Through the Looking Glass. The theme is the power of community and the power of the individual. It is contemporary dance with a blending of ballet, modern, dance, pedestrian movement, and ethnic dance. There will be five local dancers, three from the Koresh Dance Company, including Mr Bean, and two apprentices.

“The blend of local and international dancers helps us to get that spark,” said local dancer Dawnita Smith, 21, who is currently studying at Bird College in London, England. “We don't always dance together. With the pieces that Eric has choreographed, it is different from what we normally do. It is exciting and interesting to learn new ways of movement and putting them together to perform for the community.”

Mr Bean admitted that there had been a number of challenges to organising the production, particularly since he lives full time in Philadelphia.

“Funding the programme has been the biggest challenge,” he said. “I have to give a big thank you to those who gave us funding including FIL Ltd, Orbis Investment Management and the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs.

“Several of the dance schools were gracious enough to offer us space while we rehearsed including United Dance Productions, DanceSations Bermuda and The Somerset School of Ballet.”

This is the second production by Jaricco Dance. The last production they did was around the theme of gun violence in the community.

“This time around I really want to spark the idea of how strong we can be as a unit,” said Mr Bean. “The idea of The Beginning is that you have to look at your past to know where you are going. That is one of the reasons why I created these two different works, one is a bit more tribal and the other is a bit more futuristic, almost apocalyptic in feel. I am hoping that the audience takes away that feeling of community and the power of working together as well as being entertained.”

Mr Bean said there is a lot of talent in Bermuda that was not being utilised to its fullest.

“Unfortunately, our community and Government are not really tapping into the culture of dance the way that they could,” he said. “For tourism it would be a great boost to start pumping funds into the arts. That is really what the tourists are coming for now. Our pink sand and our white rooves are fantastic. Everyone loves that about Bermuda, but when people get here they want to see our culture. The only way this can happen is if they can see the art that we are creating. So we have to start getting some form of support from the Government and community to make that happen.”

The production is on August 16, 17 and 18 at the Earl Cameron Theatre at City Hall at 8pm. Tickets are $30 general admission and $50 patron tickets available at City Hall Box Office and on brownpapertickets.com.

Through The Looking Glass cast: Pictured are (front, from left) Dawnita Smith and Dominique Willis and (back from left) Micah Geyer, Eric Bean Jr and Robert Tyler. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 14, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated August 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm)

Bean’s show seeks to blend styles

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