Celebrate dance at spring showcase

“A Celebration of Dance” will take place at 7 p.m. April 29 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 30 at WICA.

The late, great modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham once said that dancers were the messengers of God.

Perhaps Graham was talking about the elevated feeling you get when you watch dancers on stage. They jump, kick, spin, fall, roll and sometimes even fly, with power and grace, defying gravity. Dancers can take your breath away. They can lift you up; unearth you from where you sit and make you feel something you hadn’t felt before.

The Whidbey Island Dance Theatre Company has been lifting the Whidbey community with their dance for the past 28 years. Now after dancing through the trials presented by the pandemic, these dancers have unmasked and will jump, kick, spin, fall, roll and fly into our hearts again in WIDT’s annual spring choreography showcase “A Celebration of Dance.”

The shows take place at 7 p.m. at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley at 7 p.m. Friday, April 29 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, April 30. A silent auction will be held before and at intermission of each performance in support of the company.

For “A Celebration of Dance” the company and its guest dancers will perform premiere works by both island and Seattle-area choreographers, including pieces by dancer Kendall Marshall titled “Cameras Rolling” and “While Awake and Dreaming” by co-artistic director Elli Madsen. Guest performances will include pieces by Bellingham Repertory Dance Company and the Meander Dance Collective, a Whidbey Island group.

A new piece by professional dancer/choreographer Sydney Meyer titled “Ouverture et Fermeture” (Opening and Closing) will feature five of the senior company dancers. These dancers were chosen to perform the piece at the Ballet Alliance Festival in El Paso, Texas in early April. The Ballet Alliance is an association of pre-professional dance companies and illustrates one of the WIDT opportunities that serve to broaden the dancers’ horizons with classes and seminars by prominent dance educators and organizations. Company co-artistic directors Brittany Falso and Madsen are proud of the company’s invitation to the Ballet Alliance Festival and look forward to presenting the piece and other pieces to the Whidbey audience.

“A Celebration of Dance” has only three performances and will hold a silent auction during the run in Zech Hall. This fundraising event is crucial to the company and provides opportunities for young aspiring dancers who might not otherwise be able to explore dance. The dance company provides the opportunity for young dancers to perform on stage in semi-professional settings, train with acclaimed teachers, and attend training and conferences on a regional and national level — in short to prepare aspiring dancers for a potential career in the performing arts.

“Without the generous financial support of our community we could not fulfill our mission and continue to give our dancers the production, festival, performance and educational opportunities that they must have to enter the pre-professional and professional world of dance,” said company founder and teacher Charlene Brown.

Tickets cost $22 for all shows. Order online wicaonline.org or call the box office at 360-221-8268.