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'Give and Take Away': A dance about relationships

Wellspring Corri Terry & Dancers

Wellspring: Cori Terry & Dancers will premiere their spring concert PULL. PULL features two dances the troupe performed in their fall concert PUSH, as well as two new pieces. Performances will be held at the Kalamazoo Epic Center’s Wellspring Theatre April 18-20 at 8 p.m. and April 21 at 2 p.m.

At rehearsal on Monday, six Wellspring dancers ran through choreographer Cori Terry’s new work, “Give and Take Away.” It is set to the music of Berlin composer and pianist Nils Frahm. Terry says the piece is about one-on-one human relationships. 

“Most of the dance is duets,” she says, “in part because you can see the dancers more specifically when there are just two people on stage and see what their strength and particular personality is which I really enjoy when I watch dance. But part of it is I think it’s so interesting to work with a duet as a form because you are either dancing together or you are dancing apart, or you are doing the same movement or you are not, or you are dancing in time with each other or out of time, there’s a lot that you can play with and it’s very evocative of relationship.”

Terry says each relationship between two people is an active and changing thing, and she sees that as a perfect metaphor for dance. She describes the piece as being both athletic and poetic.

“I think we strive for a lot of extreme qualities, so the extreme of being really poetic in your gesturing coupled with the extreme of being super athletic in your technique," says Terry. "That seems to make for a dynamic show for people.”

Some of that super athleticism has the dancers picking each other up, jumping, and balancing on their hands. This is Wellspring’s 32nd season. Terry recalls being a very driven 27-year-old when she got the dance company up and running in Kalamazoo. Looking back she says she may have been a bit naïve about her goal.

“Now, I think I would hesitate because I realize how difficult it is to do what we do, to have a professional modern dance company in such a small city," Terry says. "Audiences are relatively limited, because there’s just not that many people living here and it is always going to be a subculture of people who are into modern dance…people who can see, or understand that dance is a language and it communicates to them.”

Terry says she’s grateful that some people seem to really understand, or at least enjoy watching, what she and the Wellspring Dancers do.

“Some people just really instinctively, naturally are able to appreciate dance," she says. "I’m always so thrilled with that, that there are people who are not trained dancers who just love to watch the body in motion.” 

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