The Treefort Music Fest added some diversity to its lineup today. The Open Arms Dance Project, Off Center Dance and Balance Dance Company provided fest attendees with visual interpretations of music in a family friendly performance for the first installment of the Treefort Performance Art series.
The Open Arms Dance Project, an "inclusive" company with dancers ranging from 14-66 years old, made the audience privy to its warmup before having some silly fun with a blanket in its first piece and then concluding with the more somber piece "Embrace." The project was started in 2009 and features dancers with physical and mental disabilities. Dancers swirled members in wheelchairs with sweeping artistic motions and had fun entertaining the Linen Building audience.
Off Center Dance Company took the makeshift stage next, and dancer Katie Ponozzo described the set-up as "survivor dance, with all these sort of obstacles."
The large company performed Artistic Director Kelli Brown's modern piece "Reach," followed by Ponozzo's inventive piece "Ball Change," which made use of large exercise balls, small rubber balls and light-up versions. There were audible gasps from the packed crowd when two dancers bouncing treacherously on large green exercise balls nearly missed the large wooden pillars of the Linen Building. But the performers remained unphased and the audience was entranced, other than a few rambunctious children.
Following Off Center's performance, the audience shifted toward the stage on the west side of the room. Boise Rock School band Certified Rebellion took the stage and played a short cover of Metric's "Black Sheep." Following a video of the band's collaboration with Balance Dance Company March 8-10 at Boise Contemporary Theater, the dancers performed a modern piece in front of the stage.
The next installment of the Treefort Music Fest Performance Art series will take place Sunday, March 25 at the Linen Building at 1:30 p.m. and feature more "adultish" content, according to the Festival's website. Performances are free and open to the public.