CASPER, Wyo. — No one would argue that stage dancing isn’t difficult. Try doing it several feet in the air.
“It definitely beats your body up,” said Jodi Youmans-Jones. “They’ve got bruises everywhere.
“A couple have said their pants are a lot looser when they get done with rehearsal because it squishes everything.”
Casper College Dance Program Coordinator/Choreographer and NASD Coordinator Jodi Youmans-Jones has spent hours with her students this week in preparation for next month’s performances of the “circlesWEShare” production, which will feature 12 dancers flying on harnesses and silk ropes as well as on the ground.
The additional complexity demands rehearsals to be increased from about 20 hours a week to 60 hours this week. That’s on top of the students’ regular schoolwork and outside life requirements, said Youmans-Jones.
“It’s very quick and intense, and that’s a lot that they have to get into their bodies before we get into tech in two weeks,” she said, referring to the advanced portion of the production that brings in lighting and other theatrical elements.
The rigging is supplied by a firm called ZFX Flying Effects, which is one of the leading suppliers and supporters of stage flying in the industry. Clients include major theatrical companies across the U.S. and the world. ZFX’s flying director, Andrea Gentry, spent several days with the cast observing the rig’s placement and assisting the cast on flying techniques.
Youmans-Jones said the cast started rehearsal in November.
“[The show] is all about circles in our lives and how we share those circles, how they impact our lives moving forward,” she said. “So every piece is created off of that premise.”
The show premieres on Thursday, Feb. 23, and will run through Saturday, March 4.