Freedom and fancy footwork

Christina Huerta

Weber State University’s dance troupe, the Moving Company, held a free open rehearsal with guest choreographer and master teacher, James “Cricket” Colter, for students and members of the community at the Val. A. Browning Center for Performing Arts on Friday.

Joanne Lawrence, WSU dance program director, and associate dance professor Amanda Sowerby are just a few individuals overseeing the two-year dance program based on the four freedoms referenced by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1941 inaugural speech Those four freedoms include: freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of speech and freedom of worship.

“For the next two years, one each semester, we’re bringing in a guest artist to choreograph one of those freedoms for our Moving Company,” Lawrence said.

Colter, along with Rennie Harris of Rennie Harris Puremovement, a renowned hip-hop dance company, are collaborating to create choreography for freedom of worship.

“They wanted me to focus on house dance so I’m giving them foundational house movement,” Colter said.

Colter, a New Jersey native, has worked on various movies and music videos. He has most recently worked for a company called American Voices, which provides teachers of the arts to impoverished parts of the world.

“[What I like about teaching is] when they begin to own it and make it theirs,” Colter said. “When you start to internalize it and you leave with it, that’s how I got into it.”

Colter’s open rehearsal began on Wednesday, Sept. 30 and will end Monday, Oct. 5.

“I have enjoyed it so much and I really have grown a lot,” Shelby Moad, a WSU dance minor said. “The footwork, just learning how to get your feet underneath you that quickly has really been great.”

The Moving Company is part of Weber State’s Outreach Program, which acts as a tether between the community and higher education.
“[We’re] working with high schools and other community organizations about the need to be involved in your community, in citizenship, in our government and being aware of what’s going on around us,” Lawrence said.

Sowerby reached out to Ogden’s Nurture the Creative Mind to give young students the opportunity to participate in the open house.

“Creative expression, expressing their sense of community, their view of politics and the world around them, but being able to also be creative about that expression.” Sowerby said.

Weber State’s Orchesis Dance Theatre and guest choreographer Ru-Ping Wang will present their piece for freedom from want on Nov. 19-21. The piece for freedom of worship is expected to be presented in Spring 2016.

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