Jane Franklin Dance celebrates movement through partnerships with music, media and visual artists, and community participants.
There are as many definitions of dance as there are people willing to define it. Everyone has a story to tell and, just like writing your name....movement is your signature...how you interact with the environment and relate to other people. Movement makes you feel good, changes your outlook, and dance makes it easier to be comfortable in your own skin.
We reach young audiences through performances for children, after school workshops, and most importantly through intensive learning experiences in spring break and summer camps. I am most proud of what we have done with our performances for children. It is a challenge to bring a book to life, but physical storytelling is exciting to create and picture books leave things wide open to personal expression. What we learn while developing movement and dialogue through the lens of the book, we bring to our summer camps. It is a circular experience, with one aspect informing the other.
Forty+ is our project for performers past the age of 40. The strength of Forty+ lies in the process of creating choreography that can be repeated and performed for an audience. This is meaningful to the performers, most of whom are retired, or who danced in college but gave it up for the demands of career and family, or who never performed before but always wanted to try. The contact we make through workshops and performances takes place at centers serving older adults. Many of the workshop participants are new to the country, are English-as-second-language speakers, and have differences in physical facility, or economic resources. Moving together changes things, no matter how disparate the group. Outlook, the way you see that day, how you feel and most of all your openess to others brings you to a new place.
The artistic work often places dance outside of the traditional dividing line of audience and performer. It sets the framework for collaborations with visual artists to explore the body in relation to environment, setting or architecture. Our latest work, The Trickster, a multidisciplinary work in collaboration with percussionist Tom Teasley reflects that relationship. Beyond the Painted Desert, as the land forms wide, empty valleys interspersed by low, scrub-covered mesas, hundreds of petroglyphs are etched into weathered surfaces of sandstone. The color and climate of the landscape inspires a fascinating exploration of the American Southwest.
“Thank you for the wonderful performance today! We loved the show and were mesmerized by the workshop. Your work is so different from everything we’ve seen for children’s audience in the area.” Yulia Kunina commenting on The Big Meow and the workshop that followed.
"The Jane Franklin Dance "Bits and Pieces" performance was warm and intimate - like having a nice party with good friends sharing a common interest. The space was very nice, the choreography innovative, and the performance top notch..... and everyone (Jane, the Board of Directors, the dancers) mingled freely with the audience members in a comfortable, casual way. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend." Lynne, audience member and Goldstar subscriber
“It is a great pleasure to dance in Jane Franklin’s Dance Classes. I feel joyful, enjoy all the participants, and the class strengthens all parts of the body, particularly posture. I was treated by an Orthopedic Surgeon for an unstable knee due to a weakened tendon. He suggested that instead of once a week I should take the classes 3 times a week. It is the best exercise to strengthen the legs and joints. Jane is so accepting, it is a pleasure to follow her lead.”
Dolores Vestrich, Saturday Adult Technique and Dance Technique at Walter Reed Senior Center student