Dance group achieves poetry in motion

Ambitious. Inventive. Beautiful. Graceful. Intense. These words were used by critics to describe the performan- ces of Moving Current Dance Collective, an esteemed community dance group performing this weekend at USF.

Established in 1997 by USF College of Visual and Performing Arts alumni Erin Cardinal and Florida State University graduate Cynthia Hennessy, Moving Current has earned praise and recognition throughout Florida, especially in the Tampa Bay area. Because Moving Current is a non-profit organization, it is not housed in a private studio. Rather it resides in USF’s Theatre Department, where studio space is available – when not otherwise occupied.

According to Cardinal, Moving Current has become the success it is today with the help and support of the art community in Tampa, individual artists and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. The dance company’s performances have featured influences from an array of artists, including choreographers, poets, musicians and actors from Tampa as well as around the United States. The style of Moving Current’s performances is modern dance. However, there is not a set method to which the dancers and choreographers must adhere.

“Each concert piece is different and is choreographed by a different person,” Cardinal said. “There isn’t really a set technique – it’s how the choreographer sees fit to explain their ideas.”

The program scheduled for this weekend will include performers dancing to “an eclectic mix of music” featuring two original scores, as well as a special aerial dance performance featuring a dancer suspended above the stage by a trapeze.

Moving Current has also been known to perform improvisational dance, in which dancers are given direction of what to convey, but not given instruction on movement by choreographers. Instead, the dancers must rely on their own skills, ideas and spontaneity in the performance. On average, Moving Current’s performances consist of eight dancers, two to three guest programmers and Cardinal and Hennessy.

For the past several years, Moving Current has been actively reaching out to aspiring dancers and choreographers within the community through dance classes and performances at Blake High School. Although students may not be as advanced as the dancers performing in Moving Current concerts, their movements are authentic because they do not have preconceived notions about what their movements should look like. The dance collective also provides funding and coordinates a concert through which aspiring choreographers may display their work.

Cardinal and Hennessy are passionate about encouraging Moving Current performers to relish in and expand on their own creativity in addition to enriching the lives of young, aspiring performing artists in the community.

According to Cardinal, “everyone has a body – that’s what dancers and choreographers use … the language of dance becomes universal. We can take this concert anywhere in the world and it will translate in some way because everyone can relate to bodily expression.”