Issue #13 July 21st - August 3rd, 2006

Perpetual Motion
By: Aharen Richardson
Photos: Claudia Taber

Perpetual Motion aka Modern Dance Oklahoma, Inc. is, as its name implies, a modern dance company founded by a group of former University of Central Oklahoma students. The seven-member, all female company came together to emphasis the performance side of modern dance. Modern dance simply means that the dancer/choreographer is in charge of creating the movements and the dance itself is more open to interpretation than, for example, interpretive dance. At a recent rehearsal Michelle Dexter, the Artistic director, said, “Modern Dance is an art form that allows you more freedom to create; we could do a dance to Radiohead; although, there are techniques you can study.” Right now the women are rehearsing for their performance at the Stage Center August 11th and 12th during the Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival, which the company is hosting. “We try to do work that is visually stimulating, and we enjoy working in intimate spaces. We are trying to make dance more accessible to the public.”

During the rehearsal the dancers perform an aerial piece using long quantities of fabric to suspend their bodies in mid-air. After watching for a few minutes, it is easy to be drawn into the drama and intensity of the movements each woman performs. The dancers’ energy and presence fill the entire room as they take turns wrapping the fabric around their bodies and bending in impossible ways. Soft fluid movements as they weave through the air are combined with disjointed almost doll-like movements on the floor, transforming the dancers into echoes of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

Besides dancing and performing for the public, Perpetual Motion gives to the community in other ways. They are a non-profit organization that initiates performing arts in the community through after school programs and residencies. They have most recently received a grant from the Kirkpatrick Foundation. They also accept individual donations.

For more information about Perpetual Motion, you can e-mail Michelle Dexter at For details on the Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival, contact the stage center at 405-270-4800.

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©2006 NONCO Media, L.L.C.