Based in Pasadena, CA. the Nancy Evans Dance Theatre (NEDT) was founded in 2009 under the Artistic Direction of Nancy Evans Doede, producing numerous works, the FRIENDS/FAMILY/DANCE/FESTIVAL, and performing throughout the Los Angeles area and beyond. Now Doede has taken the company one step further by announcing the company’s first on-demand presentation of Figures of Speech – A digital presentation of solo dance works inspired by literature written by women. This series of will feature all new dance works for film that were created and performed in by company members Ashleigh Doede, Noel Dilworth, Jen Hunter, Jenn Logan, and Nancy Evans Doede.

Nancy Evans Dance Theatre. Photo by Shana Skelton.

Nancy Evans Dance Theatre. Photo by Shana Skelton.

The premiere of Figures of Speech occurs on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 4 pm (PST) with extended viewing access through Saturday, February 27. A live Q&A will be held via Zoom Saturday, February 27th at 4pm (PST).

Doede began her professional dance career in Minneapolis, MN with the Nancy Hauser Dance Company while also directing her own company. She has stated that she drew her creative inspiration from her training with modern dance pioneer, Hanya Holm, as well as her theatrical background as one of the founding members of the now world-famous Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.

Nancy Evans Doede - Photo courtesy of the artist

Nancy Evans Doede – Photo courtesy of the artist

Figures of Speech was originally scheduled as a live performance in April of 2020 but was, of course, cancelled due to the pandemic. According to the company’s press release, “…the choreography has been reworked for film keeping the original inspirations chosen to celebrate women writers in honor of the 1920 ratification of the nineteenth amendment. From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation, the inspirations for these world premiere solos are as varied as the personalities who created them. Other prompts include Wild by Cheryl Strayed, What Not: A Prophetic Comedy by Rose Macaulay, and hope for the flowers by Trina Paulus.

Last November I interviewed Doede when she announced the beginning of the company’s Channels Project that was the vehicle for her company members to begin making dance for film and for Doede to keep her dancers involved. My first question was regarding the genesis of that project.

“The pandemic forced my perspective, since normal routines were disrupted and I was having to acclimate to the online platform for all of my teaching, our Company class, and any future rehearsals,” Doede wrote. “In the isolation, I started to wonder: What is a global community?  Yes, we were all experiencing a common thread – COVID-19, but did we really have a sense of community as individuals around the globe?  If you or someone you know has suffered from the virus, then I think that thread is evident in that there is a stream of compassion and mutual grief, and that can be communal, without actually knowing the other people personally.  With everything “on hold” globally, I decided to investigate the question more.”

"Parallel" by Jenn Logan and Marcos Novais - Screenshot by LADC

“Parallel” by Jenn Logan and Marcos Novais – Screenshot by LADC

I had the opportunity to view these short films and was indeed impressed. I look forward to Figures of Speech.

The cost per household is $25. Please reserve your ticket by February 19th. Password-protected links will be emailed to ticket holders for viewing access and the live Q & A the week of February 15th. For more information about the Nancy Evans Dance Theatre, click HERE and to reserve tickets for Figures of Speech, click HERE.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Nancy Evans Dance Theatre – Courtesy of NEDT