As dancers make fluid motions around a studio on Sycamore Street in Decatur, an audience keeps its eyes on the movements while munching on salad and pasta and bread, applauding appreciatively at the end of the work.
This may not be what immediately comes to mind when “lunch and learn” is mentioned, but that’s exactly what this gathering is—Several Dancers Core’s periodic free “Lunchtime in the Studio” event.
Designed to give those interested in learning more about the creative process of dance, “Lunchtime in the Studio” is a sort of “backstage pass” to the inner workings of the dance company. (A free evening “Salon” is also held.)
At the company’s Nov. 12, lunchtime session, some 40 members of the community turned out for the hour-long event. Mothers with infants in arms, individuals who appeared to be taking a break from the office, students and even a couple of gray-bearded guys who may be retirees were among those in attendance.
Dancer Blake Dalton explained that the company has worked with choreographers from Germany, Mexico City, Amsterdam and Vermont, and each experience is unique.
“It’s all about how each of these dancers experiences working with a choreographer. We are a very collaborative organization,” said Dalton, “not only as dancers but as dance artists.”
Sue Schroeder, the company’s founder and artistic director, talked about their newest work “The Point,” which is inspired by the poetry of Raymond Federman and set to an original score by German composer Christian Meyer. Schroeder, who choreographed the work, described the process of choreography as “very much a journey” and discussed how dancers must be willing to deal with emotional issues to perform various works.
In rhythmic motions, dancers Corian Ellisor, Claire Molla, Alejandro Abarca, Mary Jane Pennington and Blake moved across the studio space, then stopped and shared with the audience how they arrived at moving as they did.
The next “Lunchtime in the Studio” and “Salon” sessions will take place Feb. 11 with others scheduled in March and April.
Founded as a small performance group in 1980 by Schroeder and Kathy Russell more than 29 years ago, Several Dancers Core has grown into a multifaceted dance organization.