Get a “Taste” of the Dance Exchange: Calling All Tea Servers!

Liz Zastrow, former DX intern and Tea Server extraordinaire, writes about the opportunity to be a tea server in Chicago this fall!

Tea servers at the "Origins" premiere at University of Maryland. Photo by George Hagegeorge

Ever wonder what it’s like behind the scenes of a major dance company? Find out this fall: The Dance Exchange is looking for student and community dancers to perform in the second act of The Matter of Origins, when it tours to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago this November. I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to join one of The Washington Post’s top ten dance events of 2010.

I got a “taste” of both the show and the company when I interned with the Dance Exchange during the Origins world premiere in College Park, Maryland. What an exciting experience— I watched the incredible dancers in rehearsal, wrote on the company’s blog, and helped then Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Johnson manage fifty dancers in the premiere’s second act cast. All of us (I performed, too) split into three tearooms to dance a few vignettes and serve tea and cake to audience members. At each table, provocateurs—artists, physicists, and philosophers—engaged the audience in conversation about the first act.

The history of the universe and the implications of quantum physics both serve as springboards for contemplation. Interesting to me were the creation of the atom bomb during World War II, and today’s testing at the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. The show left me pondering the impossibility of precise measurement, what this means for perfect knowledge, and whether it matters; the impermanence and preciousness of human life; and the beauty and origins of the vast universe… When my internship ended, I told the other riders in the van about it on the way to the airport, and they were sorry they missed it!

I hope you’ll join the cast. If you do, here’s what to expect:

· An unforgettable experience as part of an awesome show
· An opportunity to meet people you might not otherwise meet: artists, leaders, scientists, and other dancers in your community
· A free performance— Watch The Matter of Origins Act I dress rehearsal.
· A chance to work your mind and body—The second act tearoom has been presented at a variety of venues, and it changes from site to site. Translation: the creative process is very much alive. Expect to be challenged as the dance goes through multiple drafts from rehearsal to performance.
· A chance to pick up some ideas for your own teaching and choreographing. You’ll see the Dance Exchange Toolbox in action. (I still remember group warm-ups and how grounded I felt when Adjunct Artist Paloma McGregor told us to feel like we had Velcro on the bottoms of our feet as we moved between tables.)
· A delicious piece of cake—You’ll taste the recipe served by Edith Warner, the Los Alamos woman who fed the scientists working on the first atom bomb.
· An iPad tutorial—Yes, you’ll dance with an iPad.

To sign up as a Tea Server, contact Performance Programs Manager Surinder Martignetti, 312.397.4065 or by email, or Performance Programs Intern Eboni Hawkins, 312.397.4085 or by email, by October 21. For more on the commitment and details, click here.

About Guest Blogger

Dance Exchange intern and/or guest blogger.