Author: Becca Vaclavik

In ‘Inner Light Revealed,’ audiences will witness one-of-a-kind magic

Nada Diachenko’s piece for “The Current” brings together a special collaboration between professors from Theatre & Dance and the College of Music

 

In “Inner Light Revealed,” Professor of Dance Nada Diachenko has choreographed a three-part work about overcoming the emotional obstacles that exist within our own bodies and hearts.

“As individuals who are trying to evolve, there are many times in our lives where we go through a process of shedding: particularly unwanted emotional habits that prevent us from moving ahead,” she said.

Each of the three parts, which will all be performed by Theatre & Dance Department Chair Erika Randall, moves closer and closer to that “shedding.” The audience follows the dancer’s journey to a more open, weightless feeling of finding one’s true self.

“Part one is almost statuesque,” said Randall. “But then part two is more human—I’m in conversation with myself. And the final part is almost animal. It’s based in smell and taste and feel.

“Finally, it ends in complete lightness. For me, that’s the gift of Nada’s work. It feels very medicinal.”

While Diachenko has served as choreographer for the performance, the process has been a collaborative effort between her and Randall. Where Diachenko laid the groundwork—structure and arc are some of Diachenko’s creative gifts, Randall shared—the final piece audiences will see onstage will still feature an element of improvisation.

“The structure of the dance is always the same,” said Diachenko. “Each of the three sections of starts and ends the same way. But Erika has the freedom to tap into her inner experience in each moment and express it differently.”

Randall agreed. “With the structure Nada created, there are landing points, but what I do between them is up to me, it’s up to the music. It’s really in conversation with one another, and I can become a translator for the music. I can be really alive in the moment, which hopefully brings the work alive even more.”

In fact, the coordinated nature of “Inner Light Revealed” extends even further. The piece, which has been in development for over a year, is rooted in Diachenko’s desire to work with a third artist: Nicolò Spera, assistant professor of guitar for the College of Music, who is set to perform the musical backdrop for all three parts of the dance.

“I’m very dedicated to using live music onstage,” said Diachenko. “Whenever that can happen, it’s very important energetically. There is a collaborative performance happening moment to moment.”

For Spera’s part, he believes performing alongside Diachenko’s choreography doesn’t just elevate the movement. It elevates the music, too.

“It’s very visceral music. People aren’t used to it, so it’s difficult to find a connection to it. But when it’s paired with Erika’s dancing, I think it’s easier to see and feel how genuinely profound the music is,” he said.

“It’s a very human thing we do. The moments where your emotion is spreading into your playing affect the emotion in their movement. You really get energy back. And it’s always fascinating and surprising how the music takes a very different shape.”

Because of this back and forth, the trio agrees: each performance of “Inner Light Revealed” will be slightly different from the one before. Audiences will witness a special one-of-a-kind interpretation of Diachenko’s vision every night.

According to Spera, “There is a very powerful chemistry happening. I even feel it in my soul. It’s sort of like … magic.”

“Inner Light Revealed” will be performed as part of “The Current”, CU Theatre & Dance’s annual spring event that brings vanguard artists of today’s dance scene to Boulder. It will also feature works choreographed by Larry Southall, Donna Meija, Helanius J. Wilkins, Chrissy Nelson, as well as guest artists Uri Shafir, Claudia LaVista, Stacy Cannon, and more.

“The Current” runs April 12-20, with tickets starting at $18.

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