Azriel LaMarca and Shari Brookler began exploring their creative potential together in the summer of 2011. Delighted to discover their artistic compatibility, they continued to collaborate with one another through the medium of dance.
During the last year and a half, they have created three duets that trace the evolution of friendship. They will perform these intimate dance pieces at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center. A reception will follow the performance Friday evening.
A native of Nevada County and a child of the Ridge, LaMarca grew up studying ballet and drama.
“The process of being in the studio and exploring, having a vague sense of a direction to go in and then discovering something there is a wonderful experience,” said LaMarca. “Shari and I are excited to give people a glimpse into this reality.”
Having received a bachelor of arts in theater arts with a focus in dance performance and choreography from the University of California, Santa Cruz, LaMarca returned home and founded The Glass Bead Players, a collaborative endeavor that produced several evenings of dance theater in Nevada County from 2001 to 2004. She also has taught and choreographed for the Nevada Union High School Theatrical Dance Program and currently teaches at The Movement Alliance School in Nevada City.
A dancer at heart, Brookler earned her master’s in fine arts in choreography and performance from California State University, Long Beach, where she taught both modern dance and Pilates. Following the completion of her master’s degree, she danced and choreographed for The Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company. In 1999, she formed Dreams in Motion, a dance company, which created works for the stage and also worked with youth in pursuing their dreams through art, dance, dialogue, writing and game playing.
“We wanted to present an intimate dance concert because the quality and feeling of our work is intimate and subtle,” said Brookler. “We want to share an experience with the audience, not just show off some fancy tricks.”
For this special concert, they have also invited a handful of dancers and improvisers to join them: Amber Cone, Maxima Kahn, Stephen Hein, Juliet Lin, Sonya Scott, Sara Keene and Kristen Timchak.
“The themes of our choreography center around friendship and connection,” said LaMarca. “We’ve really been exploring this for the last year and a half as we’ve been getting to know one another and making these dances. Working together on a physical level is a unique way to understand another person.”
Seating for this two-night performance will be limited to make space for the dancers in the one-room North Columbia Schoolhouse. Tickets are $10 for members of North Columbia Schoolhouse, $12 for non-members and $15 at the door. They are available in advance at BriarPatch Co-op, Mother Truckers and the Nevada City Box Office.
For information, go to http://northcolumbiaschoolhouse.org.