Relaxed Relationship 

This time, Ruth Naomi Feinblum put the creative process before the performance.

She explains, "I wanted to come up with something that really spoke to me and worked on different levels. ... I wanted to be able to articulate where I'm coming from, get to its essence and allow the dancers to take their own road."

Her new approach has altered her relationship to music, which she admits was never a strength of hers. Previously, she chose the music after setting the choreography, but now she brings it in earlier. "I never wanted to get trapped by the music. I haven't wanted to minimalize it. Now the dances are more musical."

As in her other shows, she has chosen dancers trained in acting. Jennifer Hammond, who has worked in musical theater, and stand-up comic Melanie Rasnic join dancers Megan Coyner, Kerri Ann Helsley and Kimberly Phillips. "Actors and dancers pull things out of each other," Feinblum explains. "The actors bring more emotion to the work. They're able to access a different performance quality. I like the combination."

The collective will premiere two works: the lighthearted trio "Net," which incorporates gestures from action heroes such as Spider-Woman and Wonder Woman and the duet "Tense Agreement" which is a study of contrasts in relationships. Both the jazzy quartet "Clockwork" and the trio "Then," about the haunting power of relationships, have been reworked to be more closely fitted to the music of the Marty Erlick Darkwood's Ensemble and a Gorecky symphony, respectively. Also pulled from Feinblum's repertoire are the solo "Midnight," to be performed by Helsley; the mournful "Lighting Yartzeits;" and "9.5," a playful parody of swimming, accompanied by the music of Mozart.

"All of the Above" marks an approach to choreography and to producing a show that is more relaxed. She attributes much of her growth to the intelligence of Richmond dance audiences. "Richmond is friendly to dance. ... People surprise me with what they see. My work is abstract, open to interpretation, but they always see something." S"All of the Above" will be performed by the Richmond Performing Arts Collective on April 5-6 at 8 p.m. at the Firehouse Theater, 1609 W. Broad St. Tickets are $7. Call 222-1786.


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