The show LAUNCH is a premiere of the newly formed LiRa Dance Theater in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. LAUNCH premieres August 4 at the Museum of Visual Materials in downtown Sioux Falls. Theatrical characters and musicians stroll the outside gardens of the museum as dancers warm up onstage inside the museum.
Dances are woven together like a person's life; some are seamlessly smooth and yet others surprise with start and stop abrupt jerks. The show opens with a cello and piano duet of butterflies in flight transforming into humans......metamorphosis in motion. The show is a rollercoaster ride of both physical and emotional relationships, whimsical fantasies, motherhood, to illness, grief, and war.
LAUNCH hauntingly touches on life topics that reflect on the human experience and existence.
LiRa Dance Theater is the joining of choreographic voices Lisa Conlin and Raena Rasmussen. With Conlin's witty and thought provoking theatrics and Rasmussen's cutting edge and physically challenging contemporary choreography, the two test the waters for Sioux Falls First Professional Dance Theater Project.
Conlin and Rasmussen pay tribute to pivotal moments in their lives with these eclectic dance and theater pieces brought to life by the amazing and talented cast of LAUNCH.
Directed and Choreographed by Lisa Conlin and Raena Rasmussen
LiRa Dance Theater Cast: Amanda Anderson, Noelle Awadallah, Georgia Conlin, Lisa Conlin, Alayna Dutcher, Madeleine Ellis, Brian J. Evans, Kelsey Freidel Nelson, Anthony Gasiecki, Angelina Gibson, Reyna Gomarko, McKenzie Kock, Kassie Kolbeck, Emily Magnuson, Anthony Nelson, Thomas Nguyen, Regan O'Connor, Rachel Person, Raena Rasmussen, and Ashlee Simonson.
Singer and Musicians: Brian J. Evans and Anthony Gasiecki
Videography: Anthony Gasiecki
Photo Credits: LAUNCH and The Falls by Rachel Person
Paranoia by Jeff McElroy
Once Upon a Time and Tragedy by Heidi Hansen
Composer of Blue Heaven Anger music: Mike Hallenbeck
Percussionist of Recorded music for Key Connection Duet: Davu Seru
We invite you to come and check out Lira Dance Theater's premiere, LAUNCH. Unforgettable Ground breaking Dance Theater that moves, inspires, and feeds the soul.
BIOS FOR LiRa Choreographers:
Lisa conceived the Ritz Theater’s RENOVATE-A Choreographer’s Evening to give Minnesota choreographers a place to create and show their work curating it from 2008-2014. Conlin also presented four full length shows: Blue Heaven, The Secret Annex, Stripped, and Sacred. Conlin is a recipient of the Live Music for Dance Minnesota 2013-2014 program. She has also showcased her work for the Walker Arts Center, Old Arizona Studio, Patrick’s Cabaret, Studio 2A Project, Loring Playhouse, Ritz Theater, Southern Theater, and the MN Fringe Festival. She has also been a company member with Ballet of the Dolls Dance Theater Company for twenty years. Conlin recently relocated to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and joined forces with fellow hometown choreographer and owner of Balleraena Dance Studio, Raena Rasmussen to start LiRa Dance Theater. She has directed and choreographed Balleraena's Dance Theater Winter show for the past three years and is on faculty at Balleraena. She is also a 200 hour registered yoga and hot yoga instructor at FORM Fitness.
Raena received her BFA in dance from the University of Montana with emphasis in teaching, choreography, and performance. Her continuing education has included traveling and studying many forms of dance in Bali, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Boston. She has taken class from well-known Kyle B, Eric J. Campros, Matt Steffanina, Dana Alexa, Tracie Stanfield, Marty Kudelka, Mia Michaels, Chris Judd, Laurie Ann Gibson, Mike Witmers, Sonya Tayeh, Travis Wall and more. She opened her own dance studio, Balleraena Dance Studio in 2001. She has been teaching in Sioux Falls for eighteen years. She started Balleraena Dance Company (BDC) in 2006. Balleraena Dance Studio performed the Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet in 2005, 2015, and 2016. Most recently she danced in Minneapolis at the Ritz Theater in Blue Heaven in 2012 and in Sacred in 2014. Raena also has earned her pilates certificates in mat, standing pilates, reformer and wunda chair.
Risks and challenges
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
A show of any kind requires enormous amounts of time, energy, and talent by the entire cast, which in our case are: sixteen dancers, two apprentices, two musicians, one lighting and sound technician, and one videographer. This is our first LiRa Dance Theater project and has been a year in the making. The risk involved is compensating our entire creative team adequately for this project so that these working artists will continue to make inspiring dance theater for the Sioux Falls community and surrounding area in the future for LiRa. As a hometown dance studio owner (Rasmussen) and a past grant recipient for choreography (Conlin), we feel that we have begun to build a solid reputation in the Sioux Falls arts community. Ticket sales are well underway as well as LiRa Dance classes, open rehearsals, and city performances. Marketing, scheduled press coverage, and social media are all in the works to help build the momentum of this newly formed dance theater group and first showing, LAUNCH. Upon the completion of this project, we will keep striving to bring heartfelt memorable dance theater to you by opening our LiRa doors for all to see.
- (30 days)