Northwest NEWS

December 6, 1999


Kaleidoscope gives the gift of dance

Kaleidoscope dancers

Leah Glover (left) and Adrienne Clark practice their dances for the upcoming Kaleidoscope Winter Concert.
Photo by Paul Fardig.

by Deborah Stone

   Kaleidoscope is the oldest modern dance company in Seattle. Founded in 1981 by Anne Green Gilbert, Kaleidoscope is comprised of dancers between the ages of eight and fourteen who perform concerts nationally and internationally throughout the year.

   The company is well-known for its eclectic programs and thought-provoking dance works, as well as the infectious spirit and natural exuberance of its dancers.

   Each year, Kaleidoscope presents an annual spring concert series, which showcases professional choreography, often from well-known choreographers such as Bill Evans, Shirley Jenkins, Debbie Gilbert, and Joanne Petroff.

   The company also performs an annual winter concert, "Gift of Dance," highlighting the dancers' own choreography. The dancers choose music, and choreograph, costume, and refine their works of art to present as their gift to the community. Their choreography is motivated by their extensive knowledge of dance concepts, learned while attending Creative Dance Center in North Seattle (Kaleidoscope's base).

   This year's concert will be held Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. at Roosevelt High School in Seattle. It features two local performers from Kenmore, Adrienne Clark and Leah Glover.

   Adrienne attends the fourth grade at Lockwood Elementary and joined Kaleidoscope as a second grader. She loves performing with the company and likes bringing people pleasure through dance. She also enjoys creating her own dances because it allows her to express her feelings.

   "Modern dance allows me more freedom to move my body than ballet," says Clark. "I like to show the audience my feelings and it's especially fun to make people smile and laugh."

   She will be performing a duet entitled, "Feelings, Much Too Many."

   "The piece starts out lively in the first half with jumps and twirls, and then in the second half, it gets slower as we grow more tired," explains Clark. This young dancer plans to stay with Kaleidoscope until she is fourteen and then hopefully move on to Anomaly, the company for older teens.

   Eleven-year-old Leah Glover is a Kenmore Elementary fifth grader who has been with Kaleidoscope for two years, although she's been studying dance since she was two.

   Leah likes to perform for big crowds and rarely gets nervous when she dances. She says, "I love to dance because it's so much fun and it makes me happy. I also love to travel to places and perform for audiences all over the world. Going to Finland with Kaleidoscope last year was so exciting!"

   In the upcoming winter program, Leah will be dancing in a number she created with two other dancers, involving weight sharing, turns, leaps, and other quick movements.

   "I hope that when audiences come see us, they will see how fun dance is and they will also want to learn to dance," says Leah.

   Kaleidoscope's "Gift of Dance" is a wonderful addition to the holiday arts festivities around the area. For ticket information, call 206-363-7281.