Monica Bill Barnes performance visits Sewanee

by Pagie Wilson

In tandem with the Sewanee Performing Arts Series and Theatre Sewanee, Monica Bill Barnes & Company performed at the Tennessee Williams Center September 11th and 12th. The show was primarily a dance performance featuring two dancers, Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass.

Bringing in their own props, Barnes and Bass added theatrical aspects to their show. Barnes and Bass interacted with the audience during and after dance numbers through large facial expressions, sharp movements, and laughter. Monica Bill Barnes & Company is a contemporary dance company started in 1997 in New York City. The company is not only committed to performing, but to teaching as well. The
afternoon of the 12th, Barnes and Bass held a Master Class in the dance studio at the TWC for any students interested.

The Master Class, a seventy-five minute affair, was attended by students and faculty. Barnes and Bass demonstrated different warm ups and pieces that they performed either in the studio or incorporated into performances. Barnes and Bass explained that character was also an important aspect to the routine, and focused on finding the character in dance for those attending.

The performance the night of the 12th was similar to the show on the 11th, except a few key audience exceptions. Instead of sticking to the same routine every night, Barnes and Bass use improvisation depending on the audience energy of the night.

Theatre Sewanee hopes to bring in more acclaimed dance groups with the help of new dance professor, Courtney World.