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Tamama Dance Company to present ‘Collection’

Dancers from Tamama Dance Company perform during their production FLOW in 2018 at the Forest Roberts Theatre in Marquette. (Journal file photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — Tamama Dance Company will perform an intimate, hour-long modern dance performance titled “Collection” Tuesday through Saturday at Northern Michigan University’s James A. Panowski Black Box Theatre.

Tamama is a Marquette-based, nonprofit modern dance group that was started four years ago by Tara Middleton, Maggie Barch and Marissa Marquardson, with the goal of increasing awareness of dance as an art form through innovative performance and dance education, according to its website.

The group hopes their upcoming performance will provoke thought, said Tamama Co-Founder Maggie Barch. She added that the trio was inspired by the dictionary definition of the word Collection and gathered their artist description from there. “Collection” will be an accumulation of movement gathered for study, comparison and exhibition.

“Being that it’s abstract art, there’s not really a linear story that you would follow,” Barch said. “It’s not really like a play or musical that would cast characters and first this happens, then this happens, then this happens, it’s abstract. There’s definitely stories, there’s definitely emotion and feeling there and those things reside in all of us and hopefully watching the performance will stir those things in people. Basically, it allows them to put their own story to what they’re seeing.”

Much of the group’s inspiration comes from the natural beauty of the Upper Peninsula. Barch said “Collection” is almost like watching the waves roll in on the shore of Superior.

“You’re not wondering why you’re watching and enjoying and that’s sort of the idea with an abstract performance piece,” she said. “Thought may come into your mind but then you sort of let it go. You don’t need to hang onto anything. A lot of times humans want to know why and what, they like to categorize things, so I would say for an audience member if they could allow themselves to let go of that need to categorize and experience and watch and let those thoughts that bubble up to the service bubble up and then let them go, just see how they feel.”

Barch said the community is very lucky to have such a wide variety of art performances in the area and that “Collection” will be a unique experience unlike any other dance performance in Marquette.

“It’s not a recital where we pick our favorite song and string together a bunch of different choreography,” she said. “We really try to have themes and feelings that repeat throughout that sort of tie and weave the whole thing together.”

A special floor to ceiling interactive installation was also built for “Collection” that dancers will weave in and out of during the performance.

Barch is most looking forward to the opportunity to perform in the intimate setting of the Black Box Theatre, she said.

“I’ve never performed in the Black Box Theatre before,” Barch said. “I’ve certainly performed in very crazy venues like we’ve performed on a rock wall on the street corner downtown, the corner of Washington and Third so we’ve performed all over the place on theatres and off. This specific theatre setting you’re going to have the awesome sound and lighting and all that you get with a theatre, but you’re also going to get that feeling of being right next to your audience. So I feel like for the audience it might be more of an experience than something they’re just watching.

“Collection” will take place at 7:30 p.m. daily and an opening night party with food and drinks will follow Tuesday evening’s performance. Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for students and $5 for NMU students. Tickets can be purchased at any NMU ticket outlet, online at tickets.nmu.edu or by calling 906-227-1032.

For more information on Tamama Dance Company, visit tamamdance.com.

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.