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Learning to MOVE: Twin Cities dance company to work with students, seniors during Holmes residency

Members of the Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater group perform a scene from "Matinee," which will be presented at the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes this Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. (Submitted photo)1 / 3
The Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater performance of "Matinee," set for this Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre, includes several energetic dance numbers (Submitted photo)2 / 3
The members of Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater will be presenting the original dance theater work "Matinee," which was inspired by the old movie theater matinees of the 1930s and 1940s as well as a short story that appeared in The New Yorker magazine. (Submitted photo)3 / 3

When Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre welcomes performance artists to its stage for a concert, theatrical play or dance presentation, their visit frequently involves some form of artistic outreach into the community.

But it's not often that that a world-renowned group like Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater can spend several days engaged in such activities, not just in Detroit Lakes, but surrounding communities as well.

"They're really great at reaching people, wherever they are, and connecting dance to people's lives," says Amy Stoller Stearns, executive director of the Holmes Theatre. "They do some amazing outreach, and Beth (Gilbert, the theater's arts outreach director) has set up a really robust schedule for them this week."

After spending an afternoon and evening getting acquainted with the Detroit Lakes community this Sunday (Oct. 7), the dance troupe will hit the ground running on Monday, spending three consecutive mornings with a group of students at Waubun High School.

"They'll be doing a mini-version of their M.O.V.E. (My Own Voice Expressed) residency program," Stearns said, referring to SPDT's long-running residency program that "invites students to investigate concepts of identity and community through movement, music, spoken word and video," according to an informational packet on the company's various artistic outreach programs.

"It's exciting to be bringing more outreach to Waubun," said Gilbert, noting that the students there have been "really receptive and positive" when they have brought artists to the school in the past.

Later in the day on Monday, the SPDT dancers will head over to Essentia Health St. Mary's Oak Crossing, where they will be doing a movement workshop with the nursing home's senior residents, similar to one that they did at the nursing home during their "Family Albums" residency in Detroit Lakes three years ago.

"They really like coming here," said Gilbert of SPDT, adding that Pimsler himself would be accompanying the group on their visit to Detroit Lakes this coming week, along with his co-director, Suzanne Costello, who was with the group during their 2016 residency in the community.

"There will also be a couple of other dancers in the group who were here in 2016," she added.

On Tuesday, after returning from Waubun, the SPDT dancers will be joining a Silver Sneakers fitness class at the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center for another mini-movement workshop, using chairs.

That evening, they will be doing a mini-workshop with the members of a "Powerful Tools for Caregivers" program at Lakes Area Vineyard Church, starting at 5 p.m., and then on Wednesday afternoon, they will be doing another mini-movement workshop at Lincoln Park Senior Apartments & Assisted Living in Detroit Lakes, followed by a master dance class that evening with the members of Northern Lights Dance Academy in Frazee.

On Thursday, Oct. 11, the group will be spending the entire day in rehearsals and technical preparations for their evening show, "Matinee: From Page to Stage to Screen," which takes place at 7:30 p.m. on the Holmes Theatre's main stage.

"It's an original work that they've adapted for our community," said Stearns, noting that it tells the story of a young woman who, bored with her lonely existence, finds a new life through the old-fashioned movie matinees at her local theater.

Their performance in Detroit Lakes will take the audience through the creative process of adapting the short story "Matinee" by Robert Coover, which originally ran in the magazine The New Yorker, into a contemporary dance theater piece for the stage.

Tickets for the show are $15 for adults, $7.50 for students — although the theater is also offering a special "bogo" deal for this performance, where for every adult ticket purchased at full price, you can get a student ticket for free. For more information, please contact the Historic Holmes Theatre at 218-844-7469, stop by the box office at 806 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes, or visit the website at www.dlccc.org/holmes.html.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 17 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454
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