RESIDENT SPOTLIGHT: HEATHER AHERN / AERPLAYE DANCE
First of all, Phil and I decided to move back here after visiting last Fall. We’ve had a lot of heart to heart discussions about where my passion lies. I came to the realization that I’m most happy, and feel most alive, when I’m in the studio, creating work and moving.
How is this new company different?
Groundwerx was very much a collective, and sometimes collaborative. Aerplaye, at this point, is representative of my work. The last several years have been about finding my voice.
One of my dancers, Kathy Gordon Smith, worked with Groundwerx previously. Our current cast is multi-generational, which I am very excited about. While we do have some twenty-somethings in the group, dance is not just for people in their 20’s. I think the variety of experiences we all bring to the table, makes the group more dimensional and interesting.
What are the hoop skirts all about?
The hoop skirts have been through several different iterations at this point. The structures are made of steel, are free-standing, are three feet tall, four and a half feet wide at the bottom, and can be worn or manipulated by the dancers. To me, they represent so many different things. They are societally imposed mores, shelters, anchors, things that hinder, things that empower. They are different things to different characters in the dance. And they are different things to the same dancer at different times.What can people look forward to seeing at Return?
I would have to say an incredible variety in terms of the style and feel of the work, from one dance to the next, and some stellar performances. This is a very strong committed group of performers. The music is also incredibly diverse as well.
What’s next for you and Aerplaye?
I’m currently doing research for a full length topical work – I am keeping the subject matter under wraps as of right now, but I am very excited about it.