Cape Fear Arts in Motion: Visuals, Vocals and Variations

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Forward Motion Dance Company is back on stage! Our exciting annual performance, Cape Fear Arts in Motion: Visuals, Vocals and Variations connects dancers, choreographers, musical and visual artists, and more to bring the art form of dance to the stage for a varied and collaborative event that showcases the talents of Choreographer Tracey Varga. Presented are new dance performances along with re-creations of works from the past, with a live choral performance featuring Elizabeth Stovall, films by Patrick Ogelvie, and an exciting piece from guest choreographer Gaspard Louis.

New works include a creation with eight dancers set to a new music composition from local artist Joe Cordaro. This high energy piece has three sections with dancers from UNCW, The Dance Cooperative, The Dance Element and FMD Company member Kara Abbott.

A highlight of the evening will be a premier dance to “Only in Sleep”, composed by Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds in 2010 that includes lyrics from a poem by American author Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), read by Rhonda Bellamy, about remembering childhood friends in her dreams. Joining the dancers live onstage will be UNCW Soprano Elizabeth Stovall with choral group led by Dr. Aaron Peisner, Director of Choral Activities at UNCW. Forward Motion Dance Company dancers Kara Abbott, Nicole Dalier, and Susan Turner are joined by guest dancer Stephanie Nadeau.

A returning favorite is “Stages” (2008), a trio set to music by Nina Simone with remixes by Coldcut and Groovefinders, where the dance explores the artistic and life challenges of Nina Simone. Revisiting her part from the past is dancer Jeneen Cleare along with Stephanie Nadeau and Linda Ann Webb as guests.

Forward Motion Dance Company is excited to have a new piece choreographed by Tracey Varga for teen dancers from local studios including The Dance Element, DREAMS, South East Dance Academy, The Hoggard Dance Team and the Glory Academy of Fine Arts. Music is by award winning composer Dale Cornelius, who is known as a multi-instrumentalist and soundtrack artist for movies, television, animation and feature documentary films. He was commissioned by the Australian Government and recognized as a member of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers 2020.

“Interconnection” from Dance-a-lorus at the 2021 Cucalorus Film Festival is a collaboration with filmmaker Patrick Ogelvie and choreographer Tracey Varga that explores problems and solutions to local and world pollution, hunger and homelessness, and is heightened by poignant music by Marvin Gaye, John Lennon and Louis Armstrong.

Dances titled “Spirited Synergy” (2022) and “So Long Michael” (2020) with music by French guitarist and composer Pierre Bensusan will also be presented, and “So Long Michael” includes an engaging interpretive film by Patrick Ogelvie.

Forward Motion Dance Company is delighted to have guest choreographer Gaspard Louis who will set his creative piece “Around Within” for our Company and guest dancers. Gaspard is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Durham based modern dance company Gaspard & Dancers, who have consistently wowed audiences from the Triangle area of NC and beyond. Led by Gaspard, a former Pilobolus dancer, Gaspard & Dancers have worked with local musicians and composers, many dance and film festivals around the world, and produce an annual performance at Duke University, as well as present across North Carolina as part of the NC Dance Festival.

Forward Motion Dance Company dancers performing are Kara Abbott, Ashley Barnes, Nicole Dalier, Susan Turner, Becky Spivey, and McCall Milligan. Guest dancers are Jeneen Cleare, Melanie Dubel, Jenn Guerra, Michelle Harman, Wells Jackson, Avi Kornfeld, Stephanie Nadeau, Ariana Stefanut, Linda Ann Webb and Vanessa Welch.

In a show not to be missed, come be astounded by an inspired evening of music, film, and modern, contemporary and jazz dance that Cape Fear Arts in Motion brings in this exciting return to the beautiful and historic Thalian Hall main stage.

Forward Motion Dance Company with founder, director and choreographer Tracey Varga is a Wilmington, NC, based non-profit 501(c)(3) dance organization whose mission is to provide local and regional communities with quality modern contemporary dance and education in the art of dance, as well as enhance the local arts community by providing performance opportunities for area dancers and performance artists. We are an all-volunteer organization proudly supported by local, state and national grants, and community sponsors. For more information please visit our Facebook page or

September 22 & 23, 2022, at 7:30 pm at Thalian Hall Main Stage

Tickets are $25 general admission; $22 for seniors, students, military, & children under 12, plus taxes and fees. Please contact the Thalian Hall Box Office at 910.632.2285 or online for ticket reservations.

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