BARE ... New Dance by Laura Gutierrez

Don’t let the photo on the poster fool you — BARE…New Dance by Laura Gutierrez won’t be performed by totally nude dancers. True, choreographer Laura Gutierrez wants the audience to see pure movement unencumbered by the usual costumes or sets, but the dancers will be wearing clothing. Not a lot, but some. “I want to eliminate the barrier between the audience and the performer as much as I can without making anyone uncomfortable,” Gutierrez tells us. “I want to have people see a dancer face-to-face and see all the angles. I’m a very angular dancer, and I’m breaking it down and stripping everything away.” (That phrase “stripping everything away” isn’t meant to be taken literally with regards to clothing.)

There are a few more things to clear up. Gutierrez is staging BARE in an art gallery, but the dance works won’t have anything to do with the art hanging on the walls. Instead, Gutierrez’s choreography was created in response to the physical space of the gallery. BARE is being performed on Valentine’s Day weekend, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the holiday. BARE is not performance art. “This is not performance art; I’ve done that and this is different. At the same time, I didn’t want to just throw dance into a gallery. This is not that either.”

Also, it’s being presented with no seating for the audience. “Part of the challenge has been to imagine the audience in the space, how the audience is going to react and how the dancers are going to react to those reactions. The dancers keep asking me, ‘What about the audience?’ and I keep saying, ‘Oh, it’s okay. They’ll move. Really, it’ll be great,’” she laughs.

And there’s no narrative. “It’s all pure movement. The women I have are very strong dancers, so this is just me working with really strong dancers to create pure movement. There’s no narrative — at least I don’t think there is. Who’s to say? Once you put a piece in front of an audience, it takes on a life of its own.”

8 p.m. Saturday; 6 p.m. Sunday. Nicole Longnecker Gallery, 2625 Colquitt. For information, call 713-591-4997 or visit longneckergallery.com. $18.
Sat., Feb. 14, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 15, 6 p.m., 2015

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Olivia Flores Alvarez