Trust in the beauty of dance

Adaptations Dance Theater ‘Brings It Home’

Adaptations Dance Theater presents “Bring it Home 2018.” Performances are at 7 p.m. July 6 and 7 at the ‘A‘ali‘ikuhonua Creative Arts Center on the Seabury Hall campus in Makawao. An opening night gala will be held at 5:30 p.m. on July 6 and tickets include beverages, pupu and live music. The Friday night gala and performance is a 21 and older event. All ages are welcome to the Saturday performance. Attendees may bring their own beer and wine, and will also have the opportunity to mingle with the artists at the after-party. Tickets to the opening night gala are $55. Saturday tickets are $29 for adults and $15 for students. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit Ajja DeShayne photo

Just as theater has blossomed with new production companies popping up on Maui over the past decade, so has dance — most prominently by means of Adaptations Dance Theater.

The once diminutive contemporary dance company has expanded every year since its beginnings in 2012, and will present its third annual “Bring It Home” dance concert at the ‘A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center on the Seabury Hall campus in Makawao next weekend.

I asked performer and ADT board member Jen Cox what drew her to the company.

“What first drew me to ADT was the opportunity to dance and perform for a professional company. There are plenty of classes I can take, and I even get to perform in school productions as an adult; but being a part of a professional dance company where dance can be the focus of my day rather than just a hobby is the ultimate life achievement for me,” she shared. 

“What continues to draw me to ADT is the quality of the people and the movement. ADT performances are not easily forgotten — there are real emotional processes happening between dancer and audience — because what is being expressed onstage through this beautiful, evocative movement are universal human experiences.”

An essential component of the “Bring it Home” mission is to bring back those who have left the island for professional dance opportunities elsewhere. Maui native Katie Istvan, who has been dancing professionally in Los Angeles for the past six years, recently returned to Maui and credits ADT as one reason for the move.

“I feel like ADT has created a platform where professional dancers originating from Maui can come back and work. ADT has raised the caliber of dance on Maui, and has given me real opportunity on the island. If it weren’t for ADT curating such events, I would not be coming back as often as I am, and I also certainly would not even think about moving back,” said Istvan.

” ‘Bring it Home’ means the world to me,” said Hallie Hunt, co-founder and co-artistic director of ADT. ” ‘Bring it Home’ is the ultimate dream of collaboration, support and community. It is a lesson in perseverance, as it is a year of hard and constant work followed by two brief but thrilling performances. It means giving the professional dancers from and of Maui the platform to share their craft and inspiration with their community, their home. It means lifting our youth up and showing them their potential. It means sore feet and aching backs. It means thanking all our parents by sharing the beautiful expression of dance that they have supported since we were children. It means giving back and growing the love of dance in and for our home,” Hunt accounted.  

This year’s performances will feature original works by guest choreographers Nathaniel Hunt, Ali McKeon and Hallie Hunt. Istvan will join Maui dancers Amelia Couture, Cady Cox, Jen Cox, Nicole Humphrey, Ashley Krost, Emily McKeon, Nicole Yezzi, along with ADT youth apprentice Jessica Bartlett.

Former apprentice Krost explained how ADT has shaped her dance career.

“It is so hard to put into words what ADT means to me, because it means everything. ADT is pure inspiration, innovation and creativity — (being) surrounded by such amazing people that make all of it happen is truly inspiring. ADT has given me a peek into the professional world, and has allowed me to take my dance training to the next level,” noted Krost.

Ali McKeon shared why audiences should attend.

“I believe ‘Bring it Home’ is a celebration of community, and is therefore a show that welcomes every type of audience member and viewer regardless of previous exposure to dance. My wish for the Maui community is that this show allows them to step outside of themselves, and be moved by the profound stories being told through movement,” she said.

Frequent ADT guest artist, Nathaniel Hunt, echoed those thoughts.

“Come because it will inspire you, motivate you and connect with you on so many levels. Dance is the universal language because movement is movement. I have always believed this saying, ‘Teachers teach lives, doctors save lives — dancers and artists change lives,’ “ he remarked.