Co’Motion Dance Theater presents: ‘Story Time’

Liz Cleaveland

“Story Time,” presented by the Co’Motion Dance Theater, is a new production that incorporates narrative and dance. Valerie Williams, artistic director for Co’Motion, toyed with the thought of working with a narrative for some time before committing to the idea.

“The idea has been in my head for a really long time. It was a bit of a personal challenge because I had to ask myself, ‘How can I translate words, [or] narrative, into movement and make it fun?’” Williams said.

Co’Motion Dance Theater started in 1978, and performances have taken place throughout the United States, from Maryland to Montana. Originally based in Des Moines, the dancers were invited to be the company in residence at ISU Dance.

“We have a three concert season in Ames and we produce three modern-dance concerts each season in Ames. Plus, [we have] Kids Co’Motion which is a three week performance workshop for kids ages eight through 18,” Williams said.

After analyzing countless narratives and attempting to write stories, Williams has spent the last few years developing her narrative.

“Just trying to get to the base of what I really wanted to accomplish was kind of a long, simmering process,” Williams said.

She came to the realization that a fairytale was the best example of a narrative and has since made “Story Time” a reality.

“Fairytales are the ultimate, in narrative: Something happens; there’s a test, and then there’s fairytale justice at the end,” Williams said.

Cutting-edge technology is used by Co’Motion to create “immersive environments.” In addition to using cameras and microphones, they attach sensors to each dancer so that their movement affects what happens on the stage. 

This technology reinforces the fantasy-like worlds that are created in fairytales and gives the audience a visual representation of each setting.

“Possibilities are not limited by physics in the fairytale world,” Williams said. 

What: Story Time

When: Nov. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Ames City Auditorium

Cost: 15 and under free, $15 general admission, $10 students and seniors