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TWU hosts Texas Dance Improvisation festival

Heather Hines, Reporter

Three TWU Students and Fuchs practicing weight sharing and balance during an improvisational dance piece.
Three TWU Students and Fuchs practicing weight sharing and balance during an improvisational dance piece.

The seventh annual Texas Dance Improvisation Festival, featuring guest artist Darrell Jones, will be hosted by the Department of Dance on campus Oct. 8-10.    

The creation of TDIF came from TWU’s Associate Professors of Dance Jordan Fuchs and Sarah Gamblin, who co-founded the festival in 2009. The TDIF was first held at TWU. The festival celebrates the study of contact improvisation dance and provides a place for dancers to meet and network within the improvisation community. The festival will run for two days, offering two live performances by Jones, practice sessions – or jams – and workshops for any participants who register.     

Fuchs said: “The festival brings people together from all over Texas, but also people from overseas. It’s about growing a group of improvisers and a dance scene here in Texas.”       

The workshops allow dancers to learn from four to six different teachers, which, according to Fuchs, is “a rich opportunity for students to see different works and styles” of dance, while jams allow dancers to practice their weight sharing and balance with other artists.

A different Texas university hosts TDIF every year, and for the 2015 festival made the loop back to TWU, where it originated, with Jones as the guest performer this year.

Jones’ work in improvisation dance drew attention of the TDIF’s coordinating committee because of his renown and talent.

Fuchs shared: “He’s a really exceptional artist making an impact all over the world. He can bring different identities and perspectives to the festival.”

TIDF’s low registration cost allows for almost everyone to attend the festival, and the committee keeps the cost low to keep the festival accessible.

Fuchs concluded: “The festival is building a wonderful sense of community in Texas. It’s a fantastic experience. You’re going to see so much, learn so much and dance so much.”

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