Most think of ballet and Irish step as traditionally rigid forms of dance. But since 1985, the artists of Choreography on the Edge have been trying to change that and to push the boundaries of all types of movement. The event was conceived by a group of local choreographers who wanted to showcase some new pieces, the requirement being that they integrate music and movement in new and unusual ways. The public loved it, and Choreography on the Edge has returned every year since.
Its 25th program will be held on Friday, August 8 and Saturday, August 9 at 8pm, and on Sunday, August 10 at 3pm, at the historic Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock. Its choreographers and dancers will showcase a variety of styles and techniques: modern dance, contemporary ballet, and some creatively revamped Irish step. Audiences will see choreography by Joel Hanna, an original Riverdance cast member, as well as by local dancers Laura Ward of Octavia Cup Dance Theatre and Claire Jacob-Zysman. Leighann Kowalsky and Rowan Willigan, of the D’Amby Project, will also perform. And this year, Choreography on Edge cofounder Sara Miot will return after many years to present a piece performed by the Ulster Ballet.
The dance event requires both artists and audience members to challenge themselves and their expectations. In an effort to keep performances spontaneous and fresh, the show's curators did not preview works before adding them to the program—most will be premiered at Byrdcliffe. Tickets are $12 and available at ChoreographyontheEdge@gmail.com or (845) 453-8673.