The Barefoot Collective Defies Gravity

26 Feb

Stephanie Pederson in flight. Photo: Michael Hoover

For anyone who doubts the existence of extraterrestrials in our midst, this writer would point to the phenomenon of modern dancers – those gravity-defying beings who skim the earth’s surface with pantherine grace, precision and athleticism. This idea took hold a few days ago, after I had a spectacular bike crash in which, after braking for a red light on a steep downhill, my road bike stopped and I flew over the handlebars with feet still clipped to the pedals. While mid-air, I considered that the situation might look a lot worse than it felt. Fortunately, this turned out to be true, as I reassured the driver who jumped out of his car to offer help. Later, a friend kindly suggested that my aerial feat was worthy of the Cirque du Soleil…sure, except that I didn’t land on my feet (and I would have paid to ditch the audience at the traffic stop).

tBFC dancers Kristie Hoke, Tracey Lewis and Jamie Pederson. Photo: Carlos Sanchez

One can hardly imagine such faux pas from the talented members of the Barefoot Collective (tBFC), a local dance company who, since 2008, have earned plaudits for original, contemporary works of power and passion. tBFC is the recipient of a three-month Spaceworks Tacoma creative residency that will support the completion of a major piece, The Ides of May, to be performed the weekend of May 14-15. The studio will also hold community auditions and offer dance instruction to students of all levels at the 915 Pacific Avenue rehearsal space.

Performance at the Museum of Glass. Photo: Michael Hoover

The Ides of May is built on a series of individual vignettes “organized like a concert,” according to tBFC co-director Katie Stricker. Conceived last fall, the project includes an educational component to take place at Gig Harbor High School, where tBFC is facilitating a dance-and-composition workshop. Students will eventually create their own dance piece for inclusion in The Ides of May. The spring showcase will also feature performances by MGMHArts, BQ Danza and other artists to be announced.

Stricker says the large Spaceworks studio will accommodate installation of the company’s marley floor, which allows dancers to rehearse in the exact space/conditions in which they will be performing. “Consistent, quality rehearsal space is invaluable for the creation of dance works,” she says. Stricker, along with co-directors  Michael Hoover, Stephanie Pederson, Carrie Goodnight and Amanda Herman begin work in the new performance space on March 1. I’ll look forward to viewing their fantastic physical feats, from the mere mortals section, with feet planted on the ground. The Barefoot Collective, 915 Pacific Avenue, March 1 – May 31, 2011. Performances May 14 (3pm and 7:30pm) and May 15 (3pm).

4 Responses to “The Barefoot Collective Defies Gravity”


  1. Call for Artists – 8@8! « - April 13, 2011

    […] The BareFoot Collective is hosting 8@8, an open-mike and performance night on April 30 at 8p.m. Facilitated and organized by tBFC, this Spaceworks event offers a platform for artists of any discipline (including music, drama, dance, 2-D art and photography) to try out new work in an informal setting. Each artist will have a maximum of eight minutes in which to introduce their material. This is an excellent opportunity to connect with other artists, have your work seen and receive feedback. […]

  2. Spaceworks Spring Opening, April 21, 5-7p.m. « - April 19, 2011

    […] 915 Pacific Avenue, two performance groups, the BareFoot Collective  dance troupe and 4th Wall Theater Company, will be on site rehearsing, and chatting about […]

  3. BareFoot Collective Dance Showcase, May 14-15 « - May 3, 2011

    […] The BareFoot Collective (tBFC) presents Ides of May, a contemporary dance concert featuring professional dance artists and upcoming dancers from Gig Harbor High School, May 14-15. tBFC organized this event with the support of a three-month Spaceworks Tacoma residency. In addition to the work of budding student performers, Ides of May debuts new choreography by BQdanza director, Carla Barragán, and tBFC choreographers Katie Stricker and Michael Hoover. Stricker takes the floor with an all-female quartet in a dance piece that speaks to the language of sisterhood. Hoover reprises a cathartic solo involving a whistling tea kettle, as well as introducing two new works, one of which melds dancers spanning a diversity of age, experience and geography from across the South Sound. A puppet takes life in "Nincompoopiana." […]

  4. Barefoot in “Lemolo & the Kaleidoscope Dance” | Spaceworks Tacoma - June 17, 2013

    […] Spaceworks participant Barefoot Collective is part of an upcoming event we want you to know […]

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