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Boston Moving Arts Productions showcase explores emotional experiences

Celina Colby
Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Boston Moving Arts Productions showcase explores emotional experiences
Whitney Schmanski, Jackson Jirard in Schmanski’s “Love.” PHOTO: DAVID ORR

Boston Moving Arts Productions dances onto the stage with a new showcase, “In My Heart,” Nov. 8 and 9 at the Boston Center for the Arts. The performance features four vignettes highlighting regional choreographers, including a premiere by Whitney Schmanski and works by Chavi Bansal, Ali Kenner Brodsky and Aysha Upchurch. Each piece digs deep into a different emotional experience in the human experience.

Aysha Upchurch in her solo “Finding Home.” PHOTO: COURTESY AYSHA UPCHURCH

Aysha Upchurch in her solo “Finding Home.”
PHOTO: COURTESY AYSHA UPCHURCH

Each preexisting work was selected for this showcase for its deep emotional intent, according to David Orr, the executive director of BMAP who runs the passion project on the side of his pharmaceutical day job.

The process of purchasing her first house inspired Upchurch’s piece, “Finding Home.” While embroiled in the real estate hunt she began considering what home meant to her and what home felt like. “I extended that notion of contending with having grown up in a place that doesn’t exist anymore, having traveled and moved to other cities,” says Upchurch. “As a transient person you’re always on a quest to try and make and find home beyond just a property where you live.”

Brodsky presents the duet “to be near you” which takes the audience on the roller coaster ride of grief. Brodsky will perform the piece with Boston-area dancer Jenna Pollack to music composed by violist and singer MorganEve Swain.

Jenna Pollack, Ali Kenner Brodsky in Brodsky’s “to be near you.” PHOTO: BILL PARSONS

Jenna Pollack, Ali Kenner Brodsky in Brodsky’s “to be near you.” PHOTO: BILL PARSONS

“Touched by Water,” by Bansal, explores the role water plays in our lives, from sustaining life to playing a spiritual role in religious ceremonies and presenting imminent danger in the environment.

Schmanski’s duet “Love” will be danced to a live performance of a new composition by New England Conservatory graduate Yang Bao. The dance explores both the lighthearted side of romance and the deep, challenging moments in relationships.

Upchurch says of her work, “Even though my piece is about a very specific neighborhood, very specific memories that inform how I go out into the world, I think many folks can identify with this because lots of people have the experience of very fond memories of their childhood home, neighborhood, community, and then leave it.” Each piece in the show is rooted in a personal experience of the choreographer, though they are not necessarily biographical stories. But the overarching themes apply to each audience member in a unique, personal way.

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Upchurch, who is also an educator, says she often sees audience members second-guess their reactions when encountering an art piece. “I am hoping people will realize that artwork is always an invitation for the conversation beyond, before, underneath words,” she says. “Whatever they feel, if it’s resonant for them, I hope they give themselves permission to feel that.”

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