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Two dance companies at Crotched Mountain

The Monadnock Academy of Movement Arts’ Youth Performing Company will join with Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center’s Dance Company “Active Ingredients Dance Troupe” for their third annual performance.

The dance will take place in Carter Hall at Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center on Friday, June 6, at 7 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

The collaboration between the two dance troupes began when Pat Martin, Bonnie Arpin and Lisa Moran, who work with dancers at Crotched Mountain, were dancing at Christina Ahern’s dance studio. They had a conversation and came up with the idea that the two troupes perform together.

For the last three years, Active Ingredients has collaborated with M.A.M.A. Youth Performing Company to create a rich dance experience which aims to expand the boundaries of what it means to be a dancer. The performances are preceded by a combined rehearsal and a shared meal for all the dancers involved.

Ahern, director of M.A.M.A., said of the first performance, “It was very magical what happened. The audience was so moved to see dancers bound by physical limitations really dancing, using their whole body, mind and spirit. The spirit of dance is in everyone.”

Arpin, music and performing arts teacher at Crotched, said of the collaboration, “It worked out very well. It’s good for our kids and adults to see other kids dancing and to see how they do their dances.” The dancers from the other troupe are inspired in turn to see “just how can we dance, how can we create a dance with people with different abilities.”

Elektra Thomson, a dancer with M.A.M.A. found the experience “really rewarding. The dancers get so much joy — watching them is the best feeling ever. Dancing with the Active Ingredients dancers means we can be part of the community and not just focused on our individual performances.”

Torrey Eichler, also a dancer at M.A.M.A., said, “It’s a great opportunity being able to share what we all most like to do with a greater demographic — and to inspire them.”

Of the process, Arpin said, “We have an array of dancers. One of our dancers who has a lot of strength and movement choreographed a dance on the floor using a lot of yoga moves. We have nine dancers who don’t have a lot of movement, dancing to Katy Perry’s ‘Roar.’ They create a visual roar by forming a cluster and then moving their wheelchairs, while echoing the roar they create with their communication devices. One of our young men, Joe, who has a lot of upper body mobility, loves to spin and has a chair that can just fly across the floor. He dances a waltz with ambulatory dancer Pat Martin that creates a wonderful picture.”

Martin, dance program coordinator at Crotched Mountain, said, “When I dance with Active Ingredients, I feel that my ‘dancer within’ transcends the limitations of age and athleticism to share the ineffable power and joy of dancing with others. I leave each class and performance renewed and revitalized by the experience.”

The performance is free and open to the public.

Monadnock Academy of Movement Arts Youth Performing Company is a not-for-profit organization focused on giving young dancers and choreographers the opportunity to further develop their dance skills, gain an organic understanding of where movement originates and encourage creativity beyond their weekly technique classes. Dancers are guided by a caring & compassionate community of professional educators in the dance and performing arts fields. Performance Company dancers put on one performance in the spring at the Peterborough Players, as well as visiting schools and other venues in the area throughout the year.

The Active Ingredients Dance Troupe offers students the opportunity to explore adaptive dance and to participate in full-scale dance productions. The Active Ingredients dancers enjoy collaborating with other dance troupes on productions for the larger community.

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