State College’s newest dance company, Boundless Bodies Contemporary Ballet, will host its inaugural show Saturday at The State Theatre.
Connor Kilian Weigand is artistic director, alongside Kayla McCloskey and Brandon Porter. Weigand has been teaching in the Centre County area for nearly a decade, following his stint as a professional dancer in New York City, and said the new dance company started with a goal of giving dancers a chance to perform in summer.
“Over these past few years, I’ve graduated a good amount of dancers that have moved on to either wonderful college programs in the area or all around the country, or joined dance companies all throughout the United States,” Weigand said. “At a young age, when you’re dancing, even if you’re at a higher level, you still have to pay to dance in the summer. You either have to pay to live in New York City, San Francisco or Los Angeles and take classes, or you have to pay to continue getting college credit and take classes.
“A lot of these kids that I’ve graduated are paying their own way. I thought it was a good idea to give them a chance to perform throughout the summers, but also have the possibility of getting paid a very small sum.”
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This year’s dancers are mostly from the surrounding counties — including three currently at State College Area High School and one from Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy — and are held to the highest standards. In addition the ability to take on a large work load, the time to commit and technical prowess, Weigand said the company looks for dancers who are open to the creative process and looking to learn through improvisational techniques. The dancers are paid a small amount at first (though the company hopes to gain donors moving forward in order to pay the dancers an increasing amount) and experience an atmosphere similar to that of a professional company.
“Our mission here is to give young professionals an outlet to explore their artistic endeavors during the summer months. We really strive to educate Central Pennsylvania on the ever-growing landscape that is contemporary dance,” Weigand said.
However, beyond this, the dance company has an additional goal of raising money and awareness for socially-conscious causes.
“My wife is a cancer survivor and something I’ve always wanted to do is give back to the organizations that helped her through her ordeal,” Weigand said. “I thought Balanced Bodies would be the perfect outlet for that.”
First Descents offers young adults living with or having survived cancer a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them beyond their diagnosis. Be the Match is the global leader in bone marrow transplantation, conducting research to improve transplant outcomes and providing support and resource to patients.
Weigand thinks the show will offer something for everyone, regardless of their familiarity with dance. Audiences can expect “great music, laughs and a journey through emotions from highs to lows,” he said. “We really want our audience to run the gamut of emotions, but also truly walk away with a smile on their face.”
Joining Boundless Bodies are Happy Valley Improv; Eric Ian Farmer; and two opera singers from the Penn State School of Music, Sean Toso and John Nichici, accompanied by Richard Biever on piano.
If you go
What: Boundless Bodies presents “New Beginnings”
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College