Between grace and strength

By By Cressa Perloff

By Cressa Perloff

When you think of the word “dancer,” what do you visualize? A girl in a tutu on her toes? A barefoot woman bounding across the stage?

Brent Schneider, U modern dance professor and former member of Repertory Dance Theater, seeks to shed new light on dance and shine the spotlight on male dancers with his work this weekend in the Black Box Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.

Titled “Perspectives: Men, Motion and Media,” Schneider’s piece is a collection of works that showcases “a different side of men dancing” in conjunction with props and video.

Schneider first devised the idea of an all-male performance four years ago. Since then, he has cultivated an interest in media in dance, largely influenced by his extensive background in the sets, props and lighting of theater.

The evening includes a short dance for camera, chairs, a handheld spotlight that follows the main dancer and a large swinging steel structure with a doorway to pass through. But these are only a few highlights of the event.

Schneider said that words about “perspectives and looking at things differently” will be projected. With his use of different media, Schneider said he seeks to create a “visual collage.” With his use of only male dancers, Schneider hopes to undermine the assumption that men are one-dimensional, and said he shows that they “are just as multifaceted as anyone else.”

Schneider’s choreography does not blatantly exude masculinity, but instead intends for the audience to see “strong, athletic men as dancers and not as solely athletes,” Schneider said. At the same time, he said, the movement walks a fine line, “integrating the strength that men can bring to dance with the grace and finesse that’s required to be an effective performer.”

“Perspectives: Men, Motion and Media” features dancers Juan M. Aldape, Josh Anderson, Graham Brown, Juan Carlos Claudio, Chris DelPorto, Jeffrey Jacobs, Tyler Kunz, Brent Schneider and Aaron Wood, all of whom are either current U modern dance students or graduates of the program.

Performances will be Sept. 7, 8 and 9. Tickets are on sale through ArtTix at or at 355-ARTS. For more information, visit

Christopher Peddecord

Dancers rehearse professor Brent Schneider’s choreography at the Marriott Center for Dance for Schneider’s “Perspectives