For the dance piece, “In Dark Trees,” which depicts four plants, choreographers with B.E. Productions Dance Company were inspired by a student’s photographs taken of them dancing during a rehearsal.
Their movements reminded them of plants and animals, said Eryn Schon, who shares the title co-artistic director with Rebecca Levy. A dance was created around the movements of a Bird of Paradise, Corkscrew Grass, an Angraecum orchid and a Venus Flytrap.
Jenn Logan, who danced the part of the Corkscrew Grass, was so inspired by the piece that she painted portraits of each dancing their solo, including her own.
“It was art, creates art, creates art,” Schon said.
The dance was premiered before an audience of more than 75 people Sunday in the Associates of Brand Library Dance Series in the Brand Galleries of the Brand Library and Art Center.
Schon danced the part of the Bird of Paradise. Fellow dancer Jenn Logan, who painted the dancers’ solos, danced the part of the Corkscrew Grass.
Schon took each dancers’ specialty and blended it with the movements of the plants, Logan said.
Scot Tupper, who danced the Venice Flytrap, is prone to flexing his hands and feet, which worked perfectly with the snapping of the flower, she said.
“I’m wiggly and have a flexible back,” Logan said. “And Monica Farnam has an amazing point and became the spiky orchid.”
Stacey Levno, who attended the show, was impressed by each dancer’s depiction of the plants in the premiere, she said.
“I felt the solo portions were very sensual and expressed the distinctive personalities and shapes of each,” she said.
The dancers’ movements were true to what one might expect plants would do if they could dance, said Kathy Dailey, of Studio City, who was also at the show.
“I thought the dancers’ focus was incredible and their energy brought the piece to life,” she said
The performance opened with excerpts from a show the five dancers had done before called “Angles Excerpts,” Levy said. Classical guitarist Christopher Hundley performed the music for this segment.
“Part of our company’s mission is to work in collaboration with other artists and so his contribution was really key to the piece’s development,” Levy said.
Levy, who is a teacher at South Pasadena High School, encouraged one of her dance students, who is also studying photography, to take the pictures that inspired the premiere, Levy said.
Levy performed with Linage Dance when it kicked off the series on March 2, she said, but this was the first time her company appeared in the series.
“I’m thrilled, because I think it’s such a wonderful venue and beautiful space,” she said. “And I love that the associates are able to offer it as a free event because people are more likely to come to things for the first time if they are free.”
It was Linage Dance’s third appearance in the series, said Artistic Director Hilary Thomas.
“The informal, educational format lends itself to a wonderful interaction between audience and performers,” she said. “I love to hear thoughtful comments and questions from audience members. The gallery space is such a beautiful backdrop for the show and I know the dancers enjoy the intimate setting.”
Three companies are featured in the series, which is held once a year, said Arlene Vidor, director of special events for the Associates of Brand Library.
The associates depend on membership fees and donations to provide various cultural events throughout the year, Vidor said. In addition to the dance series, they present musical programs, opera talks and visual art events.
“The Brand Galleries is a very special venue for dance performance,” Vidor said. “You’re up close, eye to eye with the dancers and able to experience their energy.”
Kin Dance Company closes the series on March 30.