Dec 18-20: Circle Modern Dance Presents “Modern Dance Primitive Light”

Photo by Bill Foster

Circle Modern Dance, Photo by Bill Foster

Although I can’t quite fathom it, I mysteriously gravitate toward—and feel really comfortable with—events that revolve around the Winter Solstice. Whether it is the crispness of winter weather, or the sparkle and warmth of seasonal festivities, or the surprises of creativity, I am obviously not alone in my solstice fetish. Circle Modern Dance will be presenting its 23rd annual production of Modern Dance Primitive Light in the days leading up to December 21.

Modern Dance Primitive Light brings together local choreographers, dancers, and musicians for an evening of contemporary dance works accompanied by live music in the oh so comfortable ambience of the historic Laurel Theater. This year will feature choreography by Circle Core Members and artists from the local community, each offering their own distinctive style.

Angela Hill‘s “My Way” is a post-modern, tongue-in-cheek piece in which each dancer is simultaneously soloist and ensemble performer. Performed to Frank Sinatra’s familiar hit, it takes a lighthearted look at themes of group mentality, authorship, and the interplay between community and individual. It asks, “what if I take your idea and do it my way?”

Kat Milligan’s piece, “We All Want Love”, blends contemporary and hip hop movement in the name of giving voice to the deep, frustrating, soulful, and tender desire for intimate human connection. Milligan, received her Master of Divinity in 2013 from Harvard University, where her research and work focused on utilizing dance, wellness, and spirituality to create safe emotional and physical spaces for healing and growth.

Choreographer/engineer Jun Liu will again bring his signature flavor of traditional Chinese and modern dance fusion. In his whimsical and highly stylized work, dancers create shapes and movements reminiscent of a peacock, a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture. Liu is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee and has been dancing and choreographing with Circle Modern Dance for the past four years.

Several Circle Core Members will be presenting work, including Sarah Whitaker, Callie Minnich, and Sharon Soper White. Amelia Breed will present an untitled duet exploring layers of memory and intention in the lives of two women. Breed’s poignant and meditative work draws on her personal experiences as well as those of her dancers. Liz Kirkwood, an artist from the community and long-time Circle Modern Dance collaborator, will present a piece exploring the concepts of identity and sub-personalities.

Circle Modern Dance presents: Modern Dance Primitive Light
The Laurel Theatre – 1538 Laurel Ave, Knoxville, TN

Thursday, December 18th at 8pm
Friday, December 19th at 7pm & 9pm
Saturday, December 20th at 7pm & 9pm

Tickets available through or for $8.50/$13 or $10/$15 at the door

Bring a pillow as seating is limited