Dana Reed's voice lilts up at the end of each phrase as she describes her upcoming, April 10th dance performance entitled "Inside Herself/Cell." A 23-year-old student teacher in the Power APAC program in Jackson, Reed teaches modern dance under her mentor teacher, Lisa Brown. The young Meridian native is inspired by dance icons Trisha Brown, Isadora Duncan and Doris Humphrey. "Inside Herself/Cell" can also be described as performance art, except dancers will explore the space in the parking garage at 2906 North State St. rather than a more traditional theater space.
For Reed's senior project at the University of Southern Mississippi, none of the spaces available seemed appropriate for her needs, so she decided to perform outside. Inspiration struck again when she first saw the parking garage at 2906 North State. "I could just see things going on in there." Her friend, artist Lori René, inspired Reed through one of her sculptures to choreograph this performance; several of Rene's 7-1/2-foot tall paintings will figure prominently as well. Not only does the garage provide a unique space in which to perform, it also has power—a prerequisite for the lighting designs of Stephen Barnette (of the JFP). Graphic artist Kelly Porter has created posters and programs for the event based on "common themes and concepts about women," Reed says.
Middle-school dancers from Power APAC participating in "Inside Herself/Cell" are Alli Butler, Briana McElroy, Meghan Mc Crary, Cheniece Smith, and Kennitra Thompson will share the space with Reed and three other dance majors from USM. The Fondren Renaissance Foundation helped make this first for Jackson possible by fund-raising and helping Reed get access to the space—perhaps signaling a new carpe diem attitude in the neighborhood.
The performance will emphasize modern movement and will be appropriate for audiences of all ages. Reed, sensitive to her multi-aged audience and cast, says this performance is made up of "nice movement."
"Inside Herself/Cell" is part of Fondren District Arts, Eats and Beats Thursday, April 10, at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. at 2906 North State St. (Fondren Corner parking garage) Free.