Boise dancers kick up their heels with local and visiting musicians

This weekend is a dance-lover’s dream with two performances to catch that feature interesting projects between dancers and musicians.

▪  Boise Dance Co-op will celebrate its fifth year with “Anno V,” a concert that includes collaboration with area musicians and bands. Live music collaboration in Boise’s vibrant dance scene has been coming on strong for the past few years. BDC has featured at least one in its past few concerts, but this one features five performances to live musicians: Leta Harris Neustraeder, Critter Soup, MahaVia, Rebecca Baranco and Aubrie Church, plus recordings by local bands, including Frim Fram Four.

“There’s nothing like being a dancer and performing to live music— nothing like it,” says BDC co-founder Phyllis Rothwell Affrunti. “It keeps you aware and connected. You can’t just go through the motions. and the audience can feel that energy.”

The dancers work with Ballet Idaho, Idaho Dance Theatre, Off Center Dance, Idaho Regional Ballet, Project Flux.

This year’s group of choreographers includes locals Marla Hansen, Lauren Edson, Lydia Sakolsky-Basquill, Kelli Brown, Frank Affrunti and Sayoko Knode.

This year’s guest artists are Charles Anderson of the Bay Area’s Company C Contemporary Ballet and New York choreographer Jeffrey Scott Bailey.

“We don’t want BDC to be just about the dancers,” Phyllis says. “We want it to be about everything that’s happening in Boise. Using the music is just the beginning.”

8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, and Saturday, Aug. 27, Esther Simplot Performing Arts Auditorium, 501 S. 8th St., Boise. $20 and $30 at

▪  Dancer and choreographer Lauren Edson and dancer Brett Perry of LED are collaborating with Surel’s Place Artist in Residence Dave Eggar for “Chamber Dances,” a performance of classical and original composition and dance.

Eggar is a renowned cellist who works in the classical, reggae, bluegrass and pop spheres. He tours with American Idol winner Phillip Phillips and has worked with Evanescence, Cold Play and many others. He records and composes as well.

The benefits of dancers and musicians working together isn’t just about the dancers. Musicians benefit from the collaboration, too, Eggar says.

“There are things about music that come from the kinesthetics of body that you can’t learn with your head,” Eggar says. “I’ve learned so much from the dancers in my life from how (musical) phrasing works and how rhythm works. For example Afro-beat is a music that’s wedded to dance. If you don’t work with dancers, you’re never really going to have the feel because it’s a feel that comes from how your body moves.”

7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, at the Visual Arts Collective, 3638 Osage St., Garden City. Doors open at 6 p.m. $12 advance, $15 at the door; $10 students.

Other dance news

▪  Dance for Parkinson’s, a program that offers movement-and-music therapy for people with Parkinson’s disease, will launch its fall season with classes at Ballet Idaho and new classes at the Eagle Performing Arts Center.

Ballet Idaho principal dancer Elizabeth Keller and company member Danielle Troyano teach the free classes.

Find more information and schedule at

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