Mary-Charlotte Domandi’s community-minded, intelligent talk radio show, Radio Café, lets listeners hear from presidential candidates and nationally-known experts to local artists, authors, and healers. Curtis Uhlemann spoke to Mary-Charlotte about the premiere of ARCOS Dance.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: Curtis Uhlemann is here. He is the artistic director of ARCOS Dance company. And you just had your opening performance last night?
Curtis Uhlemann: We did. We did.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: So what is ARCOS all about?
Curtis Uhlemann: ARCOS is Santa Fe’s newest contemporary dance company. I have 21 dance members, and it is designed to create performance opportunities for Santa Fe dancers.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: And so these are dancers who are what, maybe fresh out of their training?
Curtis Uhlemann: I have some that are still training scholastically, I have dancers that are just out of college, and professional dancers as well.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: And so, it seems like—I wasn’t able to go last night—but it seems like a youthful and highly energetic young company.
Curtis Uhlemann: It is, it is. The pieces are pretty fast paced. That’s what I like to do. Six pieces, mostly group pieces. I like to work with large groups, fill the space. So it’s a real high energy show.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: You’re doing all kinds of different choreography. One of them is set to “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. And that’s like the music quote unquote.
Curtis Uhlemann: It is, it is. I wanted to go with something a little bit different with this show. So I’ve always really liked that poem. And this one’s read by Basil Rathbone, which is really amazing.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: Amazing.
Curtis Uhlemann: And so I wanted to create something a little bit more challenging using just spoken word, rather than music.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: And are you doing the choreography on all the pieces?
Curtis Uhlemann: Actually, Erica Gian Frito and myself, choreographed for most of the pieces collectively. There are two pieces that I set myself and one that she set herself.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: Are you dancing?
Curtis Uhlemann: I’m not. I’m not, Just choreographing and directing.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: Yeah. Are you, I mean, you’re a dancer. Are you kind of hanging that up?
Curtis Uhlemann: Yeah, yeah. I’m more interested in just choreographing now, so I’ve stopped dancing.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: Oh my goodness.
Curtis Uhlemann: Yeah.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: What's that like?
Curtis Uhlemann: It’s great. It’s great. Yeah. I like to be behind the scenes.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: Yeah. So where and when are the performances? Is this weekend and next weekend?
Curtis Uhlemann: This weekend and next weekend. Friday, Saturday, this week, 7:30 at the Moving People space: 1583 Pacheco Street. Next weekend same time, 7:30 on Friday and Saturday.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: And the public is welcome to check out this new dance company. What are, what are your hopes? Do you want to keep this going for many years? Is it a kind of stepping stone for people to go into other companies?
Curtis Uhlemann: Well, I'd like to eventually create a professional group out of this that travels, tours the country, the world, hopefully. So possibly dividing into, a young program for kids who want to continue to train and perform. And then if they want to move on to dance professionally, they can move into the next group.
Mary-Charlotte Domandi: Curtis Uhlemann is the artistic director of ARCOS Dance company. And we will see you over at the Moving People Dance space on Pacheco Street here in Santa Fe. Thanks so much for being with us.
Curtis Uhlemann: Thank you for having me.