LehrerDance performs Saturday for Arts and Issues

It’s not just ballet.

It’s ballet, break dancing, modern dance, jazz and just about everything in between. It’s LehrerDance, which will perform at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday at Dunham Hall Theater as part of the 2013-2014 Arts and Issues series.

LehrerDance returns to SIUE as part of the 2013-2014 Arts & Issues series. Photo courtesy of Nate Benson.

Jon Lehrer, owner and choreographer of LehrerDance, said his company has a “very distinct stylistic line” to its pieces and tries to diversify its style.

“We don’t harness ourselves to one style except for Lehrer style,” Lehrer said.

Audiences will be “highly entertained” and “artistically inspired,” according to Lehrer, because he works to combine “those two idioms.”

“Whether you are a dance aficionado or [you’ve] never seen dance before… you will come out of our show enthused…,” Lehrer said.

The group is also known for its incorporation of humor into its performances, which is what the SIUE audience can expect, according to Lehrer.

LehrerDance focuses on three elements of movement – Circularity, 3-Dimensionality and momentum – that allows its dancers to focus on the philosophy that “all movement in general is just physics.”

The concept behind circularity is that everything on a person’s body is a circle and “every way you move is circularly.” Three-dimensionality, according to Lehrer, refers to using the entire body, whether for a plie or a round-off back handspring.

“So dance movement doesn’t come from a made up technique, it comes from physics,” Lehrer said. “Then you add technique to that.”

He strives to make each piece different and said his dancers and he accomplish that because of his “diverse background.”

“The main thing we’re known for is our extreme athleticism,” Lehrer said. “We combine equal parts artistry and accessibility.”

Lehrer said he has had a relationship with SIUE for “many years” and has developed working relationships with faculty members. Though LehrerDance performs around the world – most recently in Europe— Lehrer’s favorite place to perform is at universities.

“[We’re] there for a week, we get to really connect with the students, teach them [and] share our philosophies and ideas, then they get to see the company perform,” Lehrer said. “… We know that we’re actually making an impact and not just coming in and leaving.”

The company will work with students throughout the week beginning today – Monday – teaching master classes and working with dancers from the Edwardsville community who will perform with LehrerDance.

Lehrer’s career began when he took his first dance class at 19 years old on a dare, and he has not looked back since. Once graduating from the University of Buffalo, Lehrer performed with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company and went on to spend a decade with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago – the “preeminent concert jazz dance company in the world.”

“I knew right away this was something I really loved,” Lehrer said.

After leaving Giordano, Lehrer created LehrerDance with the mindset of a company with a single choreographer that has the diversity of repertory companies that hire choreographers.

For more information about LehrerDance, visit http://www.siue.edu/artsandissues/.

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