City Life

Dancing in the Streets

Student troupe JUMP! brings dynamic, site-specific pieces to the East Side on November 4


When you think of dance, there’s a good chance that you picture a stage and curtains. JUMP!, a dance company dedicated to site-specific pieces in unexpected places, is ready to change that image.

On November 4, the public can experience the company’s tailor-made moves for free at two locations: the Hope Artiste Village at noon to kick off the Winter Farmers Market, and then Eastside Marketplace in the afternoon. The dances will demonstrate the creative partnership between the students and Artistic Director Mary Paula Hunter, who founded the company with the goal of giving dancers the opportunity to choreograph as they learn. Collectively, the troupe generates unique pieces using ballet and contemporary styles.

In addition to this focus on collaboration, the group’s mission is to bring art to the public in a new way. “We like to get away from the traditional theatre and get to where we bring dance to the people,” Mary Paula says. “Rather than wait for you to come to us, we’re going to come to you.” The troupe designs with the goal of “speaking” to nontraditional spaces. “We approach it much the same as an artist approaches a smaller or larger canvas,” Mary Paula explains. “For example, the floor at Eastside Marketplace is linoleum, so you won’t see jumps, and we think: How can we create the excitement of jumps? Should we ask for chairs to stand on?”

Overall, the November performances will be “a great way to see these young and dedicated artists make work that startles and entertains,” she says. “We’re just so excited about our upcoming season, beginning here at these two favored stops.”