Kelly Radermacher’s New Milwaukee Dance Company
Why did you decide to start your own dance company?
I’ve been independently producing work for about 10 years, since college, first in Minneapolis and then I moved here. I’ve found the dance community in Milwaukee to be very supportive, but it’s much smaller. It’s also centered around the UW-Milwaukee dance program, which I am not connected to. So I think that this has forced me to create an identity for what I am doing and to let people know that I’m here, I’m serious and you’re going to see more of me.
What is the concept of your first show Recombobulation Area?
The title is a reference to airport signage. I think everyone has gotten a chuckle from reading “recombobulation area” as they walk by. So one day I Googled it and came across all these people who had written little personal blogs about it as a sort of metaphor for life. It’s a little cheesy, but it’s also just so true. We all just need a moment to pull ourselves back together. So, it’s a loose idea that can cover the two chunks of work inside the show.
Can you tell me more about the two parts in the show?
One of them is “Nucleus...And Other Cell Bodies,” which is a show I did as an independent choreographer in the summer of 2012. I’ve kept working on it, taking stuff out and adding a whole bunch of new stuff. It was inspired by cell biology, like the idea of things being put together and taken apart in the body. The other piece is called “Recombobulation Area” and it has characters that have a public life; you see how they are at work or waiting at the bus stop, and then they have their internal struggles. It goes back and forth. I feel like the workplace environment sort of has a factory feel to it, so the movement is very task oriented. That piece is really about how we keep ourselves together when we are interacting with people in the things we have to do and then how we work on it in private.
Any future plans for the company?
Right now, I’d just like to get us out there and produce one full evening of work per year. I would like to use the company as a vehicle to allow choreographers to work and expand the Milwaukee arts community. I would love to reach out to other arts organizations as well and collaborate to help keep that happening. The artists are here; we just need to keep the energy building.