Toledo’s only professional Modern Dance Company, T.H.E., presents a performance of Experior: An Expression of the Human Experience on April 23 at Owens Community College’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts.
After the Covid-19 pandemic globally brought us to our knees, many in the arts communities wondered where, and if, they stood. Broadway was shuttered, movie productions were shut down and small, local arts institutions fought to survive. One could argue that the pandemic brought a heightened awareness of our innately human need for art in all forms, and the value that all artists bring to us, regardless of receiving recognition for it or not. Another perspective is that the pandemic provided deep introspection for many of us, having been deprived of social interaction and distractions of everyday life; the Great Resignation is proof of that. And yet, out of the trials and struggles we have all experienced from surviving this pandemic, a rich tapestry of artistic expression has emerged.
The Human Experience Modern Company (T.H.E.) is proof of this newly tapped creative expression. Founded in 2017 by Ashley Hill and Allie Bately, T.H.E. and its junior company, T.H.E.2, are the only professional modern dance companies in the Toledo Metro Area. T.H.E. is comprised of eleven professional dancers and three junior company dancers, whose individually unique experiences throughout their artistic journey have shaped this dynamic company and the productions they offer.
Current President Dom Glover has been an active member of Toledo’s arts community for at least a decade, and has also expanded his involvement in other communities spanning from Detroit, Michigan, to Cleveland, Ohio. He, along with Vice President and T.H.E.2 Artistic Director, Rapheal Griffin, have cultivated an emotional journey through the choreography for the company’s seventh production, Experior.
The concept for Experior developed through Glover’s individual experiences throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. It explores “the innocent beginnings, emotional medians, and beautiful endings of existence…we experience humanity as one,” their website states. Company member Gwenivere Durand describes Experior as “extraordinary,” explaining that “[everyone’s] life experience is mashed together and creates something beautiful.” Durand, who has trained locally, nationally and globally, joined T.H.E in 2021. “The audience should be prepared to be moved emotionally,” she said.
Daesy Hudson, a new member of T.H.E.2, stated, “I am excited to perform with such a great company,” and continues, “performing in this production compels me to dig deep inside and break out of my comfort zone.” Hudson is in ninth grade at Toledo School for the Arts, where she dances and plays violin in the orchestra, and also dances at Nye Dance Productions in Oregon.
Experior will be performed on April 23 at Owen’s Community College’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts at 7:30 pm. Tickets are on sale now via their website: $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
Follow the company on social media for exclusive, behind the scenes content via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Purchase T.H.E. limited edition swag here.
If you know any dancers ages 13-18 who would be interested in more information regarding T.H.E.2, click here. You may also contact the company via email. The company rehearses at Toledo School for the Arts: 333 14th St, 43604.