The dancers down the hall

April 26, 2011

I’m at the University of Maine right now, looking down the hall at a bunch of barefooted undergrads walking around outside Hauck Auditorium. It’s second nature for them; they’re dancers taking a break while practicing for the dance showcase later this week. They’re not even dancing, but I’m smiling here in the Union’s Lookout area.

A bunch of people always ask why I spend so much time taking photos of the dance shows here. The simple answer: I love it. I’ll take as much time as I possibly can spare to watch dances, plays, and concerts. I love the passion, the creativity, and, in the case of dance, the athleticism and artistry.

But there’s a larger reason, too. We’re at a great time for the arts for central Maine. There’s a core, devoted group of people who are trying to do everything possible to create a vibrant arts community in the area. Ten years ago, nobody would think that we’d be able to bring top-tier acts to the Bangor area. This year, we have Lady Antebellum, B.B. King, and many more visiting the Bangor waterfront. The Folk Festival brings 100,000 people each August to appreciate music from all around the country. Bangor area theatres are packed for amazing productions.

The dancers down the hall are doing their part. Over the past few years, I’ve met many of them in one way or another, and they all love to perform and love to push the envelope of what they can do. They’ve brought the dance program forward, and they’ve brought dance outside the auditorium to the stages of UMaine and beyond.

I bring my camera not only because there are hundreds — if not thousands — of beautiful shots within each performance, but also because I want to capture all of this as it happens. I want to embrace the creativity and innovation that’s happening every day around me in any way I can.

Maine — and the world — is changing, and I want to be there. I may not be one of the dancers down the hall, but like each of them, I can’t stand still.