‘Passport’ to provide eclectic dances

Abbie Lessaris dances in costume for “Passport.” (Submitted photo)

Abbie Lessaris dances in costume for “Passport.” (Submitted photo)

By Anna Skinner

Those who frequent performances, dances and plays in Carmel know the typical format of the positioning of the audience in respect to the performers. Gregory Hancock, the artistic director of “Passport,” is planning on changing that format.

“Once a year we do this cabaret in-house performance. It’s an opportunity for the audience to experience dance in a different way,” he said. “It allows the audience to appreciate the physicality of dance more.

“Passport” will occur at The Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, and will revolve around an array of cultures and different dances. Chairs will be set on the same level as the stage and cultural refreshments will be provided.

Fourteen different cultures will be represented throughout the dance including Mexico, Egypt, Ireland, Romania, New Orleans style and others.

“This is a really good concert for people who haven’t experienced dance before because it’s entertaining,” Hancock said. “It’s not a story to follow or anything to think about really hard, it’s just really entertaining and a big variety of world music.”

The 60 seats available nightly typically sell out fast, and Hancock encourages interested viewers to call and reserve a spot.

The close proximity to the performance not only affects the viewers, but the performers, too. Hancock said that oftentimes this performance is the dancers’ favorite, as it provides a connection with the audience.

“It’s a little unnerving to the dancers to be that close to the audience, they can see people’s reaction and if they’re engaged or not engaged,” Hancock said. “During this concert, our dancers grow and develop as better artists and performers because of making that intimate connection with the audience members.”

“Passport” will occur select dates Feb. 12-28, and tickets cost $35. For more, visit www.ticketriver.com/event/17097.