Local artists collaborate for ‘Music in Motion’

The Odyssey Chamber Music Series and Missouri Contemporary Ballet will perform together for the first time this weekend.

The Odyssey Chamber Music Series and Missouri Contemporary Ballet have never collaborated before.

Both based in Columbia, the nonprofit music organization and professional dance company hold several performances throughout the year. They will come together for the first time in their presentation of “Music in Motion.”

“Music in Motion,” under the direction of Ayako Tsuruta of the music series and Karen Mareck Grundy of the ballet, will feature the musical stylings of 11 musicians and 10 dancers. Tsuruta and Grundy decided on the title “Music in Motion” to reflect the music performed by the Odyssey musicians and the movement of the ballet dancers. Together, Tsuruta and Grundy have been planning and coordinating “Music in Motion” for the last year.

“We chose the music that we were going to use almost a year ago,” Grundy says. “Then we had rehearsal for two months to get ready for the show. (The musicians and dancers) spend five days a week and six hours a day rehearsing and just getting everything perfected.”

Odyssey, which consists of mostly local musicians, a small part-time staff and a board of directors, holds six to eight concerts per year. For the Missouri Contemporary Ballet, the number of performances held per year usually differs. “Music in Motion,” which consists of four different dance pieces, will count as the Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s spring performance.

“There are four different pieces for one full show,” Grundy says.

While not an annual performance, “Music in Motion” might return for a second year. Regardless, both Grundy and Tsuruta are hoping to collaborate again in the near future.

“If Odyssey were to collaborate with the Missouri Contemporary Ballet (again), which I hope to, I would not rule the same title out,” Tsuruta says. “But (it’s) likely that it will be entirely something else to better fit the different programmatic material at that time.”

At 8 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, the public will have the chance to watch the “Music in Motion” performance at the Missouri Theatre. Student tickets are $5 for the opening night and $10 and $15 for the two respective performances Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at the Missouri Theatre box office or online at the University Concert Series’ website.

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