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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: February 10, 2015

Contemporary dance performance by Collective Motion with music by The Dapper Gents on Valentine’s Day

Written by: Bob Keyes
Chelsea Anderson and fellow Collective Motion members rehearse.

Chelsea Anderson and fellow Collective Motion members rehearse. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Saturday’s “With Love …” show at One Longfellow Square is a matter of perspective.

It’s either a band concert accompanied by dancers, or it’s a dance performance accompanied by a band.

But no matter your view, it should be a fun night.

The contemporary dance collaborative Collective Motion has worked up a 90-minute program, with music by the five-piece Portland combo The Dapper Gents.

“This has a little of everything, mostly modern and contemporary, with some hip-hop and burlesque,” said Collective Motion artistic director Jennifer Bourgeault. “And most of the dances are accompanied by the band, which you don’t see too often. With most dances, the music is usually prerecorded.”

The band will infuse the performance energy, Bourgeault said.

Chelsea Anderson, center, a member of contemporary dance troupe Collective Motions, rehearses with local band The Dapper Gents. The groups will be performing together at One Longfellow Square on Valentine's Day.

Chelsea Anderson, center, a member of contemporary dance troupe Collective Motions, rehearses with local band The Dapper Gents. The groups will be performing together at One Longfellow Square on Valentine’s Day.

The dancers and the musicians have rehearsed separately and together. The dancers gave the band a list of songs to learn, and the band also will play some of its original material.

“We’re just trying to do something different and fun for Valentine’s Day. One of our dancers is engaged to the lead guitarist, so it’s a wonderful collaboration,” Bourgeault said.

Collective Motion has been around for about nine years. It is based in Saco, joining other arts groups that have relocated to the Saco-Biddeford area just a few miles south of Portland. Bourgeault grew up in Saco and decided to buy an old church and convert it into a dance studio. It’s a good place for a studio, she said.

Biddeford-Saco has an active, resurgent arts community, and it’s less expensive to operate a studio there than in Portland.

But Portland is great for performances, she said. “We love Portland, too.”

A word of caution about Saturday. The music and energy will be infectious, and people are going to want to get up and dance, which is understandable – at intermission or after the show. But during the performance, leave the movement to the pros.

Collective Motion and The Dapper Gents

WHEN: 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland
HOW MUCH: $15 advance, $20 at the door
INFO: onelongfellowsquare.com

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