Stumble upon downtown Durham on a Third Friday evening and you could almost imagine you're in Europe. Swarms of people rove in and out of galleries and restaurants, clustering in chattering groups on sidewalks and plazas.
Third Friday is about to become even more dynamic thanks to Proxemic Media and Empower Dance Studio. They are presenter and host, respectively, of the new Third Friday Durham Dance Series, which will add a modern dance component to the event's artistic offerings.
Empower has been informally showing dance performances during Third Fridays for some time, but Proxemic is making it official. "With dance being so prevalent in Durham, this is another way to showcase what's happening here," says Myra Weise, director of Proxemic Media. As curator of the performance series, she's choosing dance artists who represent the scope of the area's modern dance scene and helping them show work that might otherwise be cost-prohibitive to present.
Her organization is running a crowdfunding campaign to pay the artists and keep the shows free, in line with Third Friday traditions. Performances will occur at eight-thirty and nine-thirty, and the public is free to casually wander in and out.
This Friday, stroll into the Parrish Street studio and catch a piece by Durham luminary Anna Barker of real.live.people.durham, together with a duet by Robin Spohr and Adam Phillips.
Next month, locals ShaLeigh Danceworks and Ginger Wagg will be showing work. And in October, the performance will occur in association with Raleigh's Black on Black art project. If it works out, shows will continue into November and start up again in March, adding a much-needed element of kinetic physicality to Durham's art scene.