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DANCE

The Boston Center for the Arts returns with live dance performances

Victoria L. Awkward and Jenna Pollack perform at the Boston Center for the Arts this summer
Victoria L. Awkward and Jenna Pollack perform at the Boston Center for the Arts this summerAwkward by Kris Nevaeh, courtesy of VLA Dance; Pollack by Secret Bureau of Art and Design

The Boston Center for the Arts is reopening this week for its first in-person performances since March 2020. Dancers and choreographers Victoria L. Awkward and Jenna Pollack, recipients of the BCA’s 2020 Dancemakers Residency, will be performing in the center’s Black Box theater in Boston’s South End.

“During a year of standing still for survival and safety during the pandemic, it has been a joy to support Boston-area dancemakers in moving forward with their practice,” Andrea Blesso, the BCA’s director of dance, said in an e-mail.

Awkward, who is director of the company VLA Dance, will perform “In the Space Between,” calling on artists and audiences to examine their individual identities and to chart a path from their realities into their dreams. The dance accompanies its companion published journal, “Pollen: The Spreading of Ideas,” which will be available for purchase in the lobby during performances and on the website, VLADance.com.

“I believe the arts are uniquely positioned to help people slow down, connect with self, with others and with the world around us,” Awkward wrote in an artist statement. “For this reason I aim to make work that asks people to check in and reflect on their actions socially, environmentally and intrinsically.”

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Awkward’s in-person performance will run from June 17-19. It will also be available online from June 20-21.

From July 29 to Aug. 1, Pollack will perform a piece that’s the result of an ongoing collaboration with mechanical engineer and designer Benjamin Linder. “A Work in Process” delves into materiality and agency, asking “What actions are within our control?” With the belief that the arts can be valuable to scientific and political initiatives, their work combines dance and sustainable product set design. So far, the pair has prototyped wooden figures that work as both characters and sets on stage.

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These performances mark the completion of a yearlong program for the artists. In partnership with the Boston Dance Alliance, the annual Dancemakers residency offers a regional three-day retreat, six weeks of studio time at the center, discounted rehearsal space, and stipends to cover additional dancers.

Pollack’s performance is scheduled for July 29 to Aug. 1. General admission tickets are $25. Tickets to the virtual version of Awkward’s performance are $5. Visit bostonarts.org.

This summer, the BCA will be open two days a week to welcome a new group of studio residents and host a few in-person events. Its facilities are expected to fully open to the public by Sept. 7.






Kyung Mi Lee can be reached at kyungmi.lee@globe.com.