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Dancing to Lift Spirits

Gin Dance Company to perform in Reston.

Gin Dance Company dancers in "The Core."

Gin Dance Company dancers in "The Core." Photo by Ruth Judson/Courtesy of Gin Dance Company

"Dance is an amazing art form that you can deliver stories, ideas, meanings and emotions through body language. It’s a very powerful thing," said Shu-Chen Cuff, artistic director of the Fairfax County-based Gin Dance Company. The company will be performing in the coming weeks at Reston's CenterStage and then at the Reston Multicultural Festival.

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Gin Dance Company dancers in "The Core."

Where and When

"A Night with Gin Dance Company" at Reston Community Center CenterStage, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Hunters Woods, Reston. Performance, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $30. Call 703-476-4500 or visit: www.restoncommunitycenter.com or www.gindance.org. Note: Post show discussion moderated by local news reporter Surae Chinn, WUSA9

  • Gin Dance Company at 2013 Reston Multicultural Festival, Global Stage, Lake Anne Village Center 1609 Washington Plaza N Reston. Performing, Sept. 28, 2013 at 3:15 p.m. Non-ticketed free community event.

Gin Dance Company's original works reflect Shu-Chen's Asian heritage melded with contemporary Western dance movement: a flowing fusion of Asian and Western cultural artistry. She was born in Taiwan and resides in Reston.

"Choreographing a dance is like making a cake. You have an idea or image in your head of how it should look and taste, then you start adding layers and decorations onto the cake to complete the product. As choreography, the movements, the music, the costume, and the props/sets are the layers and decorations on the cake," said Shu-Chen. "Inspirations come from everywhere."

Sometimes listening to an interesting piece of music such as Arvo Part's classically inspired, minimalist piano work "Spiegel im Spiegel" can bring an idea for her work. Other times, she has a dance vision and then searches for the right music.

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Gin Dance Company dancers in "Dear Mr. Cooper," (front) Kaitlin Madzelan and (rear) Therese Gahl.

At the CenterStage performance, the Gin Dance Company will perform original works such as "The Teller," a work about fate and destiny. It was created "to deliver an awakening message for people to take charge and tell your own story in life and not to let someone else do it for you. ... We are masters of our own destiny and we shape our own futures," continued Shu-Chen.

The thought provoking "The Core" was inspired by lights; their design and their impact on the mind. "I explore through dance the interconnectivity between all things in the universe. Our inner strength, emotion, and energy can affect the people around us. We are not alone. ... We are all connected." Another piece, "Dear Mr. Cooper," is about giving oneself the "second chance" to express appreciation to someone special, when the first opportunity was missed, noted Shu-Chen.

Jane Rabinovitz, a Gin Dance troupe member and Fairfax County native, described Shu-Chen's choreography as telling a story. "Sometimes it is a specific story that she wants people to see or hear and other times it is a story offered up for interpretation by any and all audience members."

Put away stress and worries and let the Gin Dance Company let you feel uplifted and moved.