When Eva Stone first entered the Price Sculpture Forest, her mind began to whir.
The Edmonds-based choreographer and dance instructor was visiting Whidbey Island with a friend last year, and the pair happened upon the Central Whidbey art and nature park. The nonprofit Sculpture Forest is part art museum, part gentle hike, but Stone may have been the first forest patron to see it as something else entirely — a potential stage.
This month, Stone’s vision will come to life in the form of Wander/Wonder, a unique performance that will bring the ephemeral art of dance into the relative permanence of the forest.
From that first visit to the park, Stone became fixated upon using the space as a dance venue.
“I was just so excited about how I could bring a dancer into that space to collaborate with the art in its location,” she said.
Stone, who studied dance at Arizona State University and the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, gathered 10 professional dancers with a variety of stylistic backgrounds from the Seattle area to bring her idea to fruition. Each dancer will prepare a two-and-a-half minute solo or duet to be performed on repeat at one of nine locations within the sculpture forest from 1-3 p.m. on Aug. 27.
Stone said she feels strongly about creating dances that reflect the space in which they are performed. Part of the choreography process involved research into the sculptures and the artists who created them to ensure each dance aligns with and responds to the adjacent artwork.
Stone added that another important part of her mission is to help connect people who don’t know anything about dance with the art form, which she describes as a nonverbal, abstract language. She hopes this performance will be accessible to all audience members, allowing even those who feel they don’t typically “get” dance to be enlightened or uplifted.
There is a $20 suggested donation for the event, though patrons may pay what they can. All proceeds from the performance will go toward the Sculpture Forest and the Good Cheer Food Bank.
Performers will be Leah Terada, Mary Sigward, Zsilas Michael Hughes, Hannah Simmons, Joh Morrill, Julia Y. James, Hutch Hagendorf, Emily Schoen Branch, Kaelyn Lefferts and Ivana Lin.