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Hot off a successful 2013, Work Dance Company gives back with Animal Instinct

Director and choreographer Nathan Boozer with Work Dance Company
Director and choreographer Nathan Boozer with Work Dance Company

Dark of night, light of day. These are the times we come out to play. No cars, no trains, no first-class flights, no neon signs or big bright lights. We creep and crawl from the highs of the treetops to the jungle floor … We are ferocious and in many ways distinct. Now come with us on our journey, make sure you bring your … ANIMAL INSTINCT!

These words are from the poem written by Nathan Boozer, director and choreographer of Work Dance Company, to inspire his upcoming production, Animal Instinct. Boozer starts each production with a poem and the choreography grows from it.

Boozer says the show is about exploring human instincts like love, passion and fear and how people deal with situations under pressure without time to think. He describes the show as an “emotional journey into the darker parts of humanity,” but assures that, “whether you’re 65 or six, you’re going to have great time, and you will be on the edge of your seat wondering what happens next.”

Animal Instinct is Work Dance Company’s seventh show at the Hult Center; the past six have been to sell-out audiences. The company has done an annual show in Eugene and took its last show, Wonderland, to Portland. Work Dance will be taking this year’s show to Portland as well as the coast.

The company won EW’s 2013 Best of Eugene poll for best show/concert for Wonderland, and Boozer also nabbed the second place spot for best dancer. Boozer says the title was beneficial: Work Dance Company’s Facebook page saw an up-tick in likes, and early ticket sales have been booming. In fact, Boozer says the attention helped his company be in the position to give back to the community for the first time. He paired his love for animals with the theme of this year’s show and chose to offer Greenhill Humane Society a portion of the proceeds.

Animal Instinct’s production prep started in April and took 10 months of practicing three to four days a week to pull together. The entire show involves over 100 dancers, 24 of which are from Boozer’s company and the rest from guest groups including King’s Krew, Dance Factory, Evolve, Dance Northwest, Flex Studios, Love with Motion Dance Company and the UO Dance Team and Jam Squad. The guest dancers will appear in between each of the 12 acts from Work Dance.

Boozer is adamant that Animal Instinct is a production, not a “dance show.” With live ferns, animal crates and a 35-by-50-foot screen for visual effects, he is certain the show “brings it.” “It’s sexy, ferocious — an experience,” Boozer taunts. Ok, Eugene, bring it. — Bronwynn Dean

Work Dance Company presents Animal Instinct 7 pm Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Hult Center;$18-$20. 

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