For many dancers, the chance to step out of the role of being a vessel for others' choreographic work, and to create work themselves, can be a most fulfilling experience. So it was for several Dance Alloy Theater dancers last season, when the company presented Alloy on Alloy, a program of works by Dance Alloy Theater dancers set on Dance Alloy Theater dancers.
It was a success for both audiences and dancers, and Alloy is doing it again Nov. 20 and 21, at its studio in the East End. This season's Alloy on Alloy features four brand-new works, including a solo choreographed by new Alloy artistic director Greer Reed-Jones (who replaced Beth Corning this past summer).
Reed-Jones, Alloy's former education director and a former dancer with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, will present the very personal "Remembrance," a solo in tribute to her two brothers who passed away within the past two years.
"I don't think I cried at their funerals," says Reed-Jones. "I was so numbed by the experiences."
It wasn't until she heard Stevie Wonder's 1971 ballad "I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer" -- which Wonder performed at Michael Jackson's memorial service -- that Reed-Jones says her bottled-up emotions found a release.
"When I heard the song, I saw movement in my head and the feelings I had about my brothers came spewing out of me," says Reed-Jones.
Reed-Jones' solo will be danced by Alloy office administrator and local freelance dancer Caitlin Cahill.
"A dance about Post-it notes" is how Michael Walsh describes his contribution, "Post It."
Walsh, who choreographed for last season's Alloy on Alloy, continues what he calls his exploration into the process of dance-making and the personalities of dancers onstage.
Set to music by composer Steve Reich, Walsh likens his trio to "paint by numbers," only it will use Post-it notes to direct the dancers' movement.
Another returning choreographer is Christopher Bandy, whose whimsical new 15-minute duet explores how people who have known each other a long time relate to each other. Both inspired and danced by veteran dancers Michael Walsh and Maribeth Maxa, the duet, set to romantic piano, also incorporates Bandy's relationship with his 3-year-old daughter.
"I tend to love her the most, and she tends to frustrate me the most, but we always come back round to that place where we are buddies again," says Bandy.
Rounding out the program will be Maxa's "302," named for the police code for involuntarily committing someone to a mental hospital. Maxa's 10-minute quartet, set to music from Japanese anime cartoons and using Velcro suits, takes a darkly humorous look at the subject.
Dance Alloy Theater performs Alloy on Alloy 7 p.m. Fri., Nov. 20, and 7 p.m. Sat., Nov. 21. Dance Alloy Theater Studio, 5530 Penn Ave., Friendship. $10. Reservations recommended at 412-363-4321 or www.dancealloy.org