Neos Dance Theatre Moves To Mister Moon’s Groove

[photo: Neos Dance Theatre]
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Matthew Roberts spent some time hanging out at shows by the alternative rock band out of Norwalk, Mister Moon.

Roberts, a dancer and choreographer for Neos Dance Theatre, liked what he heard.

“They reminded me of a couple of artists I had listened to before that I had enjoyed. The atmosphere of the concerts I had been to seemed right up my alley,” Roberts said.

Roberts thought Mister Moon would be a good fit for the Neos series, “dance.r.evolution,” in which the company teams with musicians and artists from other disciplines for multimedia performances.  Roberts approached the group to see if there was interest in collaborating.

[Mister Moon-photo:Mister Moon]

Cory Boomer, one of the drummers for Mister Moon, said the band was interested but understood the project would take them outside of their comfort zone.

“We knew we were taking on something bigger and more collaborative than we had done before.  To coordinate with different kinds of artistry and what will be onstage is definitely an adjustment for us,” Boomer said.

When Roberts and Mister Moon began working on the project last fall, the choreographer was concerned that he would have too much time on his hands, but that didn’t prove to be the case.

“I was concerned that I would be twiddling my thumbs by the time we get to 2019, but then the concept has progressed so I’m very glad I had so much time,” Roberts said.

  

[photo: Neos Dance Theatre]

The collaborative process between the band and dancers was an evolving one.

“Initially, Matt came to us with a very basic sketch of what he wanted to do, and it involved maybe us making some of our own music, maybe playing some other  music or other music  of ours that already existed.  It was a lot of back-and-forth process.  We would record songs and send them a version of it.  They would rehearse with it and send it back saying, ‘this needs changed or to be different, or scrap this all together and do something different,’” Boomer said.

Boomer admits the notion of having to play for dancers who are relying on the band was daunting.

[photo: Mister Moon]

“Through this whole process, personally, I’ve been terrified every time we go into a rehearsal.  We never did anything like this, so feeling prepared enough is hard to do. I think both parties have been pretty prepared.  The communication between us has been key.  Most of our rehearsals have been separate and then we have big rehearsals where we all do this together.  Those rehearsals have gone better than I thought they would,”  Boomer said.

Roberts shared how he approached creating movements for NEOS with the music Mister Moon provided.

“I would go home or to a studio improvising and pull from that and get a theme.  It was pretty much what I do at one of their concerts, just groove around and dance,” Roberts said.

[photo: Neos Dance Theatre]

Neos Dance Theatre and Mister Moon team for dance.r.evolution Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Akron Public Library’s main auditorium.

Check out this video of NEOS dancing to Mister Moon’s music.

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