Leeanne G-Bowley, artistic and executive director of In-Sight Dance Studios in Queens was riding the N train back home to Elmhurst one day when the flashing red sign informing passengers of the next stop inspired her to come up with a creative name of the newly choreographed dance soon to be performed by In-Sight, where the “next stop” could take the audience anywhere they want to go.
“It’s all about meeting the audience where they are and trying to take them somewhere,” G-Bowley said. “But we’re not filling in those blanks, that’s for them.”
A blend of ballet and contemporary dance, “This is...Next Stop..” is a new work choreographed by G-Bowley, assistant director of In-Sight, Donna Manganello and In-Sight dancers Tim Chester and Lina Kent, that will be performed in three acts.
Each act will create a landscape of emotion where the dancers interact with each other to explore feelings of inspiration, elevation and degradation as they perform to a blend of pop and folk music contributed by local singers and songwriters.
“It’s a real collaborative effort and it’s really great to get all of these different perspectives,” G-Bowley said.
In-Sight was started three years ago by G-Bowley and Manganello, both graduates of St. John’s University. G-Bowley had started a dance concert at the school and now returns to do master classes there. A native of Marion, New York, she couldn’t picture herself forming a dance company in any other borough.
“I’m really passionate about dance and I think there’s room in the Queens community for more dance.”
In-Sight blends dance with community service , which enables artists to serve each other and the community. Currently the company works at Beacon 141 in Astoria, based out of IS 141 offering a free dance program for students. It is something G-Bowley has always been passionate about providing.
In the summer, the company will be offering a free, eight-week intensive dance program for middle school students at P.S. 2 in Astoria.
Most of In-Sight’s seven dancers are from Queens but the company is yet to have an official space.
Through dance, G-Bowley wants to spread Queens’ message of diversity.
“There’s great potential for dance to really make a mark in Queens. We want to expose companies to Queens and expose audiences to other companies,” she said.
The company plans to present evening length work throughout this year’s season, starting with “This is...Next Stop....”
The company will be restaging the ballet, “An Extraordinary Echo” in September. But before that, In-Sight will contribute to the dance portion of the Queens Fringe Festival, set to happen in May and they will also host the second annual In-Sight Suite Summer Festival at the Secret Theatre in July.
“Dance especially, people tend to shy away from it because they think they need to know something going in,” G-Bowley said. “My hope is that we could start saying, no matter what kind of dance it is: just come with your own experience and then you take away what you will from that.”
“This is...Next Stop...” will be held at The Secret Theatre, 44-02 23rd Street in Long Island City. Performances will run from April 28 to April 29 at 8:00 p.m. with a final performance on Sunday, May 1 at 2:00 p.m.
Audiences will have the change to attend a free post-curtain Talk Back with the dancers following Thursday’s performance.