Dancers ‘share the light through movement’ in unique production of ‘Narnia’Jun 06, 2022 01:14PM ● By Anna Pro
Step into the world of Narnia, a magical place filled with talking animals and mythical creatures. The C.S. Lewis classic, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is a story of courage, adventure and redemption. Audiences of all ages can take the journey as the Illume Dance Company presents the tale through dance June 10,11 at Woodland Park in Farmington.
“This is an original stage adaptation,” said Illume owner Emily Bokinskie. “Usually you have to buy a script that’s already been produced but we wrote it and did the staging. We got approval and licensing from C.S. Lewis Company LTD to perform it. It’s all dancing and acting. There are no words.”
Bokinskie and her business partner Cami Wardle opened the dance studio three years ago. “We wanted to create a place for dancers to learn that they have skills. Our mission statement is ‘Sharing light through movement.’ We don’t compete, we just want them to share their gifts and talents with us.”
The studio especially focuses on adult dancers. “Many adults danced when they were younger but they grew up and they had work, deadlines and diapers to change,” she said. “They don’t have the time to use their craft or passion.”
The majority of the Narnia cast are adults, said Bokinskie. “There are two classes of kids but they’ll be a small part of this. We hope to provide an opportunity for adults to get out there and move as a creative outlet and share it with their kids, partners and neighbors.”
Bokinskie and Wardle first met in their middle school dance company. After high school they went in different directions but met again more than 10 years later when Cami just happened to move into Bokinskie’s neighborhood. Together they followed their passion for dance and opened the studio.
“Cami is one of the most beautiful dancers,” said Bokinskie. “However, on Aug. 31, 2021 when she was delivering her fourth baby she suffered an amniotic fluid embolism and was on life support for 188 days. They removed a portion of her skull and she had a stroke that left her paralyzed on the left side of her body. She’ll be on stage in a wheelchair which will be amazing.”
Woodland Park is the perfect place to perform Narnia, Bokinskie said. “It’s a unique stage up on a hill. It’s two tiers surrounded by trees and birds. The creatures are all of the dancers – fawns, unicorns, eagles – they’re all part of this Narnian forest. Rather than having curtains on stage we use the forest as the background. It will make the audience feel like they’ve stepped into Narnia.”
The park is located at 300 S. 200 East in Farmington. Shows are June 10, 11 at 5 and 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children under 8 and are available at illumedancecompany.com.
“We chose C.S. Lewis because it’s for all ages,” said Bokinskie. “It can be taken as a magic story of courage, adventure and redemption or can be read more deeply as an allegory of Christ’s triumph over death. We hope this collection of beautiful people from different stages of life can come together to create a little bit of magic for their community.” l