By MIKI JENNINGS
While many students will be taking summer classes, working and enjoying the chance to sleep in, Pima Community College student Alan Gonzalez, 25, will be dancing on tour in China.
He will tour with the Artifact (or Art If Act) Dance Project, a collaboration between Tucson dancers and musicians.
“I started dance as a hobby but now dance as a job,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez got started with dance in middle school at age 14. At 18 he formed a group called EXNO Dance that has opened concerts for artists in Mexico. From there, he began participating in the dance department at PCC.
“I have done several choreographies for the dance shows, such as ‘GrATTITUDE,’ ‘The Four Elements’ and ‘Dance Fusion.’ For this year, I have two choreographies that will be in the upcoming show called ‘The Four Seasons,’” Gonzalez said.
Last year, Gonzalez missed the auditions for the 2012 tour of the Artifact Dance Project but got in touch with Claire Hancock, co-director of the company.
She came to watch him dance in one of his dance classes for an impromptu audition.
Now he’s a part of the large cast of Artifact. The dance project features 28 dancers and a live orchestra.
Ashley Bowman, the other co-director of the Artifact Dance Project, said she was happy to work with so many artists, including Gonzalez.
“His artistry shines through his movement and we look forward to seeing him grow as the tour progresses,” Bowman said.
Studying digital arts and visual arts, as well as dance, Gonzalez is very creative. In addition to dancing in the Artifact Dance Project, Gonzalez was asked to design the T-shirt for this year’s tour.
“He and I share some similar skills as graphic designers for dance,” Bowman said.
The production combines live music, dance and film in an artistic way. The origin of the project’s name is found in a tagline on its website: “ART exists IF we ACT upon our ideas to create it.”
Gonzalez graduates this year, but will miss the PCC ceremony because his flight to China leaves the day before the event.
“I always expect some familiar faces in the audience,” Gonzalez said. “But this time, performing in China will be a whole new experience and it will be a new world watching us dancing.”
The group will hold shows in Tucson on May 10-13 at the University of Arizona Stevie Eller Dance Theatre. Show times are 7 p.m. on May 10-12 and 2 p.m. on May 13.
Tickets are $25 general admission or $15 for students. For more information, call 344-8984 or visit artifactdanceproject.com.