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Founded in 1995, the mission of ARENA DANCES is to make dance accessible to all through the presentation of contemporary dance, educational outreach, and community gatherings to inspire, promote dialogue and diversity. Mathew Janczewski's Artist Statement: My responsibility as an artist is to ask questions and incite awakening, both in myself and my collaborators, through the making of work, and in my audience, through their experience of performance. Innovation and experimentation have been central concerns in my work. I seek to balance this need for personal discovery and growth with a responsibility I have to my audience. A central challenge in contemporary dance is the degree to which it has become rarefied and dislocated from the culture in which it exists. In fighting against this, I am deeply concerned with making my work relevant to the public that I am addressing.
ARENA DANCES is a contemporary dance company performing the work of Mathew Janczewski. The work is abstract in form, giving shape to emotions, exploring the depths and the limits of what drives us as humans to connect, to break away, to survive. Just as our emotions can veer wildly, ARENA incorporates a highly kinetic style of movement, a sweeping physicality that takes in a broad range of feelings and the posturings we may make to protect ourselves in the world. The work springs first from Mathew’s own experiences; then, through the movement and structure, ARENA seeks to find a form to give those experiences both truth and commonality.