But ones who dance for Debra Loewen do. Since founding Wild Space Dance Company in 1986, she’s staged performances in art galleries, gardens, warehouses and other spaces. In recent years, she’s even begun to invite donors and friends to small-scale shows (where red wine may be verboten, but white flows freely) in residential homes. “We did a lovely event in an Arts and Crafts home,” she says. “The owner had to clean out her garage for us to perform in there, and make sure that no one parked in her driveway.”
Each venue poses its own unique challenges. Earlier this year, Loewen spent months planning a performance for the historic Milwaukee Journal Sentinel building, only to find out that the building was being sold, that the paper’s 260 employees would soon be moving into a more modern office space, and that the new owners weren’t keen on allowing members of an avant-garde dance troupe to leap around cubicles or conference rooms. “I drove over one day, and people were dumping furniture – nice furniture – outside the building,” Loewen says. “It was actually very sad.”
Loewen didn’t despair, though. Weeks after learning that the Journal Sentinel building was off limits, she’d already secured a new venue for her big fall show: the Eschweiler building on Echelon Lane in Wauwatosa. The unconventional house party will take place Nov. 13-16 and is sure to live up to the “Wild Space” name. Visit wildspacedance.org for tickets.