I am drawn to talented people who are willing to take the risk and turn their passion into a profitable career. And for myself, I'm always thinking of ways that someday I can do the same. However, I wrestle with the idea of art being a business. Financial success in the artistic world often is not dependant upon talent but more about how well one can market herself. It is worth noting that most art starts as a hobby done "for the love of the game," but then there's a possible turning point when cash can be had. As desirable and lucky as that is, I enjoy watching art purists who are still in it because they love what they do, like the 60-year-old man still playing open mic night every Monday. Of course if one is looking for money from the arts, Durango is usually not the place. There are many artists in this town disguised as waitresses simply because the town is too small for variety of options. However, the annual mid-mud-season Dance Co-Motion is one event that seems to have the art purist at heart.

My first audition was last year. Unprepared and knowing nothing about how to dance, I showed up Saturday morning out of boredom to create a new hobby for myself. While Dance Co-Motion is a Fort Lewis College club, its branches include the entire town. A 60-plus person production, there is range of talent, choreographers, dancers and crew, from high school seniors, to adults with careers.

Dance Co-Motion is directed by students but choreographed and performed by community members. Its very name was developed to emphasize the college and community blend, and has been a successful union for many years. What's sometimes baffling is the amount of hidden talent that Dance Co-Motion drags out from Durango's dusty closets. Anyone can try out. That does not mean you will necessarily make the cut, but the door has a welcome sign for everyone willing to commit the time. The venue is not just showcasing dancers either. There is talent behind the lights, the art work of the posters, even the costume design. The inner workings of putting on a show takes a lot of time, but it also takes right-brain creativity and the pooling of artistic ability that somehow is always present with those involved in Dance Co-Motion each year. There is always a painter, a lighting genius, a seamstress, a connection here, someone to help there. Durango being a college town can sometimes isolate the local flavor from the college scene up on the plateau. Dance Co-Motion has a way of joining the two during our sleepiest time, once a year.

And for what? We aren't paid dancers, most things we pay for ourselves. There are only three nights of gratification for more than two months of hard work and time. The incredible thing is that we're all there solely because it's fun. That is the greatest thing about this show. It truly is fun. It's like going back in time to when you were a small kid drawing a picture to fill up your day. You weren't building a resume, you were not marketing yourself or going to sell the piece of art, you were just enjoying yourself.

Everyone would want to have a career doing what they love and make money doing it. But it's a special thing when art is being done only for the joy of creation and the business can be put aside. It is an addictive feeling to walk off stage with the buzz of performance art running through the veins. Dance Co-Motion does not have another goal other than that buzz and a good, three-night show. Individuals might, but the show itself does not. And whether the audience is conscious of it or not, whether you like watching a dance performance or not, the mood that such a pure form of community art creates is what makes this particular dance so special each year. The Dance Co-Motion experience is designed in the moment to be only about what this year's title describes, just dance.

- Ann Svilar



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