Jordan Alberts took a huge step Saturday in her progression as a dancer. For the first time ever, she performed for an audience that had gathered at Gallery 2 to see where creativity has taken some youth in the Boundary.
“I’m pretty nervous today,” Alberts told the crowd. “I don’t have any formal training – but I’m still going to do it anyway,” she said with a self-assuring nod of confidence.
With that, her sister hit “Play” on a phone and, after chuckling through an advertisement, the crowd got to watch the self-taught dancer perform an original choreography to the pop tune “Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz. Four minutes later, when Alberts reassumed her starting position on the floor – after a flurry of pointed kicks, foités, pirouettes and kart wheels – head in her hands, applause rained down on her.
Alberts was more than a dozen artists to showcase their talents at the second-ever Is Art youth showcase, a quarterly performance initiative created by the Boundary Music Educators, in collaboration with Gallery 2 and local art teachers.
“The confidence is absolutely astonishing,” said Alison Turner of the Boundary Music Educators. “To watch them be trepidatious as we speak to them, and then they come out and present themselves so brilliantly,” she said, is inspiring.
Like Vlad Tanasescu, who first presented a drawing at the series’ inaugural event in October. Where then he was scripted, composed and let the drawing do the work, his presentation on Saturday unveiled more talent and enthusiasm behind the artist.
Where his first piece was of a video game character, done with crayon, Tanasescu’s second public piece was a graphite and charcoal drawing of musician Billie Eilish.
“I’m very, very proud of it and very happy to be able to present you amazing people today,” he told the crowd after cracking a joke about “modern artists,” which was received with a murmur of laughs in the Reid Gallery.
“The purpose of this is to get the kids connected through their art, with their art, to the community,” Turner said of the event, “And it sure seems to be doing that because we’re getting a lot of audience people who are coming in, who have heard about it and are coming for the first time, who aren’t parents and aren’t friends. They’re just people who live here.”