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Jane Franklin Dance presents ‘Picture This’

Jane Franklin Dance. Photo by Jim Turner.
Jane Franklin Dance. Photo by Jim Turner.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Perhaps a picture conjures up memories or leads to new thoughts and ideas. Virginia-based Jane Franklin Dance, a company that partners with music, media, visual artists and community participants, will present its show, Picture This, at Arlington, Virginia’s Theatre on the Run later this month. 

Jane Franklin Dance. Photo by Jim Turner.

Jane Franklin Dance. Photo by Jim Turner.

The show features excerpts from Jane Franklin Dance’s The Migration Project and new work in collaboration with fine art photographer Fax Ayres. For the performance on January 26, Fairfax-based DanceArtTheater will perform The Guardian, a work for five dancers that explores the notion if there is a keeper or leader. And the program on February 2 will include works by choreographers Carrie Monger and Truly A. Bennett. 

On the collaboration with Ayres, Artistic Director Jane Franklin tells Dance Informa, “I interviewed Fax and recorded that interview. The questions I asked were about his artistic process and the emotional resonance, particularly since his photographs look more like paintings, and contain very sculptural objects, everyday objects, but the appearance is very sculptural. It’s a unique way to merge objects, so in general the subject matter is both literal and at the same time very abstract.”

Franklin then edited the interviews and layered Ayres’ words over music by composers such as Bach and Hayden. She worked with the dancers to create movement that physically describes each photograph and its content. 

Jane Franklin Dance’s The Migration Project shares family histories of immigration and stories of more recent relocation. Stories by 15 individuals, many who are very new to the country and others who tell of their experiences arriving here as an immigrant, are layered with sound and amplified through movement. 

Photo by Fax Ayres.

Photo by Fax Ayres.

Franklin received a MFA from The Ohio State University as a University Fellow and certification from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies. Her choreography has been presented at multiple venues and festivals and internationally in Mexico. Franklin is a recipient of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region Creative Communities Award, and she has developed collaborative projects combining dancers with the skateboarding community, a life-size kinetic sculpture, specific sites, dogs and owners, and interactive live videos and sounds.

“Themes I like to take on are about landscapes; site-specific pieces that say something about the places that inhabit our daily lives,” Franklin shares. “I like to bring in humor and playfulness and just the oddities of daily interactions, things that may take place between you and another person that are unexpected.” 

Jane Franklin Dance’s Picture This will be presented at Theatre on the Run in Arlington, Virginia, on Saturday, January 26, and Saturday, February 2. For tickets and more information, visit

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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