Will Koeppen

Environmental and editorial photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska

I always enjoy working with Momentum Dance Collective​. Their ten year anniversary show, Carried Away, was a monster of a show that featured two dance groups (Momentum as well as dancers from Alaska Dance Theatre), three bands, ropes and swings, ribbons and stilts, magical forests, and going to the moon.

The show explored the transition from youth to adulthood through a myriad of fantastical scenes. In one scene, youth dancers from the Alaska Dance Theatre run excitedly through the audience and up onto the pitch-black stage using only flashlights. They find a host of other dancers though and together they create shadow puppets on the wall.

In another scene, the young dancers experience the fun and terror of a haunted forest, with tall creatures (dancers on stilts) lumbering around. A dancer (Ellie Gottstein) hangs from the ceiling on silks and dances with one of the tall creatures until she picks one of the young dancers up and takes her away.

Costumes were all done by Enzina Marrari — which looked like a momentus task for one person supplying a show with nearly 40 people. She was still looking joyful backstage, though I'm sure she was lacking sleep by the end. Set pieces were designed and constructed by Ruby Suzanna Kennell and included 40 ft tall heads constructed of cut plywood.

Throughout the show is a theme of dreaming to fly. There were swings and ropes for assists, but also a lot of jumps and lifts. A red ballon on stage eventually transitioned to a dancer flying away wearing a red dress.

All of the pieces were cinematic and symbolic, but one of my favorites had a red thread strung onto stage that a dancer was strugging to follow. I think that did a good job of visually showing the idea that we struggle with finding and/or losing our youth, and all the idealism that it contains.