For three adventurous decades, Milwaukee's Wild Space Dance Company has taken audiences on journeys that confound the accepted ideas of what dance can be. From performances in expected venues like a theater, to those in decidedly unexpected venues like the Menomonee Valley’s Three Bridges Park, Wild Space continually redefines modern dance for both performers and audiences.
"I'm really a visual maker," explains Wild Space's founder and artistic director Deb Loewen. "The kinetic is there but I really love the mix of 'what is the body doing where the body can change the space?'"
The exploration of that mix has lead Loewen to bring her company to The Goat Palace on North Fratney Street in the Riverwest neighborhood. The cavernous warehouse space sits on the edge of open land, other industrial sites, and commercial and residential neighborhoods. Its current owner wants to turn it into a performance hub. For Loewen, the challenge of figuring out how to use the space is part of its charm.
"It's why I do site things," she says. "How does the site change how the body is read, or what the body wants to do or can do, or is kept from doing?"
Artifacts will use five of the available eight bays in the Goat Palace for the performances and Loewen says there will be goats: three Nigerian dwarf goats named Abby, Serenity, and Pearl from the Oak Hollow Acres farm in Burlington.
"You can't call it The Goat Palace and not have me go try to find goats!" she laughs.
Artifacts runs September 14-17.