“The soloist is very present and alive, opening doors to the dancers on stage. It’s an ethereal world, where someone unexpectedly hugs, nuzzles and snakes through the space. The interactions become larger — solo, duo, trio — and the communication builds,” Rosen said. “It’s about how important people are in our life.”
The cycle of human connections also is illustrated by the links between three of Rosen’s dancers and Nichols. Two of the dancers — Jacqueline Rumohr and Devonna Reichert — are Glendale residents who used to dance with Nichols’ dance company, Two Fast Feet. Rumohr danced with the company in the 1980s and Reichert danced with Nichols during the company’s final performance in 2003.
Dancer Devin Ziel Shermer is the 19-year-old daughter of Kim Ziel, who also danced with Two Fast Feet. At one point in “The Space Between, Before and After,” Rumohr, who stands 5-foot-9, lifts the petite Shermer in a manner that reminded Nichols of when she first saw Shermer as a baby in her mother’s arms.
Other companies in the Alex performance are BARE Dance Company, Monat Dance, Regina Klenjoski Dance Company, Terri Best Dance, Visions Dance Theatre, Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn and Malashock Dance.
“I like highly trained dancers with an edge,” said Nichols, who has produced the showcase at the Alex Theatre since 2005.
The theater has a special meaning for Nichols, who was born in Glendale and graduated from Glendale High School. Her grandparents attended the opening of the Alex in 1925, and she danced her last performance with her company there in 2003.