‘Inertia’ isn’t slowing down

By Laura Nizlek


Jan. 30 at 8 p.m.

Father Ryan Arts Center — Braverso Theater in McKees… “Inertia”

Jan. 30 at 8 p.m.

Father Ryan Arts Center — Braverso Theater in McKees Rocks

$15 for general admission, $8 for students and seniors

Please call (516) 286-0188 if interested.

Most daydream of wild ideas, but not many follow through on them like Point Park University students Erin Kouwe and Jami Shapiro.

Kouwe and Shapiro took their “what if?” moment and transformed it into a nonprofit organization called the Three10 Moment and a dance performance called “Inertia.”

With friends and roommates, the girls came up with the Three10 Moment as a means to find a way for all forms of art to interact within the Pittsburgh community.

The name comes from Oct. 3 — the date on which the girls decided to make this happen — and the word momentum.

The group settled on the idea of staging a choreography festival. Any choreographer could apply, although some were sent invitations. After submitting applications and videos, Three10 Moment ended up with the 10 choreographers they have now.

The group will put on its first hour and a half show, which consists of 10 short performances, lasting between five and 12 minutes. The pieces vary, and each has a unique performance and choreography to offer.

The high-energy show covers the spectrum of “where the dance industry in Pittsburgh is going now.” Most of the pieces have a contemporary feel, with the majority falling under the jazz and modern dance umbrella, yet they have something to please even the most discerning.

Most remarkable is Heather Ferri, who will perform a tap piece. Ferri holds the Guinness record for turning in tap shoes.

Bodiography will put on a contemporary ballet piece. Pillow Project will premiere an innovative piece called “Jazz on the Radio,” a duet that involves jazz dance and Radiohead music.

The show has two student pieces, but everything else comes from outside Point Park. Three10 Moment hopes to establish more connections between professionals and students in the area.

Eddie Stockton, who also teaches at the Ailey School in New York, and Alison Seidenstricker, a Slippery Rock alumna who has danced with many New York dance companies, have both choreographed pieces for the program.

Most choreographers brought their own dancers, although auditions were held for performers in the Pittsburgh area. The show consists of more than 70 dancers.

The program’s namesake, Inertia, “is the amount of force required to produce movement,” Kouwe said. “The idea [came] from Jamie and I saying lets start something [that has its] own experiment in inertia.”

Kouwe pulled the word inertia from her background in physics. All of the originators offered specific areas of expertise to make the organization a reality, whether it was a background in marketing or sports management.

The group has a good dynamic, although it’s been a “major learning process working with four friends and remaining friends and living together all at the same time,” Kouwe said. “We would love to see the pride that Pittsburghers have for their sports — Steelers, Penguins — and see that come out in arts.”

Mary Muncil, director of marketing and development, agreed.

“Pittsburgh used to be a great arts town,” she said, “and there’s a lot of energy vibrating underground. We want to bring that black and gold to the arts scene.”

Three10 Moment has slowly generated funds from friends and families. To help raise additional revenue, Kouwe and Shapiro held a master class at Center Stage Dance Studio in Pittsburgh.

For those unable to get tickets for “Inertia,” the run-through at 4:30 p.m. is open to the public for a discounted price. Tickets for the informal presentation cost $5 for students, seniors and children and $10 for general admission. They can be reserved by calling (516) 286-0188 or by e-mailing [email protected].

Also, watch for the group’s next show in March, called “Art of the Moment.” It will encompass the idea of the creation of art in our time and involve pieces based on improvisation.

The girls said they also hope to incorporate more art media, such as painting, into the performance. With its strong choreographic pieces, this fledgling company should be well on its way to helping Pittsburgh strengthen its hold in the arts.