Dance and Social Change” at Lunch with the Arts Tomorrow

Published 8:52 am Tuesday, April 18, 2017

By Paul Stansbury

Contributing writer

On Wednesday, April 19, the Community Arts Center invites you to explore how dance transforms our perception of humanity. For its monthly Lunch with the Arts program, the Arts Center will welcome Tracey Bonner for a presentation on Dance and Social Change.

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Bonneris the Dance Coordinator within the theatre and dance program in the School of the Arts at Northern Kentucky University. She will use two of her own creations: “An Ethical Mandate” (premiered in 2013, restaged in 2016) and “An Ingrown Life” (premiered in 2014, restaged in 2015) to demonstrate how the concepts of dance and social change are related.

I am hopeful that my work allows people to see humanity reflected through artistic interpretation,” says Bonner. “Through my work in dance, I utilize these ideas to expand knowledge and perception of our humanitarian responsibilities. By using movement arts to reflect back to society its own prejudices and limitations, we are better able to emphasize our responsibilities to humanity.”  

“An Ethical Mandate” was a creation in response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.  “An Ingrown Life” was a response to a personal tragedy and a response to empathy and how to become more empathetic.

Of “ n Ingrown Life,” Bonner says, “This idea of knowing how to help someone through a tragedy because you have been through something similar was the basis for creation. We each have the ability to become more human and active participants in societal shift. Using the arts, and for me that is dance, can empower us to change the world, one step at a time.”

Bonner describes her overall goal: “Through the physical embodiment of human emotion, I am hopeful that my work allows people to see humanity reflected through artistic interpretation.

Bonner divides her time between being an educator and a highly productive choreographer. Her artistic work has received multiple accolades. In her choreography, she combines storytelling with movement intention, creating a more dynamic actor and audience experience. She incorporated this philosophy into her graduate thesis research. As a concert choreographer, she uses her artistic creations to reflect humanity back to itself.

As a member of Actors’ Equity, Bonner has performed in national touring and regional productions of “  Chorus Line,” “West Side Story,” “Show Boat,” “Sweet Charity,” “The Full Monty,” “Cabaret,” “Crazy for You,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and more. Theatrical choreographic credits include: “  Midsummer Nights Dream,” “Dames at Sea,” “Sweet Charity,” “Reefer Madness,” “Sweeney Todd” and multiple productions of “Into the Woods” and “West Side Story.”

Bonner is a recent recipient of the Al Smith Artistic Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. She is an active participant of “The Representation Project,” an organization that seeks to break down gender based stereotypes, and regularly creates and promotes community outreach with these ideals in mind. She is also an active member of Lean-IN, an organization begun by Sheryl Sandburg, meant to promote mentorship and leadership for women within their residential and business communities.

Bonner is a BFA graduate of Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University, and an MFA graduate of University of California, Irvine.



Lunch with the Arts: featuring Tracey Bonner

Noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, at the Community Arts Center

$7 at the door


ReInterpret: Contemporary Landscapes by Billy Hertz
Also featuring artwork by Kayla Bischoff, Lisa Simon, Jim Doiron, and Brad Devlin
March 1 to April 29 | Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm | Suggested donation $5.

Starry Night Studio: Full Bloom Beauty
Tuesday, April 25 | 7pm to 9pm | $28

This graceful blooming tree is sure to make you smile every time you look at it. No experience is required for this social painting experience! A professional artist will provide step-by-step instructions. Register online at

Starry Night Studio: NYC Skyline
Tuesday, May 9 | 7pm to 9pm | $28
Spend a relaxing evening painting the iconic New York City skyline. Never painted before? No problem!  A professional artist will guide you, step by step, from blank canvas to finished masterpiece. Register online at

Beginner Ballroom Dance
Thursdays at 6pm | $10 per class at the door | No preregistration required
The Arts Center offers ballroom dance classes for dancers of all abilities, whether you’ve got lots of experience or you’re a total newbie just looking to have fun. You do NOT need to bring a partner. We have a mix of couples and singles in all our dance classes, so don’t be shy to come on your own!

Munchkin & Me Art Classes
A FREE visual arts class for children ages 18 month – 4 years, with an adult caregiver on Mondays, 10 a.m. Experiment with new techniques and new mediums each week! No preregistration required.