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Inspired by the quest for joy, exuberance and delight, seven members of Milwaukee-based Wild Space Dance Company present the critically acclaimed program “Speaking of Happiness” Friday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. in Lawrence University’s Stansbury Theatre.

Witty, insightful, compelling and emotionally charged, “Speaking of Happiness” conveys sentiments of warmth and tolerance through intimate gestures and small human interactions in 24 overlapping episodes performed in 80 minutes. One reviewer described the program as “ingenious in a thousand small ways.”

The program is a collaboration among Wild Space Artistic Director Debra Loewen and choreographers Monica Rodero and Dan Schuchart. Dancers with Wild Space for the past eight years, Rodero and Schuchart serve as artists-in-residence in Lawrence’s theatre arts department.

According to Loewen, the production grew out of a conversation she had with Rodero and Schuchart about ideas and writings on the subject of happiness.

“This performance looks beneath the surface at our elusive pursuit of happiness and asks, ‘How do we find it? Why does it matter?”’ said Loewen. “It weaves the obvious with the mysterious, outward appearance with hidden emotions and how we think and express happiness.”

Wild Space Dance Company has served as a company-in-residence at Lawrence since 2000, bringing professional dance to the Lawrence community and providing students principles of dance art in performance through classes and workshops taught by Loewen and members of her company.

Described as “richly imaginative and witty” by the New York Times, Wild Space Dance Company was founded in 1986. Known for site-specific dance events and artistic collaborations, Wild Space combines dance with visual art, film, text, architecture and unusual environments in an effort to expand the audience for contemporary dance throughout Wisconsin.