Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a new Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists will share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition.
Melvin AC Howell is the owner of Heart & Soul Dance Co. In addition to his choreography, performance and educational work, he’s also an actor and playwright.
Xpress: Is there an upcoming dance performance in Asheville that you’re looking forward to seeing?
Howell: Throughout these final months of 2022, there isn’t too much going on in the realm of dance, outside of the traditional Nutcracker performances and maybe a few pop-up shows and performances.
However, moving into the year 2023, there are many great shows and productions planned — and some from my favorite dancing and performance groups here in Asheville, Stewart/Owen Dance. Gavin Stewart and Vanessa Owen are beautiful dancers and creators who are sure to move everyone who witnesses their work. They’ll present their mainstage series next year on April 21-22 at the Wortham Center for Performing Arts, and I’m thrilled about it.
Outside of dance, is there an upcoming local arts happening that you’re looking forward to?
There are a plethora of plays directed by Stephanie Hickling Beckman of Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective that I’m really stoked about seeing. The plays she directs and presents always include a meaningful message — that’s the important aspect that makes these plays art. All of these plays present their audiences with important questions and conversations to generate a movement that vibrates throughout every member of every community that gets to witness them. They always bring awareness, cause reflection and encourage transformation. These are presentations you do not want to miss.
What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?
I am currently in the process of working on writing and creating a play in partnership with Different Strokes. It will be presented next year, and I’m superenergized about it. I can’t give many details right now, but I can say it’s one for the books.