This Colorful Performance Turns Dancers into Human Paintbrushes and Canvases

Using bright paints and fluid movements, IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre blends art and dance in the old Sports Authority space.
Paint by Number
Photos: Courtesy of IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre


With the point of a toe and a splatter of paint, IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre is back for its first public performance since 2015. Accompanied by the local jazz band Quadraphonix, the dancers will create an audience-interactive show that combines the art of dancing and painting in Ward Gateway Center’s former Sports Authority store for six nights.


Paint by Numbers


The performance begins as a blank canvas. Everything is white—the dancers’ clothing, the floor and even the stage walls. Synchronized with the beat of the music, the show quickly blossoms into a kaleidoscope of color and movement.


Paint by Numbers


IONA founder and artistic director Cheryl Flaharty incorporates the audience into the performance so they can be a part of the art. The front row is like the splash zone at a water show. Although a plastic sheet is provided for protection, if paint does splatter on you, don’t worry—it’s washable. To involve the audience even more, some showgoers will be given painting materials to help “color” the dancers.


Paint by Numbers


IONA often performs at large corporate and private events, so this is a rare opportunity for the public to see the dancers for as low as $30.


June 11 and 18 at 7 p.m. and June 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 online and $40 at the door. There is a student discount of $5. 333 Ward Ave., at Ward Gateway Center, purchase tickets at