Missoula company, Bare Bait Dance, to explore the unknown in “Here Be Dragons”

Bare Bait Dance will kick off its new season with “Here Be Dragons.” (William Munoz/Missoula Current)

To open its new season, the professional dance company Bare Bait Dance is staging “Here Be Dragons,” a new work by company founder and artistic director Joy French.

The concept behind dragons came to French while contemplating the imagery of dragons on maps. She sees them as a visual representation of something unknown.

As the dancers considered those “unknown” representations, they included “things that scare them as dancers.” A story line began to emerge, along with the movements.

Maps allow us to see our journeys, but the choreography in dance takes the dancers and audience on a journey as well. As in any journey, there are unknowns, which can bring new insight and rewards if embraced.

The Missoula-based company will stage the production at the West Side Theatre at 1200 Shakespeare. The space is new for Bare Bait Dance, allowing for props that the company is using in the program.

There will also be three more performances Nov. 22, 23, and 24.

The new season also includes “Kinetoscope7,” an international dance film festival that starts Jan. 18. CXQ will end the season with three works, including one choreographed by Mollie Wolf of Los Angeles, and a piece choreographed by local artists Kelly Bouma and Mike Steinberg and filled out with a solo by Joy French.