Photo by Matt Galvin

 For 18 seasons, members of the Evanston Dance Ensemble (EDE) have grown up in an environment of dance creativity and diversity. With “Turning Point: The Young Choreographers Project,” opening Dec. 11, 11 EDE company members will showcase the impact of this diverse dance training through their own choreography set on fellow company members. The production also includes the premiere of a dance piece from EDE alum and recent Julliard graduate Eve Jacobs, who currently dances with New York City-based Jessica Lang Dance. “Turning Point” is the inaugural production in Studio5, Dance Center Evanston’s (DCE) new dance theater space at 1934 Dempster St., next door to the dance school. Studio5 was designed as both a 100-seat performance venue for area dance companies and as an additional studio space for DCE.

EDE’s co-artistic directors Béa Rashid and Christina Ernst conceived the first Youth Choreographers Project in 2004; this is the second time the project has been part of EDE’s full dance season. The Project matches the young choreographers with professional mentors, reflecting founder Rashid’s mission of exposing young dancers to the world of professional dance. The mentors help shape and clarify ideas but do not choreograph any part of the dances.

EDE will present five performances of “Turning Point”: Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 12 and 13 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets for Friday night’s special benefit performance are $50 and will include an inaugural performance ceremony at 7:15 p.m., a champagne toast and a post-performance Q&A with the choreographers.  Tickets are available at for the remaining four shows and are $12.