Summer camp is an annual tradition, and not just for kids. Maine being officially Vacationland, a number of performers make it a point to spend time here in the summer to workshop new works. Often, the communities they do this in get to see and hear the in-progress results, while the final version premieres elsewhere. This summer, dance theater company Alison Chase/Performance is taking a different approach.

ACP is in fact based in Maine, on the Blue Hill peninsula where its founder and namesake grew up and lives. Brooksville residents have gotten to see the “summer camp” productions for several years now, but this year, the troupe will perform a Dancing with Steel tour of seven outdoor coastal sites, from the Schoodic Institute to Portland’s Congress Square. Waldo County performances are set for Wednesday, July 27, at 6 p.m. at Belfast waterfront’s Steamboat Landing; and Friday through Sunday, July 29 through 31, at the Fort Knox State Historic Site, Route 174 in Prospect.

“That’s the only place we’ll be for three days,” said Alison Chase a week before the tour began and hours before she departed for New York City.

While Chase lives in Maine, her company’s dancers are freelance artists based in New York. They have been meeting in Portland for rehearsals and were scheduled for some “final touches” work in the Big Apple. The five pieces in the approximately 70-minute Dancing with Steel program came out of the summer sessions Chase called a creative boot camp.

“This is our sixth year, and we though it would be great to have more people see them,” Chase said of the camp-created works.

Some of the “summer stock” makes its way into the ACP repertoire. One piece included in the tour had its premiere in January. All are summer-spawned works from last year and the year before — “Monkey and The White Bone Demon,” “Devil Got My Women,” “Tracings,” “Femme Noir” and “Tsu-Ku-Tsu.”

“We’re finding new threads between the pieces, so the program flows like a piece of fabric,” she said.

The performances will take place outside, one of many new elements for the company. But they still will be on a stage.

“In one piece, the main character is on stilts, so … I’d seen a portable stage and it turns out the Boston Dance Alliance owned it and rents it,” Chase said, adding that learning to deploy the stage is “a bit of a learning curve.”

Another new element is performing to live music, a luxury for any dance company. Alison Chase was conferring with her nephew, Nigel Chase, about amplification “and he said, why not just do it with a live steel band?” Since 2009, Nigel has been director of the Atlantic Clarion Steel Band and runs the Pan Institute in Blue Hill. The two had combined forces in a much more complicated production, 2007’s “Quarryography,” which included, among other things, “a cast of thousands and an excavator,” said Alison Chase.

The steel drum transcriptions are of necessity, and creativity, very different from what the dancers are used to hearing, even if they are the same compositions, and Chase thinks that’s just another reason this summer tour is an exciting challenge for the troupe.

“Working with recorded music, dancers can almost start to autopilot,” she said. “This adds a new, fresh alertness to the process.”

The Dancing with Steel process also involves a different approach to costume changes between numbers.

“A six-person Cabela’s tent is our green room,” said Chase.

And “booking” the sites meant going through different channels than Chase is used to; some are town-owned and one is a state park. Finding level ground for the staging — and getting the stage up and down — are part of a new skill set for this professional company.

“It’s an experiment in audience outreach and an experiment in self-production,” Chase said. “We’re hoping to make it an annual, seasonal event.”

Co-founder and former artistic director of the revolutionary Pilobolus and Momix dance companies, Chase has created more than 50 works seen by audiences around the world over the past 35 years. ACP is dedicated to the development of dramatic forms of physical expression, innovatively bringing together dance, theater and performance art. Such site-specific work, however, brings in variables that cannot be predicted.

“People may wander into the spaces — we’ll probably have some ‘unintentional artists,’” she said.

Originally, Dancing with Steel was going to run a few days in Hancock County. The stage, however, can only be rented by the week “and we got a discount, bridging the weekend,” said Chase. She said the tour ended up partnering with sites that showed “out-of-the-box interest,” including the city of Belfast.

“Steamboat Landing was the first place we booked,” she said.

Another original plan shelved for this year was to offer dance workshops around the performances. Chase said that might be explored in the future, perhaps including local dance companies, to help “increase the visibility of dance in general.”

As for the visibility at Dancing with Steel, attendees are encouraged to bring lawn seating to the local performances, which will conclude before dusk. The tour is funded in part by a couple of grants from the Maine Community Foundation; donations will be gladly received to help cover the remaining production costs. For more information, including the complete tour schedule, visit For weather cancellation information day of performances, call 326-4205.