ART TIMES Facebook ART TIMES twitter ART TIMES YouTube

Dance: In Spring Theater Companies Minds turn to Youth

By Francine L. Trevens
ART TIMES online May 2013

ABT students
Students of The School of American Ballet perform
Silas Farley's new piece at The School of American Ballet's 2013 Winter Ball.   Photo by Erin Baiano

By Francine L. Trevens

There’s something in the air this spring sending many dance professionals to work with and aim works at the younger generation – an effort of preserving our past by inspiring our next generation with it, along with creating the novel and new. 

The trend was foretold by The School of American Ballet's 2013 Winter Ball: A Night in the Far East at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater in March, which raised more than $1.1 million for scholarships and school programs. The evening was sponsored by legendary French Maison Van Cleef & Arpels. One look at the accompanying photo of the students’ performance shows the spirit of this event.

New York Theatre Ballet presented Sleeping Beauty late March. Costumes were particularly attractive and despite scenery that took up much of the stage, performances were enjoyable. Then it presented Keith Michael's GOOSE! April 20 and 21 also at Florence Gould Hall. Both were appropriate for ages 3 and up. The Goose! Ballet followed the antics of beloved nursery rhyme characters - Jack and Jill, Little Bo Peep, Little Boy Blue, Little Miss Muffet, and others.

Manhattan Youth Ballet and Manhattan Movement & Arts Center presented its Annual Spring Workshop Performances mid March at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center. The Annual Spring Workshop Performances are the culmination of a rehearsal process that began with the Winter Workshop Intensive in January. Students performed selections from classical masterpieces as well as new works specifically choreographed for Manhattan Youth Ballet. Repertoire included excerpts from Balanchine's Emeralds and The Sleeping Beauty, August Bournonville's Napoli, a world premiere by Attila Csiki, and Deborah Wingert's Neopolitan Divertissement. 

Youth America Grand Prix’s 2013 “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” Gala was April 18, in Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. Highly acclaimed by critics worldwide, YAGP Galas featuring the world’s most promising young dance students and the stars of today’s leading international dance companies have thrilled New York City audiences since YAGP’s inception in 1999.

The Gala featured performances of international ballet stars and introduced the world’s brightest young dance talent. In addition to performances by dancers from Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba, Bolshoi Ballet, Tbilisi Z. Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theatre, this year featured premieres by Emery LeCrone and Marcelo Gomes, with original score by Karen LeFrak. 

Upcoming youth events include:

Kaatsbaan, Tivoli NY will present Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16, Dances Patrelle’s "Gilbert & Sullivan," The Ballet and urges all tosee and hear the modern major general and a host of G&S characters you will never forget.”   

Ballet Hispanico dance residency at the Pocantico Center May 15-16, offers Education & Outreach in residency over two days at the Pocantico Elementary School. Ballet Hispanico will perform and the company will be visiting classrooms to prepare students for the performance and speaking with them afterward. They will be working with all Pre-K to 8th Grade classes.

ABT students
Young Ah Yang (South Korea), who won third prize in the Student Division 2012 of (ages 13 & 14) at Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition.   photo by Brian Mengini

Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition (formerly Boston International Ballet Competition) is set for New York City's La Guardia High School, at Amsterdam & 65th Street, June 27-30, 2013.

For this third annual event, VKIBC announces an impressive international panel of judges: Andris Liepa (Russia), President of the Jury, Olga Guardia de Smoak (Panama), Deborah Hess (Canada), Hae Shik Kim (South Korea), Tadeusz Matacz (Germany), Serguei Soloviev (France), Bo Spassoff (USA), Director, Rock School, Pa., Septime Webre (USA), Artistic Director, Washington Ballet, Stanton Welch (Australia), Director, Houston Ballet As in past years, the Competition is divided into three divisions: Student   13-14 years old; Junior,  15 to 17;   Senior   18 to 25.

It’s a tough competition requiring participants not only select dances from a list provided by VKIBC, which includes solos from Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, Giselle, and other classics, but also requires they learn, via computer, one of the following: Compulsory Contemporary Female Solo, created this year by Jacqulyn Buglisi, Compulsory Contemporary Male Solo, created by Viktor Kabaniaev or Compulsory Duet, created by Paulo Arrais.

Ballet Tech will return to the Joyce Theater 175 Eighth Ave in New York City for a six-performance run featuring that fabulous youth dance troupe, Kids Dance in June. Among the performances will be Eliot Feld's newest ballet for 37 crazy wonderful dancing kids from the Ballet Tech School.  These spunky ragamuffins will also perform Feld's classic Meshugana Dance, and A Stair Dance.  Special guest Wei-Chia Su will present his open-hearted zany dancing of the 1st act of Zeppo, an intermission in three acts, inspired by the Marx brother nobody knows.  Tickets range from $10-$39.

ABT students
A few of the kids from Ballet Tech in A Stair Dance by Eliot Feld.  
photo by Todd Rosenberg

The June 13 opening night Gala will celebrate and support the Ballet Tech School with four solos by Eliot Feld - three of them new - and dancing from the kids. Tiler Peck (appearing courtesy of New York City Ballet) will revive the 1976 Impromptu, Wu-Kang Chen will dance the premiere of One Dances, Kaitlyn Gilliland will premiere Of Inwit, and Wei-Chia Su will premiere the 2nd act of Zeppo, an intermission in three acts. 

Also upcoming though after spring, is the traveling Young Dancemakers Company in free Concerts.
Choreography is created and performed by NYC Teens Selected from NYC Public High Schools;
Director is Alice Teirstein,Music Director is William Catanzaro and Guest Choreographer is Doug Elkins. Here’s the schedule:
July 25 at 2pm, Fieldston School, 3901 Fieldston Road, Bronx
July 26 at 7:30pm, 92nd Street Y, Lexington & 92nd Street
July 27 at 2pm, Bruno Walter Auditorium/Lincoln Center, Amsterdam & 65 St, NYC
July 28 at 2pm, Flushing town Hall, Flushing Queens
July 30 at 1pm, Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts, LIU, I University Plaza, Brooklyn
July 31 at 2pm, Symphony Space, 2637 Broadway (95th St)
August 1 at 1pm, Ailey Summer Camp
August 3 at 7:30pm, Closing Gala Performance and Reception at Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 W. 55 Street, NYC 
       "I believe there is an artist in everyone and I believe in the power of dance as a medium for artistic expression in a personal way.  I enjoy being there when that happens," said Alice Teirstein, Founder/Director, Young Dancemakers Company

Chad Levy and Amy Marshall of the Amy Marshall Dance Company began adapting a book about boy soldiers into a dance piece. They are collaborating with LaGuardia Community College and working with some high schools. Said Ms Marshall, “I am hoping to incorporate the high school dancers into the new work, but am struggling with how to do so and be politically PC so to speak.  Guns, as we know, are a big issue in the US these days.  It's a touchy subject, but I feel I can approach it. The piece won't premiere until March 2014.”

Even films get into the act.

Dance Film Sundays series started in June 2010 under the auspices of the Rosendale Theatre Collective, are held the 2nd Sunday of every month at Rosendale Theatre. A special film for children is planned for 2 showings Sunday, May 12 at 2:00 pm and on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:15 pm. It is adapted from Lewis Carroll’s classic tale and was choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, with scenarios by dramatist Nicholas Wright, The Royal Ballet’s new production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is an HD cinema experience.

Alice and the Knave of Hearts are danced by Sarah Lamb and Federico Bonelli, and Zenaida Yanowsky makes a hilarious Queen of Hearts to original music composed by Joby Talbot. Costume and set designs are by multiple Tony Award-winner Bob Crowley. Captured live from London at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden this March, it was commissioned by The Royal Ballet. The ballet features The Royal Opera House orchestra conducted by David Briskin.

Called “a dazzling affair” by The Telegraph, those familiar with Lewis Carroll’s literary menagerie of colorful characters will enjoy the clarity in which they are portrayed in Alice.  Prices are great - $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Film runs 3 hours (including intermissions).

So – there you have a large selection of dance opportunities your family can enjoy in the weeks and months ahead. Get youth-full this Spring!

Share |