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On Saturday evening the best in dance from across Middle Tennessee converged on Austin Peay State University in the middle of Historic Downtown Clarksville, TN to perform in the Tennessee Association of Dance’s Middle (TAD) Tennessee Regional Gala. The 2010 Regional Gala highlights professional Dance Companies and University Ensembles in the Middle Tennessee area. This years competition included performances from APSU’s Dance Ensemble, Belmont University/Epiphany, Company Rose, Middle Tennessee State University, the Nashville Ballet, Nashville in Motion, Stillpoint Dance Theatre, and the Vanderbilt Dance Theatre.
The Gala was part of the Tennessee Association of Dance’s 41st annual statewide conference which included a weekend of dance featuring master classes and seminars with nationally known dance artists. It is their mission to ensure that dance is a vital and respected part of the life of all Tennesseans.
“We are excited and privileged to showcase to the public the quality companies and university groups in the Middle Tennessee area. This evening is made possible in Part by the generous support of the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Capezio Foundation, and our co-hosts Austin Peay State University. Many thanks to all those involved in producing this weekend of dance, most especially Marcus Hayes, Assistant Professor of Dance at APSU and Sarah Englert, TAD Gala Coordinator.” said Karen Wilson, the Executive Director of the Tennessee Association of Dance.
The program consisted of nine very different numbers, all of them expertly performed. The most innovative were Look Ma! No hands! by the Belmont University Dance Company, Voices in the Night by Epiphany, and Beauty… by the Stillpoint Dance Theatre. Of course the Nashville Ballet and the Vanderbilt Dance Theatre’s classical ballet performances were absolutely flawless, and I hold a special place in my heart for APSU’s Dance Ensemble.
Austin Peay State University Dance Ensemble (Marcus Hayes, Artistic Director) was established in 2006 in conjunction with the establishment of the Dance Minor Program housed within the area of Theatre and Dance at APSU. Performance students are invited to audition for the Dance Ensemble and can be seen performing in the annual Spring Dance Concert, the Fall Student Choreography Showcase, The Departmental Music Theatre productions, the American College Dance Festival Association, and various other venues on campus , and throughout the Greater Clarksville Area.
Belmont University Dance Company (Debra Belue, Artistic Director) was established in 2004 in coordination with the Dance Minor Program in Belmont’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Students are selected by audition and have the opportunity to study ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. They perform in various venues around the area. The upcoming annual concert Mixed Bill VII is scheduled for April 29th-May 1st 2011 in the Troutt Theatre on the Belmont Campus.
Company Rose (Marsha Barsky, Artistic Director) is a Nashville based contemporary dance group, founded in 2008 by Marsha Barsky. The Company’s work explorers the poetics of the body in subtle, playful, and dynamically spontaneous ways. Company Rose sojourns in a host of public and private spaces as a way of both spreading and inspiring new forms of contemporary dance expression. Uniquely Southern, rooted in the South East of the United States, Company Rose brings sophisticated dance to a tradition bound region lush with possibilities.
Epiphany Dance Company (Debra Belue, Artistic Director) is a professional modern company dedicated to using dance to communicate modern messages rooted in a tradition of faith. Dance penetrates the heart, connecting with the receivers spirit, rather than requiring an intellectual response. Its dances are meant to identify the seen and unseen realities of the profane and the sacred. The company’s knowledge of historic and contemporary dance practice promises artistic excellence and innovation. Seeking the extraordinary in expressive movement, Epiphany inspires and educates performers and audiences alike. Founded by Grete Gryzwana in 1994, Epiphany is the resident dance company of Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville and performs regularly at various venues and conferences in the area.
MTSU Dance Theatre (Kim Neal Nofsinger, Artistic Director), founded in 2005, provides an exciting vehicle for performance experiences at Middle Tennessee State University. Company members perform in faculty choreography, adjudicated student compositions, and repertory works set by distinguished guest artists in workshops and residencies. Membership in MTSU dance Theatre is by audition only. Auditions are held at the beginning of the fall semester and the end of the fall semester for the spring term. Company members include both MTSU undergraduate and graduate students. The MTSU Dance Theatre provides opportunities for audiences to see high-quality performances of ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance. MTSU Dance Theatre Company Members participate annually in the American College Dance Festival. Additionally, students have performed in various venues throughout the region. Past performance opportunities have included the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre, and at Vanderbilt University.
The Nashville Ballet (Paul Vasterling, Artistic Director), founded in 1981 as a civic dance company, it is the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee. As the second largest producing arts organization in the Middle Tennessee Area. Nashville Ballet presents a varied repertoire of classical ballet and contemporary works by noted choreographers, along with original works by Artistic Director Paul Vasterling. The Nashville Ballet and the second company NB2 (a pre-professional training company) serve nearly 70,000 adults and children annually through performances, and our education and outreach program Learning Curves. Our curriculum-based outreach program brings dance education to community centers, colleges, public libraries, eight resident schools, and public elementary and middle schools over a 15-county region throughout Middle Tennessee. The School of Nashville Ballet provides world-class instruction in Ballet for the dancers of tomorrow.
Stillpoint Dance Theatre (Sharon Perry, Artistic Director), is a contemporary dance company based in Nashville since 2005. They are committed to creating quality and relevant works of art with the motivation to bring reconciliation to families, cultures, nations, and ultimately to man and his creator. Because we affirm the value of every person, through dance theatre or hope is to reveal the beauty, humor, truth, and joy in our lives and yet to also bring awareness of human suffering and social injustices. Our desire is to call people into the “eye of the storm,” and to inspire the imagination for creative peace-making and cultural interaction and awareness. www.stillpointdt.com
Vanderbilt Dance Theatre (Thom Shoemaker, Artistic Director) provides an exciting vehicle for performing experience at Vanderbilt University. Company members perform in faculty choreography and repertory works set by distinguished guest artists in periodic workshops and residencies. Membership in the Vanderbilt Dance Theatre (VDT) is by audition only. Company members are comprised of Vanderbilt undergraduate and graduate students, and members of the Nashville Community. VDT provides opportunities for audiences to see high-quality performances of ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, and modern dance. VDT Dancers participate annually in the American College Dance Festival, and in various performance venues throughout the region.
Le Corsaire: Dance of the Odalisques
Voices in the Night
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor and Theologian who was arrested, imprisoned, and later executed for his stand against Hitler. While imprisoned he wrote many letters and papers that were smuggled out of the prison by sympathetic guards and published posthumously. Bonhoeffer’s life as a pastor and theologian of great intellect and spirituality and his martyrdom in opposition to Nazism exerted great influence and inspiration for Christians across broad denominations and ideologies.
Underpinnings is a collaboration between Leni A. Dyer and Marcus Hayes
“We’re not all her life but storm, would the dancer mould a form of such noble line and blustery breath?”
Pond (1972) *
* No photos were taken of this number due to copyright concerns held by the event organizers. The Licensing and performance of this work has been granted through the exclusive rights of Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance, Inc. The reconstruction of this dance was made possible with funds from the MTSU Distinguished Lecturers Committee and the Dissemination Grant from MTSU. MTSU Dance Theatre will be performing this reconstruction in their Fall Dance Concert December 2nd-4th, and on tour in Chicago and New York City. For additional information contact Kim Neal Nofsinger at .
Excerpts from Swan Lake
Dancers appear courtesy of Nashville Ballet’s official second comapny , NB2
This piece about women addresses society’s concept of beauty and its impact on us.
Look, Ma! No Hands!
SectionsArts and Leisure
TopicsAbby Ramsey, Alaina Runions, Ashley Harris, Austin Peay State University, Belmont University, Chris Turner, Drew Kerr, Elizabeth Hadden, Marcus Hayes, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Association of Dance, Vanderbilt University
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