Dogwood Dance Brings Unique, Educational, And Meaningful Dance to Dogtown Stage
Get ready for a restless night (or afternoon) in Richmond. Dogwood Dance Project, one of RVA’s premiere professional dance companies integrating education and dance, is preparing to release several new pieces as well as star some guest artists in its first full performance at Dogwood Dance Theater on January 11, 2014.
Four JMU graduates who sought a way to continue dancing after college founded the Dogwood Dance Project three years ago. Consisting of members from all over the state, the Project teaches classes, holds workshops, and performs shows in Charlottesville, Petersburg, Richmond, and other areas in Virginia.
Dogwood Dance Project has presented concerts at the Dogwood Dance Theater in December of 2012 and 2013. Jason Sandahl, company member and development coordinator of the Dogwood Dance Project, said the annual concerts “showcase what [they] have been working on for the past couple of months.”
The show will include performances by the three groups involved in the Dogwood Dance Project: the Dogwood Professional Company, Dogwood’s Youth Ensemble, and the Dogwood Apprentices, as well as a contribution by a special ensemble of alumni and faculty from James Madison University’s dance program.
Jason Sandahl will showcase his duet Not Ready, a piece that has been previewed during its making several times in Dogwood Dance Theater’s First Friday presentations.
Dogwood’s Youth Ensemble, a pre-professional dance company for high school students, will also present seven dancers in Holding, by company member Ilana Burger.
Company members Nicole Marie Fiorella and Sarah Lokitis’ White Collar will be presented by the Youth Ensemble, members of the Dogwood Professional Company, as well as the Dogwood Apprentices, two high school seniors that have “a little bit more of a creative role, in that… [they] add input, make changes, and are involved in the whole process of developing the piece,” said Sandahl.
These Apprentices, along with the Professional Company, will also introduce a new section of the Virginia Topography Suite, a dance planned to synchronize with the fourth-grade Virginia Studies curriculum. This five-part dance is part of the Project’s plan “to develop an entire full length work based on the five separate regions of Virginia. This is one section of that grander show that we will be putting together later on,” Sandahl said. The Project hopes to integrate dance into classrooms by “teaching [students] about the geography of Virginia through dance and workshops.”
Along with pieces from members of the Company, the show will provide three guest choreographers- Danah Bella, Associate Professor of Dance at Radford University; Rebecca Ferrell, noted Richmond performer, choreographer, and educator; and Catherine Faszewski, Virginia Commonwealth University Dance and Choreography Senior and Chesterfield Dance Center faculty member. The Dogwood Professional Company will perform Bella’s Rosas Danst Rosas, the Youth Ensemble Ferrell’s Crown Down, and the Apprentices Faszewski’s Silence.
Finally, alumni and faculty from James Madison University’s dance program will perform On the Verge by Suzanne Miller-Corso, JMU’s Associate Professor of Dance.
There are two times for the concert on January 11th: 2pm and 7pm. Tickets for both shows can be reserved on the Dogwood Dance Website or bought at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $12 general admission and $5 for children 10 and under. Cards will not be taken.
I’m Jessica, an intern at RVAMag and GayRVA. I am studying elementary education at Virginia Commonwealth University and I love to write about almost anything, especially if it involves kids, the environment, or music. I moved to Richmond from South Korea six years ago and have been living here since. When I’m not interning, I like to read, rock climb, hike, and come up with healthier ways to eat ramen.
This weekend at Dogtown Dance Theatre four local choreographers, each with national acclaim, will merge their modern and ballet backgrounds with INTERSECTIONS, a collaborative show that embraces the diversity of the Richmond dance scene. This weekend’s performances will also serve as a debut for Annielille Gavino Kollman’s dance company, Malayaworks. Kollman’s goal with her dance [...]June 18, 2014
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