Insights from Choreographer Robert J. Priore

Sarahart

Robert Priore, Dancer and Choreographer

I first saw Robert Priore dance with CityDance in February of 2011. He is a phenomenal dancer, now dancing with Company E and working as CityDance Conservatory’s Choreographer-in-Residence.   Robert began choreographing at Point Park University, where he received a BFA in Jazz Dance. He joined Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2 after college under the direction of Shonna Hickman-Matlock. He was commissioned to set two full-length original works for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s 2010-2011 season. Robert continues to explore his talent for choreography as part of CityDance’s faculty by creating colorful, eclectic works like “Carnaval” and “Trees”. Rob’s work will appear … Read More

CityDance presents Hubbard Street 2 + CityDance Conservatory

Sarahart

As part of the second installment of CityDance’s 2012/13 Professional Artist Series, CityDance presents Hubbard Street 2 and the CityDance Conservatory. Under the direction of CityDance Artistic Director Lorraine Spiegler, CityDance Conservatory provides high quality year-­round dance education to over 100 young dancers ages 12-19. Throughout the weekend, CityDance Conservatory dancers will join Hubbard Street 2 (HS2) in technique and repertory classes. What a fantastic experience for the CityDance Conservatory dancers to dance with some of Chicago’s finest dancers – I’m quite jealous! I first heard of HS2, the apprentice company of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, in 2010, when they premiered “Harold and … Read More

JMU Alumni Dance Concert

Sarahart

The dance program at James Madison University is no longer in asbestos-filled Godwin Hall, but rather in the swanky and contemporary Forbes Performing Arts Center across from the quad. This past weekend, my dance company, Dogwood Dance Project, along with other JMU dance alum performed at Forbes and shared insights into what they have done post graduation. I was able to hear about the dance companies and opportunities the JMU dance majors have landed or created for themselves in a panel and am proud of the achievements of these 355 ladies. UpRooted Dance directed by Keira Hart-Mendoza UpRooted Dance began with the idea of … Read More

First Fridays: Thompson and Trammell Dance Company

Sarahart

A Charlottesville dance icon, Miki Liszt, with her company presents the First Fridays dance series to showcase small contemporary dance companies and individual choreographers. After the performance, the dancers or choreographers invite the audience to participate in a discussion about the performance. In my experience, this is one of the best parts of the evening, as the crowd is very open to modern dance and willing to share how the work(s) made them feel. First Fridays in October was particularly wonderful as the performance featured two professors from James Madison University.  Cynthia Thompson and Kate Trammell of thompson and trammell presented two solo works with very … Read More

Dancer Spotlight: Kate Folsom

Sarahart

I danced with Kate in college at James Madison University and we performed together in the Virginia Repertory Dance Company. She graduated in 2011 and has already immersed herself within the D.C. dance community. Over the summer, Kate was temporarily serving as the Interim Executive Administrator and this month is starting as Programs Associate at Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance. With Dance/USA you helped plan the 2012 Annual Conference in San Francisco. What were the top lessons you learned in planning an arts conference?  April Gruber, Director of Programs, and myself inherited a lot of work initiated by other people. … Read More

Insights from Choreographer Christopher K. Morgan

Sarahart

Typically when we go to dance shows, we watch the dances and make up our own ideas about the work to figure out what it means to us. There isn’t a whole lot of understanding about how the piece came to be or what it was inspired by as we sit in the theater. In my experience, having the opportunity to talk to the choreographer or dancers can be eye opening, as you may not have looked at the work from their perspective. While beneficial, it’s not often that you have the chance to hear the choreographers’ perspective about what … Read More

Christopher K. Morgan & Artists: Limited Visibility

Sarahart

What do we hide from public view? Are we different people when we are behind closed doors? Christopher K. Morgan & Artists explore this idea in the evening length work, Limited Visibility. Limited Visibility exposes and brings to light the secrets and emotions held closest to us as the dancers investigate methods of sharing personal moments with the audience. Morgan worked with the dancers to look within to reveal their struggles and create movement and themes that those watching will be able to connect with in some way. “Each of us – performers and audience members alike – has struggles with our identity, family, … Read More

Company E and the Imperfect Dancers Company of Italy

Sarahart

Nothing about dance speaks to me quite as much as the ‘universal language’ aspect of the art form. Be it traditional, cultural dance or more disciplined and technical dance, it is universally understood because anyone, anywhere can do it. I don’t think any other performing art can transcend language and cultural barriers in quite the same way because everyone on earth was born with the tools for dance—their own body and a drive to move in their everyday lives. Recognizing how dance can be a tool for international education and communication, acclaimed choreographer and artistic director Paul Gordon Emerson has … Read More

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company presents “Story/Time”, a work in progress

Sarahart

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company performed at the University of Virginia as part of a three-part residency at UVA, in Charlottesville, VA. This evening, I was able to witness one of the modern dance greats speak about art – dance and choreography –  and perform with his dance company as part of a work in progress showing at UVA. As I watched Bill T. Jones before the performance standing on the side of the stage before the show, I was struck by the sheer honor it was to be in his presence and thankfulness for the gift he has … Read More

CityDance Ensemble presents “Hold Your Breath Until the End”

Sarahart

Whenever I see CityDance perform, I am on a dance high… I want to get out of my seat, dance their choreography and perform with their same intense quality. I left the CityDance concert at the Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring on Saturday, February 26th feeling inspired. I wanted to choreograph and move. The show consisted of several world premieres from the beginning of an evening length piece by Christopher K. Morgan, one of Dance Magazines Choreographers to Watch (look for the article in April), to pieces by winners of the 2011 CityDance NEXT Commission for upcoming choreographers. The first piece, Roger and Lucie, was a funny love duet between Jason … Read More