Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Brian McGinnis was artist-in-residence at the Fine Arts Center for 11 days in October. He set 2 three minute pieces of choreography on the morning dancers titled Bisque and Run. In the afternoon class, Mr. McGinnis set a much longer work to the Hebrides Overture by Felix Mendelssohn. The students performed for students, parents and invited guests on the last day of the choreographic residency, October 23rd. The dances will be performed in the in-school Honors Showcase December 18th at the Fine Arts Center as well as in the Fine Arts Center Dance Concert on May 8th at 7:00 pm. The performances will be held in the black box theatre.

Photo: Brian McGinnis
Company: Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Photographer: Chris Callis

Dancers attended the SCDAncing Festival in Spartanburg October 16-18th. Guest artists Gerri Houlihan and Brian McGinnis, former guest artists at the Fine Arts Center, taught master classes during the festival. The South Carolina Dance Association also sponsors an audition for a scholarship awarded to a South Carolina dance student who majors in dance in a South Carolina college. Dancers who were high school juniors or seniors and college freshmen were eligible to audition. The winner of the scholarship is Ashley Brown, a junior at the Fine Arts Center. The afternoon dancers also performed "thee who holds the key" choreographed by Brian McGinnis in the gala concert on Saturday evening October 17th.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dance student choreographers Maggie Base, Ashley Becking, Lauren Miller and Amanda Porter presented their choreographic pieces in Generation-to-Generation on April 23rd. The choreographic works, duets and small group dances created by the Dance III Honors students, will be performed in the final dance concert on May 8th at 7:00 pm in the Black Box Theatre at the Fine Arts Center. Dances choreographed by guest artists Brian McGinnis and Anna Jordan will also be performed along with former guest choreographer, Lisa Wheeler.

Brian McGinnis, who has been a guest artist for three years, graduated from Juilliard and danced with the David Parsons Dance Company and currently with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, both dance companies are based in New York City. His piece "Sirens and the Undercurrent" will be performed by both dance classes with a cast of 24 dancers.

Guest artist, Anna Jordan, set an original piece of choreography "Drawn Onward" on the morning dance students. Ms. Jordan attended Idyllwild Arts Academy in high school and received her BFA in dance from New York University. Most of the funds for her dance residency were raised through bake sales by the dancers.

Lisa Wheeler, who was a guest artist for several years, choreographed the dance “Drifting” which we have reconstructed for the performance in the Black Box Theatre. Ms. Wheeler danced with Dan Wagoner and Dancers and is a distinguished alumna from Columbia College.

The FAC dancers held an NHSDA Induction ceremony for the newest members into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts: Gianni Monteleon, Brooke Poole and Katelyn Scherer. Ashley Brown earned 1 star, Lauren Miller earned 2 stars, Maggie Base earned 3 stars and Amanda Porter earned 4 stars. Students must earn 30 points in dance related events to become members and may earn a star for each additional 10 points.

Lauren Miller (Dance) has won the prestigious honor of the SCDEO (South Carolina Dance Education Organization) Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award at the state level. Her application will now go on to the national level for the NDEO Award. Amanda Porter received the state honor last year. Dancers who are members of NHSDA and are a junior or senior may apply for the award. Information is handed out to students at the beginning of the year so that they can make plans to apply for the award.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Fine Arts Center students had the pleasure of seeing the lecture/demonstration performance created and performed by Brian McGinnis and Kate Skarpetowska as part of the Big Leap 2009 underwritten by the Peace Center. They performed an excerpt from their commissioned work, “Romeo and Juliet—A Death Marked Love” in our black box theatre as well as excerpts from duets that they have performed with other dance companies. Kate taught master classes to the Fine Arts Center dancers who also had opportunities to observe open rehearsals and take master classes in technique and choreography. The culmination of the three-week residency was the premiere performance in Gunter Theatre of their original work “Romeo and Juliet-A Death Marked Love” which was enthusiastically received by the audience. There is talk of a repeat performance this summer in Greenville. Dr. Roy Fluhrer and Maggie Base were also in the performance.
Photos are of Kate and Brian with Allison Leisgang, Jill Leisgang and Anna Patrick after the performance on March 2nd in the lobby of Gunter Theatre and master classes at the FAC.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The morning dancers will have an informal lecture/demonstration for parents on Friday, January 30th at 6:30 pm in the dance studio of the Fine Arts Center. This is an opportunity to observe what your student has been learning during her classes throughout the year. The dancers will demonstrate a few class combinations as well as dance compositions.

This is not a performance, but more of a behind the scenes—the process, if you will—of the training of a dancer.
The afternoon dancers had a ballet master class on December 9th with Vladislav Soldatenko, the Artistic Director and Ballet Master of the Dance Department of the Ukrainian National Academy of Dance. Mr. Soldantenko graduated from the Kiev Choreographic Institute and completed graduate classes at the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg. He performed extensively as a soloist with Kiev National Theater of Opera and Ballet and Kiev Theater of Classical Ballet. The International Ballet in Greenville brought Mr. Soldantenko and several dancers from the Ukraine as part of their exchange program.

Alonzo King, Artistic Director and Choreographer for LINES Ballet, based in San Francisco, taught a master class for the afternoon dancers on December 2nd. His visionary choreography is represented in repertories throughout the world in major dance companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Swedish Royal Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Washington Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theatre. Renowned as a highly skilled master teacher, he has been a guest ballet master for National Ballet of Canada, Ballet Rambert, Ballet West, and San Francisco Ballet among others.
Mr. King, always the consummate artist, made it clear during his master class why he is considered a living legend in the art world. The dancers were totally focused on the power and energy of dance and how to trust their own individual movements. The challenging, memorable master class will resonate with the dancers for years giving them ideas and information that they will continue to use and revisit as they continue to develop as dancers and artists.