Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Gerri Houlihan was our visiting dance artist October 18-23 during which time she restaged one of her choreographic works Mercy on the FAC afternoon dancers. The dance is in several sections set to music performed by Roy Orbison. She is currently a Professor of Dance at the Florida State University and serves as Interim Dean at the American Dance Festival. Ms. Houlihan has an extensive and impressive biography having attended Juilliard at the beginning of her senior year in high school, performed with renowned dance companies such as the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company as well as directing her own dance companies for many years.

She teaches company classes for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater when she is in New York and was the mentor of Robert Battle, who has been named the new Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has trained dancers who are now dancing is the major dance companies throughout the world. Joan Wadopian, one of our previous guest artists this year, loves taking her classes, too, which she does when Shen Wei Dance Arts performs at ADF during the summer.

The photos are of rehearsals with Gerri Houlihan during her residency.

Gerri Houlihan was our visiting dance artist October 18-23 during which time she restaged one of her choreographic works Mercy on the FAC afternoon dancers and taught two master classes for the morning dancers. We were fortunate to have Don Shabkie accompany the master classes on the keyboard. Photos are of the technique class with the AM dancers.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Brian McGinnis was the highlighted guest artist at the Greenville Dance Festival held October 9th, where he taught the FAC dancers in the advanced modern /contemporary dance class. The photos were taken during his master class at the Greenville Dance Festival.

Twenty-five (25) FAC dancers as well as other dancers in the Upstate participated in the 5th Greenville Dance Festival on October 9th, which was held in the FAC and Wade Hampton High School. FAC dance students took classes with Brian McGinnis in modern dance/contemporary, Japanese with Toshiko Joerger, Classical Indian dance with Krishna Kumar Venkataraman and Sivakami Bhavnandnan, dance improvisation with Dr. Stephanie Milling, African dance taught by Melina Palumbo, ballet with Andrew Kuharsky, and yoga with Janice Batson and Brian Delaney. Other classes at the Festival were English Country dance with Eve King, improvisation with Jennifer Becker and Cathy Maschek, and jazz with Michelle Bays. A lecture/demonstration was held at the end of the day with dancers performing Classical Indian, Japanese and African dance.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brian McGinnis was choreographer and artist in residence at the Fine Arts Center from October 4-8. He set a new choreographic work on the PM dancers, titled “Terminus”, which is very fast-paced to music by Frederic Chopin. “Terminus” is the last section in the dance 3 Shorts of 8, which he choreographed during the week of his Greenville residency for three different groups of dancers. The first section is “Orsa” which he choreographed for the ARMES dancers, the second section is “Medius” which he choreographed for the FAC AM dancers, and “Terminus” which is the last section, for the PM dancers. The photos were taken during the PM rehearsal with Brian.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Brian McGinnis was choreographer/artist in residence at the Fine Arts Center from October 4-8. He set a new choreographic work on the AM dancers and also taught them master classes. Brian’s piece is a very sculptural adagio. The photos were taken in class rehearsing the new dance piece.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The evening performance with Joan Wadopian and Free Planet Radio in the black box theatre at the Fine Arts Center, was packed! The solo dancer and the 3 musicians improvised together so that they truly became 4 instruments. It was a rare opportunity for Joan and her father, Eliot, to perform together.

Strings students performed with Free Planet Radio as did FAC faculty Dr. Jon Grier and Steve Watson. The four-day residency and performance with Free Planet Radio was made possible by a grant from The Braitmayer Foundation.

The two-week choreographic residency with Joan Wadopian was made possible in part by a grant from the Metropolitan Arts Council.

September 23rd the FAC PM Dancers performed a dance choreographed by Joan Wadopian during an open rehearsal in the dance studio of the FAC. The dancers performed their dance to the song "Radio Toure" by Free Planet Radio on their album The Unraveling. The choreographic work was performed "live" with the three musicians from Free Planet Radio so that the dancers and musicians were listening and feeding off of each other's energy and performance. The musicians in Free Planet Radio, from Asheville, are River Guerguerian, Chris Roser and Eliot Wadopian. Their four-day residency was made possible by a grant by The Braitmayer Foundation.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Joan Wadopian was guest artist at the Fine Arts Center for 2 weeks teaching classes and setting a new work on the afternoon dancers to music composed and performed by Free Planet Radio. Joan originally from Asheville, NC, received her B.F.A. from the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase (2002) and has danced with New York-based Shen Wei Dance Arts (SWDA) since 2005. She has performed in renowned festivals and venues in the United States, Mexico, Europe, Israel, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. Prior to joining SWDA, Joan performed with the Kevin Wynn Collection and as a guest artist with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

The dance residency was in part made possible by the Quarterly Grants Program from the Metropolitan Arts Council which is made possible by support provided by public and private entities including MAC's workplace giving program, Campaign for the Arts, the City of Greenville, BMW Manufacturing Corp., Michelin North America, Inc., and the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Fine Arts Center dancers held a car wash at Pebble Creek Pizza on September 19th and were able to raise enough money to pay for their annual National Honor Society for Dance Arts membership fee. The annual fee is $150. The FAC has had two state winners in their NDEO Artist Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award who have gone on to recognition and Honorable Mention at the national level (Amanda Porter and Lauren Miller). For more information go to http://www.ndeo.org/

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Joan Wadopian will be in residence at the Fine Arts Center from September 13-14. She has extensive performing experience with the dance company Shen Wei Dance Arts in the major venues world-wide. Shen Wei is currently one of the most important and celebrated choreographers and directors internationally in the field of dance. Ms. Wadopian has taught conservatory dancers to professional dancers throughout the country developing skills in dance technique, dynamics, and musical phrasing in such schools as the Baryshnikov Arts Center (New York City); Duke Ellington School for the Arts (Washington, DC); Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Performing Arts (Bethlehem, PA); and The Dalton School (New York City).

During her two-week residence (September 13-24) she will work in the studio each day with all of the dance students and will choreography a dance on the afternoon dancers to a piece of music composed and performed by Free Planet Radio, a music trio, which will be in residence at the Fine Arts Center working with student musicians and composers. Ms. Wadopian will perform with Free Planet Radio in an evening performance (September 23) at the Fine Arts Center, open to the public. Another level of collaboration is the fact that her father, Eliot Wadopian, is an award-winning bass player with Free Planet Radio.

An open rehearsal and informal performance for Fine Arts Center students and faculty is scheduled for September 23rd where she will give insight into her choreographic work and process. The dancers will perform to the rehearsal CD of one of Free Planet Radio's pieces and the the dancers will perform to the same piece of music played "live" by the Free Planet Radio musicans. We are expecting to have a lively discussion with comments, observations and questions from the audience as well as the performers. It is rare for two different arts disciplines to have this opportunity to interact artistically on such a personal and multi-generational level.

The life of this project extends beyond the two weeks Joan Wadopian is in residence as the Fine Arts Center dancers will perform the choreographed work in their dance concert May 6th. There may be other opportunities throughout the year for the dancers to perform the piece as well.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Brian McGinnis and Kate Skarpetowska perform in Boone, NC

Dancers and friends of Brian McGinnis and Kate (Katarzyna) Skarpetowska traveled to Boone, NC to see them perform with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company on July 16th. Brian and Kate performed beautifully in all three of the dances, but especially in the duet, "Prelude to a Kiss" in the dance piece Nature Boy: Kurt Elling, choreographed by Lar Lubovitch.

In the talk with the artistic director and choreographer, Lar Lubovitch after the performance, several in the audience wanted to know more about the duet and the dancers (Brian and Kate) as they thought that it was one of the most beautiful duets they had ever seen! They wanted to know how the two dancers made their dancing so seamless and fluid. The duet was definitely the highlight of the performance, not only in our opinion, but obviously many in the audience as well. Brian met with us following the concert.

Brian will be back in Greenville in early October and will be the featured guest in the Greenville District Dance Festival on October 9th.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

FAC Dancers from the morning class will be performing three ensemble pieces choreographed by guest choreographers on May 7th at 7:00 pm in the Black Box Theatre of the Fine Arts Center. Brian McGinnis choreographed two dances Run and Bisque. Andrew Kuharsky choreographed the ballet Comings and Goings for the ensemble.