DanceMasters Weekend is Nigh at Wesleyan, March 9 & 10
Wesleyan University has been holding its annual DanceMasters Weekend for 14 years now. It's hard to understate the significance of this event. Connecticut once had a vibrant year-round dance scene, with regular concerts by local dance troupes and collectives, subscription dance-concert series at theaters such as he Shubert, and strong support from area foundations and audiences. When that tradition began to falter--fewer dance companies formed or toured, funding weakened, audiences couldn't support series--the DanceMasters Weekend became a crucial element in maintaining Connecticut's long held reputation as a modern dance Mecca. This year's DanceMasters Weekend is March 9 & 10. As ever, the weekend offers a mix of performances by major national and international dance companies, master classes held by these companies, workshops by Wesleyan dance faculty and other instructors, and various opportunities for dancers to commune, connect and network. This year the concert attractions (performed Saturday night at 8 p.m. In the CFA Theater) are the Connecticut premiere of Armitage Gone! Dance, performing "Mechanics of the Dance Machine," which just had its New York premiere at the end of January. Choreographed by company founder Karole Armitage, the dance is scored to Gabriel Prokofiev's "Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra." There's also the New England premiere of Ballet Hispanico's "A vueltas con los Ochenta'" which world-premiered at New York's Apollo Theater in December. ODC/Dance will use the weekend to "sneak preview" a new piece, "Triangulating Euclid," which is scheduled to receive its proper world premiere In San Francisco in mid-March. DanceMasters Weekend will feature 13 master classes, five of which will be led by teachers who've never taught at this event before: Armitage, Ballet Hispanico's Donald Borror, ODC's co-artistic director KT Nelson, Christal Brown of Urbann Bush Women and Broadway dance veteran Dana Moore. Other instructors include Camille A. Brown of Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Ronald K. Brown of Evidence Dance Company, Carolyn Kirsch with a "Fosse-style" workshop, Dianne Walker of TapDancin, Inc., Brandon "Peace" Albright of the Hip Hop based Illstyle & Peace Productions, Brian Brooks of Brian Brooks Moving Company, Troy Powell of Ailey II and Kate Skarpetowska from the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Events are held at the Wesleyan Center for the Arts, on the university's Middletown campus. For tickets ($28 for the Saturday performance, $19 for a class, etc.), go to firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-685-3355. For details, see www.wesleyan.edu/cfa The coolness of this thing can not be conveyed through a schedule. It's as vibrant and all-encompassing as its name suggests: a DanceMasters' weekend.