A dance company teetering on the brink of extinction may not seem like a good thing. But for Lisa Sheppard Robson, it was the window of opportunity she didn’t even know she was looking for.
As the crickets nestled among the tall grass and the waters lapped along the bank of the lake, Morihiko Nakahara walked along the trail and settled back into the ebb and flow of Chautauqua’s rhythm.
Today, Cynthia Gregory hopes to share her own vision of dance when she takes the podium for the Chautauqua Dance Circle’s lecture series.
Chautauqua Dance’s student gala is like a buffet. It serves up a little taste of everything: a sweet smackerel of classical ballet, a fresh morsel of new choreography and a savory glimpse of student performers ranging all across the skill spectrum of dance.
At 2 p.m. on a hot Tuesday afternoon, most children in Chautauqua are zipping around the grounds on bikes, swinging from monkey bars at the playground or splashing in the lake at the beach.
Patricia McBride’s mother enrolled her in dance classes when she was 7 years old because she thought she could use a little more grace. She had no way of knowing that her daughter would someday become a world-renowned ballerina.
Chautauqua School of Dance’s final student gala of the summer is bittersweet. More than two months of intense classes and rehearsals have all led to one final performance. As the students look around the Amphitheater stage on Sunday, they will be surrounded by both old and new friends.
Just as Chautauqua has brought together different art forms this season for The Romeo & Juliet Project, one year ago, Chautauqua brought together North Carolina Dance Theatre dancers Anna Gerberich and Frederick (Pete) Leo Walker II.
In 1964, George Balanchine choreographed Tarantella featuring Patricia McBride, now North Carolina Dance Theatre associate artistic director, as the leading lady.
Almost 50 years later, Patricia McBride will restage Tarantella with NCDT dancers Emily Ramirez and Jordan Leeper performing the abstract pas de deux with tambourines in hand. The piece features music by Louis Gottschalk and arranged by Hershy Kay.
Chelsea Dumas once dreamed of becoming a backup dancer for Beyonce Knowles. Although she will always hold on to that dream, Dumas’ aspirations have shifted slightly since discovering ballet.
Dumas joins students from the School of Music and the School of Dance in a showcase at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater.