With 50 years of experience in teaching, Maris Battaglia knows a thing or two about dance education.
Mark Diamond is known for his creative narratives, but his piece “Into the Fray,” choreographed for the School of Dance Student Gala, may spin his most creative web yet: The audience will be shrunk down to ant size and immersed in his “insect ballet.”
Upon peering into the Carnahan-Jackson Dance Studio during a dance rehearsal, it would be difficult to guess that some of the dancers are only 11 years old.
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.
For those who love the art of dance, the Chautauqua Dance program offers this summer everything from performances by dancers in-residence to lectures on various topics in the world of dance.
The Charlotte Ballet, known formerly as the North Carolina Dance Theatre, will be in residence for the first seven weeks of the Chautauqua season, under the artistic direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux.
For 10 days, Daily photographer Lauren Rock followed Chautauqua School of Dance Workshop II students, ages 13-15, through their classes and final Amphitheater performance to document the commitment and discipline required of a young ballerina.
“These girls are very young, but they are serious about dance,” Rock said. “Attending the School of Dance is one small step on their journey to becoming professional ballerinas. They learn to become adaptable — those who can pick up choreography quickly and adapt to different instructors and their styles are more likely to be successful. The dancers learn discipline and the importance of taking care of themselves and working hard to maintain the best physical form possible.”