Friday, December 16, 2011

APAP Artist Showcases at Peridance Capezio Center

Peridance Capezio Center is proud to present an exciting collective of dance companies in two programs during the 2012 Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference (APAP) at its Salvatore Capezio Theater. 

APAP provides a unique and encompassing opportunity for artists to showcase their work in a platform that will put them in contact with arts presenters from across the globe.

With over 25 years of experience in the dance arena, a brand new theater, and a contemporary perspective, Peridance has carefully curated its programs to reflect the artistic excellence, creativity, diversity and audience appeal that presenters are 
looking for.

For more information check our website.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Meet the Company: Part 2

The identity of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company is shaped by original choreography, versatile dancers of diverse backgrounds, classical and contemporary accompaniment, and collaborations with live musicians. While upholding the elegance and articulation of classical ballet, Igal has structured the Company to explore and experiment with innovative movement and design. The Company, featuring 8 highly versatile dancers, has been rehearsing at Peridance Capezio Center for a few months now, in preparation for its upcoming debut performances.

Today's Featured dancer is Nikki Holck. Stayed tuned to learn about all of the dancers!

Nikki Holck
Please tell us where you are from and something unique about your hometown!
I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii for the most part, but I moved away when I was fourteen.  My family remained in the islands; since then I’ve returned home at least once a year.  Hawaii is a truly unique place.  When I was growing up my father always reminded me to look around and take in the beauty of my surroundings.  I listened, but never quite understood why he was so adamant about my recognizing this.  When I moved away, I was able to appreciate the special place that Hawaii is.  The culture, the gentle people, the serenity of the sea breeze, the majestic ocean, the luscious rainforests- how lucky I am to call this place home.

How did you get into dance?
My mom took me to see a local dance recital, and I remember the colorful costumes and most especially the young dancers moving with the music onstage.  I asked my mom if I could take ballet.  After a few years I hit an age where I thought that ballet wasn’t “cool.”  I wanted to take jazz and karate.  I wanted to sing.  I wanted to be an actress.  I quit dancing for a few years, and in that time it became clear that my life was somewhat empty without dance.  So I returned with a renewed energy, determined to become a professional dancer.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not dancing?
There is a part of me that feels very attached to the ocean.  After moving away from Hawaii, the ocean, the sea breeze, the salty smell of the water - these beach elements are what I missed most.  Whenever I am home, I start my day with a walk in the sand, preferably just as the sun is rising.  It’s the most magical time of day - quiet anticipation of the endless possibilities of a new morning.  Water is an interesting creature; its constant motion and ever changing state are curiously exciting.  When I am in New York, my favorite thing to do when I am not dancing is to sit by the Hudson River with a book, notepad, and pen.  I walk along the water or find a nice place to sit and read and write.

What are your go-to foods/drinks to get through a tough day of rehearsals and classes?
Fresh fruits and dark chocolate.

Did your family play a strong role in guiding and supporting your career?
Absolutely.  I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my family’s support and belief in me.  I am so blessed to have a family who believes that it is possible and beautiful to dedicate one’s life to the arts.

What advice would you give to pre-professionals who are about to enter the professional world or for young dancers deciding if they want to make dance their future?

Peridance's The Nutcracker (2010)
The most important qualities that I have learned from dancing have been dedication, determination, and perseverance.  I think that all young dancers whether or not they choose to make dance a part of their future should remember that the way they mentally approach each class or rehearsal can be more important than the actual physical “product” that results from the dancing that is done in those classes or rehearsals.  If you enter a room with focus, determined to learn and striving to give your best, you will leave feeling more satisfied and fulfilled.  More importantly, a focused practice - not being afraid to take risks and learn from mistakes, being present in each situation - will teach your body and mind the skills to become a powerful presence in any situation, be it dance or another profession.

What are one or two things you must have in your dance bag?
Biofreeze and my mini Thera-Roll foam roller.

Is there a place in the city you would recommend as a must see or must do (restaurant, café, park, gallery…)?
My favorite places in New York are the Hudson River Park, most especially the piers south of 14th street. The Guggenheim is another must see. One of my favorite restaurants is Westville East. Liquiteria on 11th Street and 2nd  Ave. is another one of my favorite places to hang out. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Meet the Company!

I am sure many of you have heard that the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company is back in action and maybe you have even caught a glimpse of a rehearsal in studio 4. I want to take the opportunity to introduce the company to everyone! The company returns to the stage this season after a three-year hiatus while Peridance went through a major transition into its new home. Established in 1984, by Founder and Artistic Director Igal Perry. We are so excited, for the first time in the Company's history, to have a resident performance venue, our beautiful Salvatore Capezio Theater!

The identity of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company is shaped by original choreography, versatile dancers of diverse backgrounds, classical and contemporary accompaniment, and collaborations with live musicians. While upholding the elegance and articulation of classical ballet, Igal has structured the Company to explore and experiment with innovative movement and design. The Company, featuring 8 highly versatile dancers, has been rehearsing at Peridance Capezio Center for a few months now, in preparation for its upcoming debut performances.

Today's Featured dancer is Shay Bares. Stayed tuned to learn about all of the dancers!

Shay received his early training at The School of Ballet Tyler under Kym Lanier.  Through workshops, intensives, and conventions, he was exposed to diverse movement at an early age. In his youth, he was a member of Ballet Tyler, a local non-profit youth company, to which he returned for two seasons as Artistic Director.  In 2008, Shay joined the Fellowship program at the Alvin Ailey School.  Shay has danced with various modern, contemporary, ballet, and aerial companies including Kim Robards Dance, Peridance Ensemble, Steven Petronio Company, Basaran Dance Works, NY2 Dance, and Grounded Aerial.  Shay has taught at workshops and conventions across America, and has won overall awards at regional and national competitions.
Please tell us where you are from and something unique about your hometown!
I'm from Tyler, Texas.  It's the rose capital of the world!  Every rose in Tyler has a fairy in it, and every fairy will grant you one wish, but every wish has to be for more roses's kind of a bummer.
What was one of your most memorable onstage or backstage moments?
My very first dance recital when I was nine years old; it was a disco jazz piece. We had Afro wigs, mine was big and green.  In my excitement, I over fluffed it and accidentally made it kind of loose. When it came time for the big headroll cannon, my big green wig went flying across the stage.  I danced across the stage, picked it up, and put it on backwards.  I finished the piece with the tails of the headband dangling in my eyes.  And scene!
How did you get into dance?
I started dancing at age nine when my Mom (who danced from [age] 3-18) suggested my older brother and I sign up. I thought this to be a horrible idea and that dance was only for girls. My big brother (only a year older but my idol) thought it would be fun, so I automatically decided dance was the best idea ever! After the first year I was hooked, and have been shakin’ it ever since. 
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not dancing?
When I'm not dancing I am fashioning. I've been designing clothes since I was young, taught myself to sew last year, and have been avidly making clothes ever since. I've had work showcased in a film in Italy and other venues. I plan to make a dance work on my own incorporating the clothing I've made into a film. Exciting, right?!
What are your go-to foods/drinks to get through a tough day of rehearsals and classes?
My go-to foods and drinks to get through class are skittles and Dr. Pepper! Ok I'm kidding!  I usually drink coffee and eat tuna....I have great sympathy for my dance breath...yikes!  Oh and lots and lots of water!
Photo by Krista Bonura
Did your family play a strong role in guiding and supporting your career?
As I said before, my mother started me dancing and was extremely supportive.  My dad, however, was the driving force behind my dance career.  I got burnt out in my mid teens and tried several times to quit, but my dad said I wasn't giving up my God-given ability because I didn't feel like doing [it].  So Thankful for him! 
What advice would you give to pre-professionals who are about to enter the professional world or for young dancers deciding if they want to make dance their future?
My advice for young dancers or any dancer at all is: lose the ego.  No one wants to work with a dancer, no matter the talent level, if he thinks he’s Gods gift to dance. Be humble, pay attention, work hard, and encourage the dancers around you. We're all in this together and need each other’s support!
Who has been your most influential teacher or choreographer thus far? Please tell us a little about why!
Kym Lanier, my dance teacher at home in Texas. A petite, beautiful red headed woman with the business sense of a Wall Street mogul. She never let me get away with being lazy and taught me how to conduct myself in a professional manner. [I] owe her my career. 
What are one or two things you must have in your dance bag?
In my dance bag there are always lots of bobby pins (gotta keep up the glamour!) and multiple pairs of socks.  I feel most comfortable in socks but shred them like it's my job!
Is there a place in the city you would recommend as a must see or must do (restaurant, café, park, gallery…)?
My go-to place in the city?  I don't have one location to visit but adore being in Soho; the fashion is so inspiring and the people seem so creative. The street vendors with their original work are wonderful, and the hole-in-the-wall restaurants and coffee shops are so neat.  My other go-to place is my apartment in Harlem.  Come visit me and let's dance on my roof!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Faculty Spotlight

In March 2011 the 15th Annual Internationales Solo-Tanz-Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany awarded First Prize for Choreography to frequent Peridance Guest Artist, Sidra Bell for the solo Grief Point. Dancer Moo Kim from Korea was awarded First Prize for Performance in Grief Point. The solo will tour Germany in November 2011 and have its South American debut in Brazil in April. Congratulations from everyone at Peridance Sidra!
 For more on Sidra Bell and her workshops at Peridance Click here.
Watch the winning solo below. 
Grief Point, A Dance Work by Sidra Bell

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Buglisi Dance Theatre Repertory Workshop & the Table of Silence Project

Be a Part of a Historic Event!

Next week Peridance is excited to have Jacqulyn Buglisi, Artistic Director of Buglisi Dance Theater in the studio. Jacqulyn and some of the company’s dancers will lead a workshop, which will begin with a short ballet barre, followed by improvisations that explore dance as a language that enhances dramatic focus and expressiveness. 

Buglsii Dance Theatre's Table of Silence Project Workshop at Peridance Capezio Center will provide dancers with an opportunity to share in BDT's creative process through the style and movement vocabulary that will be used in the Table of Silence Project 9/11, a site-specific performance for 100 dancers commemorating the tenth anniversary of September 11th. Emphasized are focus and the dramatic use of opposition onstage, as well as performance elements and techniques to enhance a dancer's communication with the audience.

Workshop participants may be asked to perform in the historic Table of Silence Project 9/11 event on the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center, Sunday morning, September 11th. This poignant, 12 minute ceremonial event - creating a peace labyrinth - will culminate symbolically at 8:46 a.m. with the dancers encircling the Revson Fountain, raising their arms in a universal gesture of peace.

Buglisi Dance Theatre Repertory Workshop
Aug 29, 2011 - Sep 2, 2011; Mon - Fri
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM 
Click here to register. 

For more information on Buglisi Dance Theatre visit their website.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Certificate Program End of Year Concert 2011

As summer draws to a close and we here at Peridance get ready for a new semester I wanted to share the video of the Certificate Program students in their End of Year Concert. They did a spectacular job and all their hard work throughout the year really paid off! We will be welcoming our returning and new students to Peridance on September 6th to start the fall semester!

We are currently accepting enrollment for the Spring 2012 Semester. For more information check out the website or email Marlena Wolfe at

Don't forget to like us on Facebook!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Company Spotlight

Peridance Faculty member, Marinda Davis took a leap of faith and began her own company, marinspired a little over a year ago. While they have had ups and downs on the way the company has already performed at Symphony Space, The Young Choreographers Festival, and the Joyce. This August 27th & 28th Peridance is excited to welcome marinspired to the Salvatore Capezio Theater for the premier of "breakable."  I was able to speak with Marinda about the company's development, how the journey has gone so far, and her own journey as an artist. 

1. Tell me a little about how marInspired came into formation as a company?

We are actually trying to get away from the term "company". I do not see us aligning with the term's connotation amongst New York’s dance culture. I guess if we were to be defined it would be as an "experience." Instead of trying to put a circle into a square we are trying to make a different shape entirely! We are a combination of movement and theatre with a large emphasis on all that is musical. While I would be thrilled to perform at the Joyce, or Dance Theater Workshop, or any of the other amazing venues in this city but, I do not see us fitting in there. Ultimately, I want to be in venues like Madison Square Garden. I want to bring dance to the masses. It may seem like an outlandish goal, but I feel like it can one day be done. I know there's a niche and desire among the masses for dance in the same way that there is for music, a niche that has been capitalized on by the recording industry. It may have to be done in collaboration with big name recording artists first, but eventually I believe the demand can be as much for dance as it is for music. SYTYCD has started to fill that gap but I'd like to do it in a more artistic setting. The LA contemporary dance scene is booming and I want to bring that excitement and support surrounding contemporary dance to New York. There's a void and why not start filling it?

I feel like dance has gotten so elite. The stories we tell are real and something anyone can relate to. I do not think that a story can ever get old; a broken heart was just as devastating 200 years ago, as it is today, and will be 200 years from now. Dance is often at the bottom of the artistic funding totem pole and I think bringing the art to a more tangible level is a major goal of what I'm doing.

I am on the convention circuit, and reach tens of thousands of very talented kids a year. The talent out there is mind-boggling. For years, I've seen these proficient kids move to New York and not get work. There is so much under-used talent out there; it makes me nauseous. One of the reasons I created marInspired was to provide a venue for these artists to dance in works that utilize their abilities. It not only eases their transition into the New York dance scene, but also allows them to perform work that challenges them. I was very lucky to have a set of incredible mentors and I am proud to pass that on to the next generation. 

2) This is the company’s second year, how have things been going?

It has definitely been a journey! I knew but I didn't TRULY know what it would take to do this. I constantly find myself physically, emotionally, and financially drained, but simultaneously so happy. There are days I have to pinch myself; dreams are definitely being realized and it's beyond anything I ever imagined.

The first year we mainly performed at festivals. We presented a piece at Symphony Space at the Young Choreographer's Festival as well as at DRA's Dancin Downtown at the Joyce. To present work at such renowned venues our first year out was pretty incredible. Even so, we've had a lot of false starts, a lot of disappointments, and a lot of lessons. As we all know, there are aspects to and people within our industry that can be disheartening, so it's been a long road to this beautiful moment we find ourselves in now.

I have come to see that there is truly a reason for everything. This current group of artists feels right to me. There is positivity, passion and talent everywhere I look. There’s definitely something special brewing. The support we have is overwhelming and I feel grateful and blessed daily. I have 18 unique artists, 3 junior apprentices, a producer, backers, and an incredible creative team helping shape a show of close to 20 short story pieces. Hard work and timing have brought us here but I still feel so lucky.

3) What do you think the hardest part of being a choreographer is? Any advice you would give to new/aspiring choreographers?

Without question, putting yourself out there in such a colossal way and the internal and external pressure that accompanies it. It's your life and it's your work and it's deeply personal. It's interesting how much doubt and instant criticism surrounds new projects and sadly, it almost always comes from people within the industry. People have a sort of fear-based reaction; most act as though you're doomed. Is it rational to be fearful of doing the work we feel we were put on this planet to do?

Of course, I am scared. The fear can be debilitating if you let it be. Pat Conroy, one of my favorite author's once said, "every one of my books has almost killed me." Most creative minds will instantly understand that notion and few will blink at the idea. The doubt, the pressure to constantly top yourself and consistently produce brilliance has driven many an artist off the deep end. I've had to build a sort of psychological shield to keep separate me, my process, my work and the natural anxiety over the reaction to that work and the things being said about it. I think any creative mind can relate to being "tortured" by their gift and the expectations that come with it. Liz Gilbert says in her lecture, A New Way to Think About Creativity; "just continue to show up for your piece of it. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed for just one moment through your efforts then…'ole. and if not, do your dance anyhow, and ole to you just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up."

So up. Never stop learning. Remain humble. Don't expect. Work hard. Enjoy the process over the product's results. Think of your gift as a loan. Attempt to be self made. Be a good person. My talent has gotten me far, but who I am has gotten me farther a fact made clear to me by support that currently surrounds us. Give as much as you can; it always comes back around when you least expect it.


4) What is the inspiration behind "breakable?"

Life! Relationships, friendships, loss, the ups, the downs (;) there isn't one piece in the show that doesn't come directly from a page of my own story. Some pieces more abstractly and others literally, but they are all touchable and open to interpretation by both the dancers and the audience.

The main theme is the fragility of humans: physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I've been through a lot physically in my life, but I am constantly amazed by how matters of the heart bring you to your knees just as fiercely. I have gone into cardiac arrest four times in the past three years and on two of those occasions my heart completely stopped. Obviously these experiences underlie the themes of "breakable." Anybody who has crossed over to the other side can tell you that they are both instantly and eternally changed. The perspective you gain from coming back is illuminating. The last time I had this experience was in November and it's taken me a long time to come back from it. In fact, I am still coming back and not sure if I ever fully will. Mortality was certainly a factor in the push for this show to finally happen. Why wait a second longer? Why do it any other way than big? Clichés are clichés because they are generally true. Life is short. Work hard and show up, until you can't.

For more information on Marinda's classes at Peridance click here.

For more information on marinspired click here.

Faculty News

It has been a long hot summer and there is only one month left to play in the sun. See what our Peridance Faculty has been up to and what they have planned for August! 

Contemporary teacher Ashley Carter’s company, DoubleTake Dance Co. co-directed by Vanessa Martinez de Baños, will collaborate with Peridance to organize a Benefit for Japan on Sunday September 18th, 2011! Please come and support this important event, which will feature some very special guest artists. More details coming soon on the Peridance website &

Contemporary teacher, Marinda Davis's company,  marInspired; the storytellers is premiering "breakable" on August 27th-28th at the Salvatore Capezio Theater. You can purchase tickets here. For more on Marinda and her company read the article on this blog!

Contemporary teachers, Marijke Eliasberg & Jana Hicks present their The Next Stage Project Summer Choreography Workshop Performances August 11th & 12th: 8:30pm, City Center Studios, 5th fl. The Next Stage Project company will also perform in the Peridance Faculty Showcase on Aug 13 & 14!

World Jazz teacher, Cecilia Mart's company, CECILIA MARTA DANCE Co. will perform Saturday, August 13th in NYC Summer Stage 2011. The performance will be at 8:00pm in Marcus Garvey Park, admission is FREE! The company also performed on July 30th at the Central Park Mainstage also as a part of Summer Stage 2011.

Jazz teacher, Sue Samules is joining the Peridance Faculty August 16th to teach Broadway Jazz Dance classes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10-11:30!  The class will touch on various facets of Jazz Dance which is used on Broadway such as, theater, lyrical, jazzy, latin and funky.  Her dance company, Jazz Roots Dance Company will be performing on August 13th and 14th in the Peridance Faculty Showcase! 

Tap teacher, Nancy Smith recently completed her 225 hour Registered Yoga Teachers training at the Wilmington Yoga Center in North Carolina. She is now a certified by The National Yoga Alliance, congratulations Nancy!
Ballet teacher, Kathryn Sullivan is currently working on her third DVD project for Insight Media, an educational documentary on choreographer and teacher, Hanya Holm.

Flamenco teacher, Nelida Tirado's  next performance is opening Thursday August 11th! For more info click here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Workshop Spotlight

Peridance Martial Arts Instructor, Joseph Zeisky will be teaching a Bagua/Qigong Workshop this Summer!

The workshop, "Three Saturdays" (July 23rd, August 20th & August 27th) focuses on a unique principle of Bagua. Unfamiliar with the practice myself I asked Joseph if he would give me an introduction to Martial Arts and explain what drew him to make it a life practice.

1. How did you first get involved in studying Martial Arts?
When I was 8yrs old my Father took me to see the classic martial arts movie, "Enter the Dragon", starring the iconic movie star Bruce Lee. Like most kids who saw that movie in the early 1970's, I too was greatly inspired to start learning martial arts. Soon afterwards I begged my Father to sign me up at a local Karate school near our Sunnyside Queens, New York home. Most of my martial arts exposure and influence, from early childhood up to my teenage years, came from New York City's martial arts movie theaters, especially Chinatown’s Music Palace Theater, which was located off of Canal St. and Bowery. Almost every Saturday after work, my Father and his good Chinese friend “Uncle Ho” would go for Chinese food and Kung Fu movies and they’d always take me along...It was great fun!

2. What drew you to select the particular forms you have chosen to focus on in your career?
Most of those martial arts films I was exposed to as a kid usually demonstrated the more dramatic styles like Karate, Shaolin Kung-Fu, Snake, Tiger, Monkey, Crane, Praying Mantis, boxing, jujitsu and other external styles. So as a teenager, when I first encountered the much more slowly performed and less dramatic forms of the Internal Martial Art of Tai Chi Chuan, I was simultaneous mystified and intrigued. At the time, it was quite the radical departure from what I was used to in terms of what I thought a martial art should look like and feel like, but I was pretty much hooked the first time I saw Taichi performed at an art gallery/Taichi school in Soho, NY in 1984. Even though I couldn’t explain exactly why I liked it so much, I intuitively knew there was something there well worth exploring further. It’s now been twenty-seven years since my first Taichi class and I’m really happy I followed my intuition. The core principles and practices of Taichi further led me on another exciting journey of studying and practicing other dynamic and equally powerful Internal Martial Arts styles such as: Bagua, Xingyi and Aikido. Presently, Bagua and Taichi are the primary arts that I teach and practice.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Faculty Spotlight: Greg Zane

Greg Zane has had a career in the performing arts as a dancer, actor, director, choreographer, and teacher. Learn a little about his approach to teaching and his work as a director.

What drew you to dance?
As a child I watched musical films and always wanted to dance, but I was never given the opportunity to take classes. I took my first dance class in college at the University of San Francisco and immediately fell in love. As a result of my experience in college I chose to go to the Atlanta Ballet for a year and a half and was privileged to attend David Howard’s Studio on scholarship where I studied with some of my future mentors Peter Schabel, Diana Cartier, and Alaine Haubert.
Training with them I gained a greater insight to my own body making me a smarter dancer and preparing me to work through technical problems myself once I began performing professionally. I was able to breakdown the steps and discover where I need to alter my approach to the technique to attain the quality I wanted. 

What brought you to New York?
I moved to New York, in 1996 after being cast in a revival of The King & I, a show that has brought me many opportunities since then.

How did you begin teaching?
Peter Schabel asked me to substitute teach some of his classes and at a later point Diana Cartier need a sub for her open classes. After testing teaching out as a sub I realized that it was a more fulfilling job than waiting tables. Gradually I took on my own teaching jobs and developed a real love it.

Featured Workshop

Lydia Johnson and Company are at Peridance next week for a Repertory Workshop.
June 27-July 1, 11:30-1:00pm

Photo by Kokyat

Jessica Sand has been a member of Lydia Johnson Dance (LJD) since 2004 and has originated major roles as well as serving as a costume designer and rehearsal directory for the company. She was generous enough to share some of her experience and wisdom from her time with LJD.

Where are you originally from?
I grew up in Iowa and went to college at Texas Christian University

What drew you to work with LJD?
I grew up training primarily in ballet but fell in love with modern dance when I went to college. Lydia's movement is grounded in ballet vocabulary and aesthetics, but she also incorporates the weightedness and momentum that I find so fulfilling in contemporary movement. The fusion of the two is really satisfying.

Photo by Kokyat

Do you remember the first moment you met Lydia or the first day you worked together?
When I first moved to New York a friend of mine was dancing with LJD and arranged for me to come to a rehearsal as a sort of informal audition. Lydia was creating new material that day and I really enjoyed her process-- she explored ideas with focus and enthusiasm, and was open to her dancers' input. Between the originality of the movement and the atmosphere in the studio, I knew I'd found something really special.

What is your favorite memory from rehearsal with LJD?
I love creating new movement one on one with Lydia. She has a remarkable ability to choreograph movement that's truly well suited to the individual dancer she's working with, and being a part of that is really exciting.

Photo by Kokyat

What do you always have in your dance bag?
M.E.L.T. balls, foot tape, and arnica massage oil

What advice would you give to dancers interested in dancing with LJD or a similar company?
I think that, while being technically strong is obviously important, what really makes a dancer stand out and what Lydia really appreciates in her company members is their ability to let their personality show through their dancing. Not in a flashy, "look at me" way, but in the honesty and nuance of their movement. Lydia's work tends to have a large gestural component to it, which I often find gives the choreography the feel of a conversation. When you can find that element of conversation and make it true for yourself, it gives you the freedom to really speak through your dancing.

What would you say are the "trademark" moments of a class or rehearsal with Lydia?
A lot of Lydia's work has themes of community, and that definitely carries over to rehearsals and classes. Everyone in the studio is a respected member of that community and while we're all working towards a common goal, no one is expected to sacrifice their individuality in the process. When you take away the idea of one interpretation of the movement being right or wrong you gain the freedom to really experiment and take risks. That open mindedness fosters an environment in which there's a lot of respect and support, not to mention a lot of friendship and laughter. It's a really refreshing way to work and learn.

Read a review of LJD's last show by Philip Gardner here.

To register for the workshop click here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Faculty News

Check out what the Peridance Faculty are up to this June!

Jazz teacher, Tracie Stanfield's company, Synthesis Dance Project, will be performing as guests of the Young Choreographers Festival at Symphony Space on June 11. The company will also be performing at a gala benefit for Drea's Dream on June 14 and at The Jersey Arts Shore in Ocean Grove, NJ on June 25.

Contemporary teacher, Korhan Basaran and Dancers are having a gala performance with two world premieres at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on the 21st of June, night only!

Theater dance teacher, Bill Hastings is now a faculty member for the on going Jack Cole Workshop starting at Steps NYC beginning in June. He is also going to Naples, Italy to teach and adjudicate the year end school exams!

Contemporary teachers, Marijke Eliasberg & Jana Hicks' company, The Next Stage Project (TNSP) presented a new work at: Pushing Progress The Showcase Series, May 21st at MMAC. TNSP will take 13+ dancers
from the USA & Europe to Béziers, France May 31- June 6th to perform and teach! After the performance in France, Jana & Marijke travel to the Netherlands to teach master classes in Amsterdam and The Hague.

Hip Hop teacher, Nobuya Nagahama is producing his own show this summer, "Dans-A-Live" at Public Assembly (70 North 6th St. Brooklyn, NY) 7:30pm on Sunday, July 10th. Ticket: $10 in advance, $15 at door. For more info, check his website. He is also performing June 6th at "Le Squeezebox Cabaret," 9:30pm

Belly Dance teacher, Andrea Beeman will be performing at the following events this June: Tagine Dining Gallery presents Andrea Anwar & Deirdre, Saturday, June 4th 9:30& 11:30PM, Greenhouse Holistic June 17, 9:00PM (783 Driggs at S.4th, Williamsburg, Brooklyn), Crest True Value Hardware, June 18, 4:00-7:00PM (558 Metropolitan Ave Brooklyn, NY), & Le Scandal Saturday, June 2510:00PM (The West Bank Cafe, Laurie Beechman Theatre 407 West 42nd Street).

Also Andrea will be hosting her 6th Annual Summer Celebration, featuring performances by Andrea & her students the Dancing Rubies & Rubettes will be June 11th at 7:15PM. MBR (Moving Body Resources) 112 West 27th Street, 4th floor, NYC between 6th & 7th Avenues on the south side of the street ring buzzer 402.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Adult Beginner Workshops

Looking to try something new this summer, get back in shape, or perfect your basics? Sign up for one or more of our Adult Beginner Workshops. These 5 consecutive classes are a fun, pressure free way to get back into dance or try out a style for the first time and with beach weather coming, there is no better time to start moving!

Visit our website for more information & to pre-register.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Faculty Spotlight: Bil Badolato

Bil Badolato had an excellent dance career including seven years as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. He currently teaches six-days a week at Peridance. Read about his career and how it has inspired his teaching philosophy today. He will be teaching the Ballet section of the Adult Beginner Workshop Series this Summer!

1. Who was your favorite dance teacher and why did he/she inspire you?

That would be Walter Camryn, who had a dance school with Bentley

Stone, the Stone-Camryn School of Ballet.

Camryn and Stone were choreographic and performing partners with Ruth Page, who was the dance director and choreographer for the Chicago Lyric Opera, and a giant in the ballet world. I studied with Camryn and Stone

for twelve years. Camryn was teaching more than ballet and demi-character dance. He introduced his students to music, painting, sculpture, photography, philosophy, and literature. He took generations of students to the Chicago Symphony, The Art Institute, and of course to the ballet. He had viewings in the studio of films ranging from Martha

Graham to the Peking Opera. The atmosphere of the studio was always one of community and collaboration.

In New York I was greatly inspired and taught by Vladimir Dokoudovsky with whom I was student and friend for twenty-five years. He was a premier danseur with Ballets Russe, and taught seven hundred thousand ballet classes in New York City. He began teaching company and school classes for American Ballet Theater, then at Ballet Arts at Carnegie Hall, and finally at The New York Conservatory of Dance, which he created and built, literally with his own carpentry skills and the help of his wife Patricia at Broadway and 56th Street. His classes were beloved for their bare

bones barre, original and poetic adagio, and brilliantly efficient petit and grand allegro. He sometimes suggested "Do it wrong" when a student was hesitant. When questioned about this, he explained that you must give yourself permission to dive into the process without judging yourself in order to give your body the chance to find how to successfully execute the dance phrase. His personal maxim was, "Art is truth, truth is beauty, and beauty may one day save the world."

Also in New York City I was very lucky to be a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet as dancer and choreographer. The company hired in rotation master teachers for two month residencies to teach company class. Therefore I was blessed to study with Hector Zaraspe, Patricia Wilde, David Howard, Barbara Fallis, Royez Fernandez, William Dollar, Gabriella Darvash, Alfedo Corvino. Outside the Met, the city was teeming with great teachers, and I studied ballet, demi-character, jazz, and tap with Maggie Black, Eldon Day (Ed) Parish, Natashia Boscovitch, Lawrence Rhodes, Yurek Lazowsky, Teresita Latana, Eddie Williams, Bob Audi, Luigi, Michael Owen, Carlos Orta, all of whom were marvelous purveyors of the dance craft.

2. What first drew you to dance?

Seeing the concerts performed by the Stone-Camryn Ballet. I was a member of a children's acting company, "The Jack and Jill Players", from the age of eight through ten. We performed standards for paying audiences. I had roles in "I Remember Mama", "By the Skin of Our Teeth", and "Our Town". I was precocious, and unfortunately the director cast me as George in "Our Town". During a rehearsal, I was unable to cry over the grave of my character's young wife Emily because the actress playing Emily held me in contempt, perhaps because she was five years my senior and quite worldly at that. The director threw his script on the floor and snarled "I can't stand your acting". That day I resigned from the troup.

Meanwhile my brother Dean, who was six years old, had requested and received ballet training after our Mom took us to see a film of the Bolshoi's "Swan Lake." Dean was a natural and he was already performing in concerts with the Stone Camryn group alongside guest alumni who were soloists and principals with American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, and Broadway. For example, in the Walter Camryn ballet, "In My Landscape," Dean danced the young child personage of the young man danced by John Neumeier, who since then has piloted for decades the famed Hamburg Ballet. From the first time I saw Dean and these amazing artists perform, I realized that story telling and poetry is possible without speaking. Plus, I loved classical music. I joined my brother in studying at Stone-Camryn and began my career.

3. Tell us about the worst dance costume you ever wore on stage.

I don't have a worst costume. As a principal dancer I was always very well attended to. In general, the less the designers put on me, the better I looked.

4. What is your most embarrassing onstage moment?

I worked my way through college (Northwestern University) by working in summer stock musicals at the huge Dallas State Fair Music Hall. In "The Desert Song" starring Ann Blythe and Frank Poretta, I was one of a band of desert rebel bandits attacking a French foreign Legion fort around the year 1925. We were costumed in long robes, which masked rubber flip-flop sandals, and carried rifles with shoulder straps. I was one of three who were to join the attack by dropping through trap doors in a ten foot high parapet to the stage floor. In the first performance, I slung the rifle over my shoulder and as I went down feet first, the rifle got lodged horizontally in the door, and I dangled, hanging for

what seemed to me like an eternity. In my efforts to free myself, my flip-flops fell to the stage and that is when I became aware of the laughter from the audience. Looking back on the incident, I think the director should have left it in as a comic bit.

5. What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?

This is a difficult question because I have been fortunate to have worked for superb artists: Alvin Ailey in "Carmen;"

Agnes DeMille in "Brigadoon;" Tod Bolender in "Les Troyens;" Dean Badolato in "Oh Boy," "Oklahoma," "Man of LaMancha," "The Boy Friend;" and Norman Walker in "Arc of Angels."

In addition, I have been encouraged by many wise and generous artists to realize that every day holds a new highlight dance experience, whether choreographing, performing, or teaching.

One of my most thrilling experiences was performing in "Aida" at the Metropolitan Opera 1975 and 1977. For the seven minute long "Triumphal Dance" in act two, director John Dexter d choreographer Louis Johnson decided to replace the usual lively spectacle of belly dancers, bedouins, lion hunters, and assorted exotic captives, with a bare hands fight to the death between a captured rebel warrior chief and an Egyptian captain. The ballet was highly stylized and extremely athletic. My dancing "partner/opponent" was Stanley Perryman, who at the same time was standbyfor the role of Jesus in the Broadway musical "Arms Too Short to Box with God." We got thunderous applause, great reviews from all the New York newspapers, and a two page photo spread in "After Dark " magazine.

(Daily News) "William Badolato and Stanley Perryman were magnificent,

earning an unadulterated spontaneous ovation."

(Wall Street Journal) "Danced impressively in one of the most powerful

dances seen at the Met."

(New York Times) "Far above standard"

(Village Voice) "The victory of the night."

6. What is your teaching philosophy?

I think each class should be a special event that begins with a warm-up and progresses to a satisfying experience of moving through space. Each class should build new technique based on the knowledge gained in previous lessons.

Teaching is a collaboration, the teacher guiding the students to teach themselves how to dance. I enjoy keeping a focus on artistry and musicality. A dancer is an athlete, a musician, a poet, and also a scientist, since the craft involves fundamental mathematics, geometry, and anatomy.

7. Have you learned anything from your students?

Patience. Also, simplify in order to allow for abundant repetition. Adapt to students' technical needs in the moment. A teacher is a gardener, nurturing the proper conditions and allowing the flower to grow.

8. When you aren't teaching a Peridance, what are you doing?

Researching, listening to music for class and choreography, reading the great books written on dance technique. I free lance as a choreographer. I help stage, and perform in, an annual production of "Nutcracker" on Long Island. Recently I helped Dean with historical research for a short film, titled "Life Lessons," due out in January, and for which Dean did the choreography. The film is about a young girl forced by her mother to take ballet lessons at a prominent metropolitan dance school.

Starting May 16th, Bil's schedule is:

Ballet, Open Level Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9-10:30 am & Sunday 11:30-1pm

& Intro Level Tuesday/Thursday 9-10am & 7:30-9pm

Checkout our website for more info on Bil.

Check out the Adult Beginner Workshop Series.