A dozen young dancers are learning to transition from one movement to another to create a seamless whole. Every contraction, every lunge, every breath in time with the beat of the music rehearsed over and over again until the unnatural becomes natural. This is typical of the dance training hundreds of young people experience every day.
What is unusual for a select few high school students at BalletNova’s preconservatory dance division is to be trained and to learn from a principal dancer in the Martha Graham Dance Company. BalletNova is one of the few studios below the collegiate level to be granted a two-week artist residency from the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York City.
“This work is usually done at a university level,” said BalletNova principal dancer Constance Walsh. “Our experience has gone beyond what I thought the students would appreciate.”
Martha Graham is considered one of the greatest choreographers of the 20th century and an iconic figure of modern dance. Graham created a movement of language based upon the expressive capacity of the human body. Her studio, established in 1926, continues to teach students today. The artist residency at BalletNova began in February with Elizabeth AuClair and continues with former Martha Graham Dance Company and current BalletNova principal dancer Constance Walsh, who works daily with the conservatory level students to perfect a piece created and originally performed by Graham in 1936.
Students will perform their version of Graham’s “Steps in the Street” from May 3 – 5 during BalletNova’s Spring Show, “La Fille Mal Gardée & Other Works.” An ARTSFAIRFAX grant helped support this artist residency.
April art highlights
The arts are celebrating spring. NOVA Annandale Symphony Orchestra is presenting their spring concert on April 26 at the Richard J. Ernest Cultural Theater. On April 27, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra will perform with the Fairfax County All-Star’s Youth Orchestra at the GMU Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The Hub Theatre presents “The Burn,” an area-premiere play exploring what happens to a teacher and his students when a classroom conflict turns into an online witch-hunt. “The Burn” plays from April 26 to May 11. In Tysons Corner, 1st Stage presents the thought-provoking piece, “Columbinus,” a docudrama that explores the Columbine High School shooting. The Polaris Piano Trio presents an evening of music for the Jordan Kitts Community Concert Series on April 27. Audiences of all ages will enjoy Creative Cauldron’s presentation of “Alice in Wonderland” and Reston Community Players’ presentation of “Annie.” Check the ARTSFAIRFAX website for dates and times.
Creative Aging Festival
Mark your calendars now to participate in great art offerings in recognition of Older Americans Month. ARTSFAIRFAX is partnering with Fairfax County agencies to present the 2019 Creative Aging Festival through the month of May. The Festival celebrates older adults’ participation in the arts. Over 60 free and engaging activities will be available in 28 venues throughout Fairfax County.