DAE News: April 24, 2003

Contents:

Things are rolling along at Dance as Ever, here's the news:

May Knitting Workshops!

We've got a beginner workshop scheduled for Monday nights (with one Tuesday) beginning May 5th, and then the 13th (note the Tuesday), the 19th and finishing on June 2nd. Our classes are small with personalized attention. You'll learn everything you need to start knitting and make your first projects. Also, I asked my students in the 17 stitches workshop what class they wanted next, and two of them wanted a class on making socks. If there are any more interested students, I'll make this happen.

The classes would be over three sessions (either weekly or every two weeks) and you'll make a sock (in sport weight yarn so you aren't spending every waking moment knitting) being coached every step of the way from casting on, through shaping the heel to grafting the toes. The beginners classes are $120 for four sessions, Socks is $90 for three sessions. I've taught knitting since 1997 in NY and at national conferences and internationally. You're in good, caring hands and we all have a great time.

The other classes the students wanted was a workshop on grafting and duplicate stitch (if you know how to do one, you know how to do the other, and with that knowledge, you can fix almost any sweater!) and also an "Emergency!" class (Come and bring your disaster). Visit www.danceasever.org/DAEclasses.htm or email me if you're interested.

Group trip to New York City Ballet on June 8th?

Would you like to go and see New York City Ballet, but don't want to go alone? Go with us! We'll go to a Sunday matinee at 3 pm and then to dinner afterwards. If you're new to ballet, I'm there to answer questions and discuss the performance. The June 8 program is a group of wonderful Balanchine works, Square Dance, Ballade, Tarantella and Vienna Waltzes that go from pure classicism to Vivaldi through to the lush waltzing (in the most beautiful gowns) to Richard Strauss. There really is something for everyone. Several people have expressed interest, but not quite enough yet to make a group. Why not join us and bring someone who has never been to the ballet before!

Leigh in Print

Believe it or not, there's a picture of me on p. 32 of the Spring/Summer issue of Vogue Knitting from the New York KnitOut '02. I was making a sock on double pointed needles. From the looks of it, they were the socks I made for my friend John, and gave to him in November. Also from the looks of it, I was having a bad hair day.

The good news that I promised for the fall concert.

Last newsletter, I let you know our concert dates and venue (September 18-21 at the Theatre of the Riverside Church). Here's the great news. We have a very special guest artist appearing with the company. I'll be creating a new solo for Alexandra Ansanelli, soloist with the New York City Ballet. You don't know how excited I am about this. Don't ask me what we are doing yet; I'm trying to figure that out, and it's a wonderful dilemma. Right now, I'm just trying to find the perfect piece of music. I know the sonority I want; I just need to find it. (I keep thinking modal harmonies, but that could change tomorrow). But that's not the only piece of good news. Peter Boal and I weren't sure that schedules would work out for us to work together this year, but we've managed to bash our heads and date books together and he'll be joining us to reprise "A Shropshire Lad" for one night only. We're not sure which night yet, probably Thursday or Saturday. Informally, people's preference for which night are running neck and neck, so if you have a preference, we'd like to hear it. And to be far more brazen, if you underwrite his performance (and that costs less than you think), I'll let you choose the night, his schedule permitting! How's that for being a Medici on a budget?

The planning is the most enjoyable part of a concert. It's like planning a meal, you plan the works to be digested together and that takes mental juggling ("If I'm looking at a dreamlike quality for Alexandra's solo, can I bring back Rideau with its Debussy score? Will the pieces be too similar?") I'm listening to a lot of music in snippets to try and narrow down the choices.

Speaking of listening to music, Evren Celimli, who is composing "The New Rome", sent me a few minute's sample. The experience of listening for the first time is very much like it was for the commissioned score last year, a fit of nerves comparable to a bridegroom at an arranged marriage, followed by intense relief when I listened and realized I really liked what he was doing. Eddie Guttman's music last year for "Equilibrium" felt more "familiar" to me choreographically; I really liked it and felt I knew what it did and how to respond to it. (By the way, if YOU liked it, you can get the CD at www.eddieguttman.com) Evren's music feels "familiar" to me musically, but it's not the sort of music I've choreographed to before. I'm excited about that; I wonder what change it will provoke.

Public Service Announcements

Computer monitor FREE to good cause. My father has a new 17" Dell monitor still in the box, it was an extra from the manufacturer. He'd be delighted to give it to any bona fide charitable cause, we only request that you pick it up (it's in midtown Manhattan) and give him a receipt. Email me if you're interested.

Plugging someone else's performance! Another independent ballet company in New York, New York Theatre Ballet, is performing shorter works of Antony Tudor, including several rarities. Tudor was one of the major ballet choreographers of the 20th century and anybody working to preserve his heritage deserves a plug. I'm going and hope you will too if you can. Performances are on May 1-3 at 7:30 pm and there is also 2:00 pm matinee on May 3. Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th St., Box office - (212) 355-6160. Tickets are $25.

Do some good. Here are two good causes to help out with. The New York City Ballet Aids Walk Team is holding auctions on eBay (including lunch with NYCB dancers!) to benefit AIDS care and research. Help the team out at http://home.nyc.rr.com/nycbteam/

Michael Bjerknes, a former dancer with Washington, Joffrey and several other companies has formed a scholarship in memory of Philip Jerry. As Michael explains, "Philip Jerry was a wonderful dancer, choreographer and person. He was also a close friend who died much too young. In his memory, I have created a scholarship to be awarded to sixteen year old ballet dancers to assist their studies. This year it is to help a talented student study this summer in an intensive other than that of the home studio." The scholarship is for Washington DC area students, and the audition is this weekend. To find out more both about the audition and how to help this cause, http://www.americandance.org/main/philip_jerry_memorial_scholarshi.htm

Please stay in touch and let me know what you're up to!

As ever,

LAW

Leigh Witchel [dae@panix.com]

Alexandra Ansanelli and Peter Boal perform with Dance as Ever 9/18-21, 2003 at the Theatre of the Riverside Church, New York, NY. For more information visit http://www.danceasever.org.


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