BALASOLE DANCE COMPANY PRESENTS "SALMAGUNDI"
BALASOLE DANCE COMPANY
BALASOLE DANCE COMPANY PRESENTS "SALMAGUNDI"
A New Program of Varying Artistic Expressions - 5th Anniversary Season
July 17 & 18 at Ailey Citigroup Theater
Alexandra Jacob, formerly with Dance Theatre of Harlem
Fredrick Davis, formerly with Dance Theatre of Harlem
Friday & Saturday, July 17 & 18 at 8PM
Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55 Street, NYC
Tickets: Friday $30/$25, Saturday $35/$30 (Post-Concert Reception Follows)
Reservations: 212.868.4444 or www.smarttix.com
“Most of the solos presented were self-choreographed and demonstrated each dancer's strength and signature style.”
— Jessica Abejar, BroadwayWorld.com, 2014
"BalaSole's emphasis on the creative process is extremely refreshing."
— Stephanie Deere, BroadwayWorld.com, 2013
"In 2010, Villanueva founded the New York-based BalaSole Dance Company with the mission of showcasing dancers, like him, whose types are underrepresented in the development of their own individual artistic voices."
— Lisa Jo Sagolla, Backstage, 2011
"This is why we go to see dance."
— Roberta Pikser, www.theaterscene.net, 2011
"A unique venture in the contemporary New York dance scene."
— Philip Gardner, Oberon's Grove, 2011
ROBERTO VILLANUEVA, Executive & Artistic Director and Founder of BalaSole Dance Company, presents the 16th concert season of BalaSole in "SALMAGUNDI," a new program of solos in a broad range of dance styles, music choices and artistic voices, on July 17 & 18, 8PM, at Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55 Street. This special concert season includes solo performances by guest artists Fredrick Davis and Alexandra Jacob, both former members of Dance Theatre of Harlem. Past BalaSole participants include artists from other prominent companies such as the Limón Dance Company, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Parsons Dance, Lucinda Childs Dance, Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, Philadanco, The Isadora Duncan Dance Company, and Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago.
For the July concert, BalaSole will feature:
FREDRICK DAVIS (Guest Soloist)
ALEXANDRA JACOB (Guest Soloist)
Roberto Villanueva explains: "I created BalaSole because I believed it was time for a multi-ethnic organization that would open its doors to dance artists of all genres, styles, artistic expressions, shapes, sizes, ages, and background . Critic Tim Martin (Dance Europe Magazine) described BalaSole as a "hybrid creature"--"part dance company and part showcase, is the only dance company of its kind in the U.S. with a mission to address the gaps in the field of concert dance." The company's artists are provided artistic freedom and an arena to develop or hone their own voices. Diversity and individuality are the keywords of the organization, which has mentored and given performance opportunities to over 150 dancer/choreographers since 2010. The Company has presented seasons at Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater, Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York Live Arts, and Tribeca Performing Arts Center. BalaSole is the resident company of Mount Saint Vincent College in Riverdale, NY.
MORE ABOUT THE COMPANY:
PIECE TITLE: "Cancelled Stamp"
PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: The strength, freedom and self-discovery of embracing the role of the rejected wallflower.
LAURA ASSANTE has been dancing since the age of 7, studying at various schools throughout the NYC area. She received her BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College and has taught both concert and social dance to both children and adults . She currently performs with the Hell’s Kitchen Kilowatts and the Vanaver Caravan.
PIECE TITLE: "Unstoppable"
PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: The inner warrior that we all access when we are most in need of strength.
BRIANA BUTLER, a recent Wake Forest University graduate and raised in southern MD, has had a passion for dance since the age of 7 and has studied in several countries around the world, including at the American Dance Festival . Briana kicked off 2015 with The Clothesline Muse Production national tour , and look s forward to touring internationally with Royal Caribbean’s Broadway production, “Mamma Mia.”
PIECE TITLE: "Maktub"
PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: Life's journey from begining to middle to end.
Baltimore native ANNA CUFFARI began training at The Moving Company Dance Center, where she spent 14 years. She now studies Dance with a concentration on Dance Therapy at Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Katie Langan and, through her studies, has also become certified in Autism Movement Therapy. Anna's dance credits include The Pittsburgh Ballet and The Moving Company Dance Center Senior Company.
FREDRICK DAVIS (Guest Soloist)
PIECE TITLE: "Shake it Off"
PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: Repentance, learning from our mistake, moving in life to represent, and being part of something larger than ourselves.
FREDRICK DAVIS started his training at the age of 11 with a full scholarship for Ballet Tennessee, continuing in NYC at the Joffrey Ballet School , followed by full scholarship at summer intensives by American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Ballet Academy East, Magnus Midwest Dance and Ballet Tennessee. After dancing with the Roxey Ballet, he joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem, with whom he currently performs. Fredrick has participated in the Dance for America Tour, DTH Vision Gala, The Kennedy Center Honors, the Donald McKayle Tribute performance in Irvine, California and the Paramount Theatre Gala in Seattle .
ALEXANDRA JACOB (Guest Soloist)
PIECE TITLE: “Anástasis” (Translation: Resurrection) – Choreographed by Roberto Villanueva
PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: The idea of being reborn and having a new life within this lifetime.
ALEXANDRA JACOB began her formal Vaganova training at the age of 8 in her native California , and also attended summer programs at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alonzo King Lines Ballet on scholarships. While pursuing an architecture degree at the California College of the Arts , she rediscovered her love for ballet and returned to New York to attend the Joffrey Ballet School. She joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) Ensemble in 2005 under the direction of Arthur Mitchell and toured the U . S. and internationally, performing featured roles by Peter Pucci, Donald Byrd, Christopher Huggins, Lowell Smith, and Arthur Mitchell. She then became a member of the DTH Company, re-formed in 2012, under the direction of Virginia Johnson , performing Ailey's “The Lark Ascending” which was restaged for pointe by Elizabeth Roxas, and the lead Pas de Deux in George Balanchine's “Agon.” After a decade long professional career with the DTH, Alexandra took a different creative approach to dance, becoming a New York-based freelance artist. She is currently an independent performer, as well as full time dance model and brand ambassador.
PIECE TITLE: "Delimited Connection"
PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: The power of limited energy
ELIJAH LAURANT began his training at Zenieth Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, CA. As a Dance Major at El Camino College, he joined the Pony Box Dance Theater as Assistant Director and performer. Elijah subsequently received a full scholarship from Diane Lauridsen to dance with South Bay Ballet. He recently moved to New York City to further his dance career, and is currently training at The Ailey School on a full scholarship. He is also the newest company member of Cedan Dance Company.
PIECE TITLE: "Možná Jednou (Translation: Maybe One Day)"
PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: Hope and making things different to find happiness.
ANDREA SAMONILOVA, born in the Czech Republic, trained at the National Dance Conservatory in Prague. She attended the professional certificate program at Peridance Capezio Center and has performed works by Igal Perry, Jesse Zaritt, Enzo Celli, Robert Battle, Bryan Arias and Sidra Bell. Andrea currently dances for Shelly Hutchinson and Azul Dance Theatre, iKada Contemporary Dance Company, The Next Stage Project and Hell’s Kitchen Kilowatts.
PIECE TITLE: "Gilgal"
PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: The power of patience and obedience to faith.
CAMILE SCHMOEKER is a French-American performing artist focused on the execution and choreography of tap dance, modern, and other dance forms. Having trained at the Center of Contemporary Arts in St. Louis, the Perry Mansfield Dance Intensive, as well as the Point Park University’s Conservatory, she further enriched her knowledge in practice and theory, acquiring her BFA at the University of Paris VIII. By partnering with theater and dance companies in venues across Paris and various cities in the United States, Camille has continued to apply her talents in the art of movement-based storytelling while continuously exploring not only various dance forms, but other art forms as well.
PIECE TITLE: “Return”
PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: Rebounding from an altered physical state.
XAVIER TOWNSEND, from Media, PA, started his dance training at the age of 8 . Focusing on ballet and contemporary dance, he trained with Rebecca Davis, the Philadelphia Ballet School and Broadway Bound Dance Academy. He trained at Point Park for 2 years before furthering his studies at Peridance Capezio Center. Xavier has worked with Milton Myers, Cindy Santiago, Raphael Xavier, and Rebecca Davis Dance Company.
PIECE TITLE: “Air”
PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: Taking a moment to observe, process, reflect and heal.
ROBERTO VILLANUEVA, born in the Philippines, is the Executive & Artistic Director and Founder of BalaSole Dance Company. He trained at The Ailey School, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance and University at Buffalo where he received his BA in Dance Performance. Acclaimed nationally and internationally for his abilities as a dance artist, Roberto has been hailed "for the deftness and technical control of his dancing" (The New York Times). He has been described as a "small powerhouse” (The Village Voice), "breathtaking" (Swiss Newspaper La Liberté), "an extraordinarily gifted dancer" (Attitude Magazine), and "memorable" (Art Times). Roberto has performed, judged dance competitions, and taught master classes in U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has worked with renowned choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden, Kevin Wynn, Milton Myers, and Eleo Pomare. He has performed with dance companies such as Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, Steeledance, Marie-Christine Giordano Dance, Pick of the Crop Dance, and Buffalo City Ballet. Roberto has worked with artists from renowned companies such as the Limón Dance Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, Elisa Monte Dance, Lucinda Childs Dance, Parsons Dance, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Joffrey Ballet, Donald Byrd/The Group, Ballet Frankfurt, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Twyla Tharp Dance. He has been commissioned to teach/choreograph for various institutions including the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, University at Buffalo, East Carolina University, Glendale Community College, University of the Philippines and Ballet Philippines. He has performed his works at prominent NYC venues including the Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater, The Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, and Dance Theater Workshop. He received the title of "Mr. Dance of America 1993" from Dance Masters of America, where he also served on the faculty of its Teachers Training School. Roberto is a recipient of the 2011-2012 Harlem Stage Fund for New Work Award for the creation and development of his one-man show titled "Pieces of Me: An inside look at a dance artist's journey." Also, he currently serves as the Arts Education & Outreach Administrator for the world-renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Director of Dance at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Additionally, he was nominated for The Outstanding Filipino American (TOFA) 2012 Award under the Arts & Culture category. In November 2013, Roberto received a "Distinguished Alumni Award" from the University at Buffalo's Department of Theatre & Dance for his contribution to the field of dance. He also served as a grant panelist for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Photo of Alexandra Jacob by Brian Mengini
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