Posts Tagged ‘Dance’

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The Reviews are in – 5th graders Love STREB!

February 15, 2011

Jessica Kennedy, a 5th grade teacher at New Brunswick’s Roosevelt Elementary School gives us her review of the dance group STREB’s recent school day performance on Feb. 4. Also, the kids themselves share a few words with us.

Inertia, motion, force, energy, load, effort, work…the kids are making so many connections to our just-completed science unit on levers & pulleys: today they are seeing trained artist-athletes interact with machines. And it is beautiful. I’ve never seen the excitement level so high: in the first 5 minutes, when i heard a kid behind me shout, “I LOVE THESE PEOPLE.” The loud music, the lights….as fun and unpredictable—and scary—as any rock concert i’ve ever been to. I ADORE, and so do the kids, the subversive boom of directions hurled among the performers…a vital communication missing from all the dance I’ve ever seen…Could there be a more perfect break in the tedium of almost two months of cancelled outdoor recreation at school, where the kids have to sit quietly in the auditorium during recess, because the teachers need to park their cars on the “blacktop” instead of the icy streets. Something like this gives me a much-needed referent to talk about art, commitment, passion…possibilities…wish dance were emphasized as much as sports in our schools.

Glad I was with my 10-year-olds who could explain to me exactly what was going on…they missed nothing! Evocative of Houdini, the first woman to go over Niagara Falls…How brilliant when physical and intellectual bravery are experienced hand in hand.

Reviews from Jessica Kennedy’s 5th grade class:

AJ: “That show made us excited and still. Elizabeth Streb is a genius for making Streb.”

AP: “It reminded me of Leonardo da Vinci. The part where the women spread out like a star reminded me of Leonardo da Vinci’s VITRUVIAN MAN!”

SM: “Streb is unspeakable. It took my breath away. Amazing.”

AA: “The performance was so awesome. Everyone was cheering for Streb when the performance ended.”

KB: “I thought STREB actioneers had a lot of skills. When everyone was in the box I was speechless, also when they were doing their dives. AMAZING’.”

DV: “My favorite part is when the performers climbed this ladder to get on this moving bar. Then this performer said to move the bar as up as it can so she can jump off it, then everyone was screaming then she jumped for the bar and landed on a drop bed and I was amazed. I loved it.”

MA: “My favorite part of the show is the part when you guys got on the round circle because you guys were brave and I saw your owner he was cool you guys rock!”

DS: “The polar wander was the coolest performance in the show.”

JB: “My favorite part was when all of the actors threw themselves from the high spot. It was amazing because it was a high height.”

PM: “This performance was so great!! I was scared when they threw yourselves from a high surface to a sponge all the way down to the floor!!!”

SM: “I liked the way the performers threw themselves off the poles.”

EH: “The show was amazing. They threw themselves like if they action figures. Please be careful when you perform. Have luck when you perform.”

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STOMP – What the Noise is About

January 12, 2011

By Kelly Backus, Marketing Coordinator

Thirty brooms, eight lids, five short bins, ten 6 foot by 6 inch poles, 15 pounds of sand, four blocks of athletes chalk, 12 pairs of drumsticks, 200 litres of water, eight bananas, and 12 boxes of matches. No, that’s not some crazy shopping list for Home Depot—that’s a list of the materials that the cast of STOMP uses in just one week of performances!

If you don’t know what STOMP is, then that list probably confused you (I know I would be!) STOMP is an international percussion sensation that’s been performing all over the world since it began back in 1991 (350 cities in 36 countries). As you can see, you won’t find your normal percussion instruments in this group! Instead, these performers show us that anything can be an instrument and that normal everyday noise can be made into something beautiful. These talented cast members use anything and everything to compose complex and fun rhythms that will have you dancing in your seat!

And if you think the show is only banging on cans and sweeping up floors, think again! The show is also influenced by dance and martial arts like tap and Shaolin. And make sure to watch the performers interactions—you’ll catch a lot of humor if you pay close attention. This is definitely a show you’ll never forget!

So if you’re looking for a rocking good time, come check out STOMP at the State Theatre in New Brunswick and see just how these talented performers unconventional instruments and turn them into an outrageous performance of rhythms, percussion and dance!

Be sure to check STOMP out online at their website stomponline.com!

For tickets or more info go to http://www.statetheatrenj.org/stomp

Photo by Steve McNicholas.
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U.S. Premiere Performance!

April 20, 2010

I love it when I can say “U.S. Premiere at the State Theatre”! It feels really good to know that we are presenting new stuff to a new audience. And our upcoming show NALMES is no exception. NALMES, a Circassion dance group from the North Caucasus has been around since 1936. Their dances tell the stories of everyday Circassion life and it is our privilage to be bringing them here to the U.S. for the first time on May 8. Featuring live music, skillful swordplay, and of course, an amazing dance performance. Catch a sneak peek of NALMES with the video clip below.

Enjoy!
—Kelly Skinner, Director of Public Relations

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Q&A with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet dancer Ana-Maria Lucaciu

April 7, 2010

Q: How long have you been dancing with Cedar Lake?
A: This is my 4th season.

Q: Where were you dancing before this? What company and/or school?
A: I graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada and then danced with the National Ballet of Canada, the Royal Danish Ballet, Augsburg Ballet in Germany and the Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company in Portugal.

Q: Which dance piece out of the 3 being performed at the State Theatre is your favorite and why?
A: I would say it’s between Ten Duets and Decadance. They are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum as far as the movement quality is concerned, but they each offer me new possibilities every time I dance.

Q: What’s your preshow ritual like?
A: I eat, do my hair and make up and the do a thorough warm up. Eventually I go over some steps, but normally I use the time to just get focused and warm, and to connect individually to each piece that I’m performing that night.

Q: What do you do when you’re not dancing?
A: I’m going to school, studying to obtain my BA on the side. When I’m not doing that, I love going out to discover more hidden corners of this fantastic city. I read, eat all that I can. Photography is also a secret hobby.

Q: Who or what inspired you to become a dancer?
A: Well it wasn’t my first passion as a kid, but when I got accepted at the National Ballet School every teacher there made me realize that this what I love doing.

Q: Who inspires you now? What dancers/choreographers and/or companies?
A: My colleagues, the many choreographers I’ve worked with everywhere in the world, younger dancers who are so eager to arrive in the dance world and just absorb everything around them.

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Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet – The Group to Watch

March 24, 2010

In the entertainment business, you see this tag line very enough: “A don’t-miss event” or “an event not to be missed,” etc. And since we see it so often, we become numb to it. Now, I’ll admit, we still use the line from time to time but only when WE (as in the staff) feel strongly about it. For example, in the case of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. We have had Cedar Lake here every year for 5 years and WE (the staff) just can’t seem to get enough of them (and neither can many of our patrons). Each year, they come with a new piece or program that just wows us. The dancers for Cedar Lake are amazing. They can handle both the choreographed pieces and the pieces that involve some improv with the same ease. And there is something about these dancers that sticks into your brain. I have seen hundreds of dancers come through this theater and yet, I could spot a Cedar Lake dancer out of a crowd if you asked me to. I don’t know what it is, I guess they have that “Je ne sais quoi” thing going for them. But, really, if you love dance, you HAVE to them. And if you have never seen a dance performance, this is the group to see. Check them out online at: http://www.cedarlakedance.com/

—Kelly Skinner, Director of Public Relations

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May is over, but tough times are still ahead

June 5, 2009

So, we did it. We survived the busy month of May…a month of Gala craziness and the arrival of a brand new outdoor festival. Both of which were two very different events for the State Theatre. The Gala, which takes months and months of planning, is a night of cocktails, entertainment, dinner, dancing, auctions, and the works. This year’s theme was a tribute to the movies and leading the concert was long-time Academy Awards® Music Director and Oscar® Award-winning composer Bill Conti (composer of the Rocky theme). The Gala, which is our big annual benefit, helped to raise $570,000 for the theater. It was a success, and a big one in these economic times.

Now, shifting gears, one week after the Gala on May 23, we held our first annual Urban Arts Festival. From reading our previous blog posts, you know that this was no easy task for us. It was tough…with no background in programming urban artists, very little time, and a very tight budget; it had the possibility of being a dud. However, I am happy to tell you that it wasn’t! It was a blast! It truly went off without a hitch, well without any major problems anyway. Sure, we had a few sound issues (an outdoor stage will do that) and what not, but that’s it.

(Above: A short video from Urban Arts featuring the local dance group Strickly Street)

So, for us at the State Theatre, May has been a good month. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end our season. Now, we look to the new fiscal year (ours begins in July) and we start planning for it now in June. It’s going to be a tough year for the arts and we hope to meet the challenge.

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

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The Urban Arts Festival is Here! What Do We Do Now?

May 22, 2009
So, after months and months of planning, it’s here and it’s tomorrow, Sat, May 23…the State Theatre’s first annual Urban Arts Festival. It’s an all-day (12pm-8pm) outdoor festival and we’ve booked so many acts, it’s unbelievable. Very quickly, this venture into new territory, the urban arts, has gone from “what do we do and how do we do it,” to “what do we do with all these big plans now?”

We have booked 20 plus acts, and scheduled 2 open mic times for local spoken word poets, and all of that must fit into 8 hours…that is going to be some crazy turnaround time for our stage hands. And that is not to mention we have all sorts of other stuff going on at the same time including free workshops, a 25 ft mural project and a hanging “art happening” or art installation, both of which are open to the public for participation. Nevertheless, we are confident in our plans and we just hope that people like what we have put together. We just have to remember, this is the “first annual” Urban Arts Festival, which means you never know…stay tuned (or just stop by!).

For more information on the Urban Arts Festival, visit: http://www.statetheatrenj.org/urban_arts. The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.