Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Amherst Ballet Dance Diversity

Amherst Ballet Dance Diversity: A Collage of Works
Amherst Ballet is pleased to announce our 31st season performances, Dance Diversity, A Collage of Works, underwritten in part by a grant from the Amherst Cultural Council.

A rich tapestry, our repertoire program will showcase the many styles of dance, collaborations with local artists and beautiful costumes that Amherst Ballet has become known for in our 30-plus year history.

Bowker Auditorium at UMASS
Saturday March 8 2:00pm matinee
Saturday March 8 7:00pm evening performance
Sunday March 9 2:00pm matinee

The repertoire will begin with a new work based on the Chinese theory of Five Elements, a unique collaboration between guest choreographer Alison Ozer, media artist Dr.Carlos Fontes, and renowned composer John Cooper who is creating an original composition inspired by the choreography. Five Elements incorporates choreography based on developmental movement, yoga, improvisation, modern dance, and ballet techniques to express the different energies and qualities of each element along with multimedia visual images to promote a sense of harmony and connection with the Earth, among the dancers, and with the audience.

Che Che Colé, is an exciting work combining Salsa and Mambo styles that will have you dancing in your seats! Ten Amherst Ballet students, including Mariel Adams, will perform the choreography of guests Hector DeJesus and and Sasha Jiminez, company members of the Hasha Y Machete Dance Stylists Dance Company based in Boston.

The ethereal Space Oddity choreographed by faculty member Jenny Bennett-Mansur is a contemporary piece inspired by the music of David Bowie as adapted by Seu Jorge.
To close we invite you to enjoy excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s great classic, The Sleeping Beauty. More than 30 dancers will perform choreography created by Director Catherine Fair and faculty member Joanna Duncan (based upon Marius Petipa’s work) in lavish new costumes created in the style used in the Paris Opera Ballet’s rendition of this magical tale.

Tickets to the March 8 and 9 performances are $12 for children, students and seniors, and $16 for adults and can be purchased be purchased from Amherst Ballet (413) 549-1555 ( or the Fine Arts Center Box Office (413) 545-2511.. For more information, please contact Amherst Ballet

Still Freezing in Winter - sliding on icy roads


It has been many months since posting anything on this blog and wondering if anyone reads mine anyway. For the 'someones' that do:

Here are some news updates that warm my heart at least.


We managed to get through the fall!

This one was full of intense school commitments for my daughter, including college search and applications, and focus on senior year academic courses- calculus being the most challenging.

We were proud of Mariel's AV film productions:

A short documentary of Amherst Ballet including interviews of the students and director and film clips of classes, performances and the building.

A music video that she worked on with 2 students, and did most of the direction, camera shooting and editing

She is now assisting the teacher and students!

Her budding interest in film and media studies has of course affected her choice of colleges by expanding her range of interests: psychology, biology, dance, theater, film....We wait to hear from the 4 main choices.

Besides College, there has been Dance:

Mariel has been preparing for her final Amherst Ballet Performances this March (see next post) while continuing to swing dance when possible.

We did make it to the American Lindy Hop Championships to dance and party with friends this past October.

As to MY dancing:

I took on a big project to choreograph for Amherst Ballet and try to realize a concept conceived over 30 years ago: to construct a dance based on the Five Elements and Seasons.

My taking and teaching yoga, working with meridians and energy, also contributed to movement ideas.

The original intent was to work with my daughter in creative collaboration along with other dancers, musicians and a videographer.

However it soon became evident that working with one's 17 year old daughter, eager to separate and move on her own, was not a reasonable idea.

I have continued the collaboration with 5 other young dancers.

Besides this creative collaboration I also have continued to grow my relationship and combat icy road conditions (and luckily only a few attitudes) towards our association. We are fortunate to share respect and warmth still. I treasure the time and the learning from each other.

Our children have been gracious and for the most supportive.

Mariel moves from being thankful that my focus is not so intent on her, welcoming this warm man into our lives, and at times still wanting more of my attention. It is all understandable and negotiable.

My son Ian continues to be prolific with his photographic work and is maturing. He spent more time with us this winter break, though mostly for dental work. It was good to see him and his sister hanging around and even get some appreciation for my cooking over Thanksgiving.

Work - that other part of many of our lives that takes up so much time and energy is quite another story.

Luckily our department, that seemed under siege by the University of Masschusetts President's Office, should - for the next year and half or so - remain intact. "Remaining intact" is an interesting concept as there are varying opinions as to how 'intact' our group really is, or functions. But that is a longer story.

Suffice it to say, our jobs are not in danger of dissappearing imminently, as it seemed they might have with the turn of the year.

Friends remain friends and we manage to keep up at least by phone, talks and walks, and a dance or two.

John Robison manages to keep in touch in spite of his whirlwind book tours.

One day maybe I will get back to writing too!


Moving towards Spring: this is all good news.

Blessings for all.