Culinary Advisor: Chef Anne Kearney, James Beard Award winner
Culinary Advisor: Chef Anne Kearney, James Beard Award winner
Dueling bartenders, inspired cocktails…dance off?!
Join the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company Ambassadors & the Dayton Ballet Barre as we kick off a new season of great dance in Dayton! We’ll be making the drinks while you mingle with our talented dancers. Attendees will also get a VIP code to use when you purchase your show tickets for access to exclusive extras. Learn more Tuesday, Sept. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Brixx Ice Company!
What do Bette Midler, Danny Glover, Danny DeVito, Laura Linney, Ian McKellen and Laverne Cox all have in common? They all have films playing at The Dayton LGBT Film Festival this year!
Titles are locked down, marketing materials are ready to go, and visiting artists are securing their travel plans for The 12th Annual Dayton LGBT Film Fest – taking place next month at THE NEON in Downtown Dayton.
During the weekend of Oct. 13-15, the festival will screen 17 films (a combination of shorts and features) with ties to the LGBT community – ranging from American comedies to International dramas…from narratives to documentaries. Directors, stars and other creative individuals from a handful of the selections are slated to attend.
One special guest will be Jill Alexander, an accomplished actress and co-star of SENSITIVITY TRAINING (pictured above on the left). The committee selected the film from over 100 submissions this year and was unaware (until after booking the film) that Alexander grew up right here in the Miami Valley and attended Beavercreek High School. The festival is thrilled to bring Alexander back home to share her work with the community and her family.
On Friday, October 13, attendees of the Opening Night Film FREAK SHOW will be invited to the Opening Night Party at The Mudlick Tavern – just a few blocks from THE NEON. For $8, guests will see the movie and then enjoy a complimentary cocktail and appetizers – this is certain to be a very hot ticket.
Though festival passes sold out in record time this year, patrons will have a chance to get single tickets for each of the screenings beginning Friday, September 8. Details about the films and how to get tickets can be found on the official site – www.daytonlgbt.com
Sponsors for this year’s festival include PFLAG Dayton, The Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, Sue Spiegel & Lisa Hanauer, The Human Race Theatre Company, Miami Valley Fair Housing, AARP Ohio, The Greater Dayton LGBT Center, MJ’s On Jefferson, Johnny Dangerously, Equitas Health, David Lauri, Square Once Salon & Spa, Marion’s Piazza, Ken Byers, Kurt Fleagel & Warren Riffle, and Westminster Financial.
THE NEON is located at 130 E. 5th St in downtown Dayton. For additional information, visit the official site – www.daytonlgbt.com – or call THE NEON at (937)222-8452.
Dayton is renowned for it’s incredible legacy in the history of American dance. In 1927, The Schwarz School of Dance (now Dayton Ballet School) was opened in Dayton, by the gifted Schwarz sisters, who returned home after performing professionally around the world. Ten years later, the sisters created “The Experimental Group for Young Dancers,” and staged a performance at the Dayton Art Institute. This was the first performance of what is now the Dayton Ballet, the second oldest regional ballet company in the US.
The Schwarz sisters instructed another pioneer of dance, Jeraldyne Blunden. In 1968, Jeraldyen went on to create her own school, Jeraldyne’s School of Dance. A few years later, she established the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the first modern dance company in Ohio. The company regularly performs in Dayton, and around the world, including an upcoming trip to Russia and Kazakhstan next May as part of Dance Motion USA, a cultural diplomacy program organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
These incredible achievements and milestones are being celebrated with style over the next year or two. The Dayton Ballet celebrates it’s 80th Season, and next year DCDC hits their 50th Birthday! Volunteers from the Dayton Ballet Barre and DCDC Ambassadors are joining forces Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 at Brixx Ice Company to kickoff these spectacular seasons! They’ll be slinging drinks as dueling bartenders, and might even have a dance off or two!
Enjoy commradere, drink specials, and a fun way to support these historic arts organizations. Best of all – there will be random ticket giveaways for the exciting up-coming seasons! There will also be ticket discounts available to anyone interested. Tickets to these outstanding artistic events are perfect for date nights, girls nights, and gifts!
How to Go?
Dayton Ballet Barre & DCDC Ambassadors
Dueling Bartenders / 2017-2018 Season Kickoff!
Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 from 6pm-8pm
Brixx Ice Company – 500 E 1st Dayton, OH
This Must Be the Party! is a brand new benefit show produced by the Dayton Ballet Barre, as a fundraiser for the Dayton Ballet. This “dance party for the dancers” is a special collaboration by the region’s most talented musicians, performing songs from The Talking Head’s epic 80’s rockumentary “Stop Making Sense.” This classic performance will be recreated by this fantastic ensemble on Saturday April 15th at Oddbody’s Music Room. Doors open at 8pm, and Show runs from 9pm–11:30pm. The best part is that it’s a super affordable way to support the Arts in Dayton: Just $15 for pre-sale tickets or $20 at the door, day of show. 18+
Libby Ballengee, President of the Dayton Ballet Barre and a local music promoter through her own music production company, Venus Child Productions, explains the origin and inspiration for this event: “It was an easy ‘win’ all around – the Ballet Barre needed a fundraiser, a group of musicians wanted a reason to perform this album (because it’s so fun!), and lots of my friends would be in heaven if we did this show. I could not be more excited for this show! This is truly going to be an extremely fun event!”
The incredible line-up of Dayton, Cincinnati and Louisville musicians performing include: Brian Hoeflich, Patrick Himes, Nathan Lewis, Erich Reith, Greg Lewis, Aaron Holm, Dan Hereford, Keith Cost, Khrys Blank, Mykal, John Dubuc, Nathan Peters, Brian Spirk, Eric Cassidy, and Matt Byanski.
How to go?
Saturday April 15th 2017 at Oddbody’s Music Room.
Doors 8pm. Show 9pm. 18+ with valid ID.
$15 advance. $20 day of show.
For tickets: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1437688
On Thursday, February 9 at 7:30 pm; Friday, February 10 at 8 pm; Saturday, February 11 at 8 pm; and Sunday, February 12 at 3 pm in the Victoria Theatre, the Dayton Ballet is thrilled to present Daring Duets, the third ballet of the 2016–2017 Excite Season. The Thursday evening performance of Daring Duets includes a Pizza Prelude from Uno’s Pizzeria to be served in the Victoria lobby beginning at 7 pm.
Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke and Dayton Ballet bring an exciting new ballet repertory program entitled Daring Duets to the Victoria Theatre stage, celebrating the complexities of the relationship shared between couples. The program will feature the full Dayton Ballet Company as they partner with one another to present some of the most well-known and most exciting, new, original pas de deux ever to grace the Victoria stage. The program comprises eight unique ballets that range from classical to neoclassical to contemporary, in an in-depth look at how two people join together to dance on stage as one. Interviews with dancers and choreographers will shed light between dances in a video presentation made possible by the generosity of the Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts.
“Pas de Deux is French for ‘Step of Two’ and is what partnering is called in ballet. By dancing with a partner, the lady can jump higher, take positions she would never be able to on her own, and ‘float’ about the stage as she is carried by her partner. A partner allows a man to extend his line and show off his strength.” (www.the-ballet.com) Dayton Ballet presents an exhilarating evening of duets, or pas de deux, choreographed with this very definition in mind.
Dayton Ballet is thrilled to be able to dance a pas de deux from the late dance legend Antony Tudor, a George Balanchine contemporary who has been hailed as the “artistic conscience of American Ballet Theatre” from the moment he joined ABT for its founding season in 1940. This February, Dayton Ballet will dance his famous pas de deux from the ballet The Leaves Are Fading. This exquisite pas de deux was originally danced under Tudor’s direction in 1975 by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner, two of America’s most acclaimed and talented dancers of the 20th century. Ms. McKerrow and Mr. Gardner will work in studio directly with Dayton Ballet dancers to set this beautiful piece for Dayton Ballet. The Antony Tudor Ballet Trust was formed after Tudor’s death in 1987 with the mission of securing the legacy of Tudor’s great ballets. The Trust is exceptionally selective of the ballet companies with which it works, so Dayton Ballet is truly honored to be able to pay tribute to the ballet genius of Antony Tudor with this performance.
Dayton Ballet is also excited to welcome choreographer Nicole Haskins to its studios as she sets her engaging pas de deux La Linea Scura, choreographed to music of the same name by Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi. Haskins hails from Venice Beach, California, and has danced professionally with well-known companies across the country, including Sacramento Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and Washington Ballet. Haskins, an experienced choreographer as well, has worked in the past with several Dayton Ballet dancers, and she comes to Dayton to set her beautiful pas de deux La Linea Scura this month. Ms. Haskins’ work on La Linea Scura is made possible by the Dermot Burke Fund.
The dancers of Dayton Ballet will also present more classical works, including the famous Grand Pas de Deux from Don Quixote, a dance teeming with passion, energy and bravado. Set to the impeccable music of nineteenth-century Czech composer Ludwig Minkus, Don Quixote was originally choreographed by French/Russian dancer and choreographer Marius Petipa in 1869. It is Petipa’s original choreography that Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke will use to set this traditional ballet for this performance.
In addition to these three selections, Burke will present five other works, highlighting the strength, expertise, and superb partnering skills of each dancer in the Dayton Ballet company. Dayton is invited to spend a romantic Valentine’s Day engulfed by the beauty and elegance of the purest expression of emotion between two dancers—the pas de deux—in Daring Duets.
Before each performance, Ms. Burke will hold a pre-performance talk called “The First Step,” giving audience members a more in-depth look at the upcoming performance and a behind-the-scenes peek at Dayton Ballet. “The First Step” will be held 45 minutes prior to curtain time for each performance in the Burnell Roberts Room at 126 North Main Street, beside the Victoria Theatre. “Behind the Ballet,” a Q&A with dancers that gives audiences the opportunity to learn more about the life of a dancer with Dayton Ballet, will follow each performance in the theatre. “The First Step” and “Behind the Ballet” sessions are free of charge for all ticketholders.
Tickets for Daring Duets are $21 to $72 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Looking for a sweet deal for your sweetie this Valentines weekend? All tickets now 50% off using code “DUETS” call (888) 228-3630Senior, teacher and student discounts available at box office.
I love a good deal. I love downtown. I love our Dayton arts.
So, I was pretty excited when I saw that the Dayton Ballet is inviting you to SHOW THE LOVE for the February Fantasy performances.
How’s it work? You shop at any downtown business from now until February 14 and bring the receipt to the Ticket Center Stage box office (at the Schuster Center, unless you’re going immediately before the performance). You can get the best possible tickets available (up to a $72 value!) for only $14. Buy your tickets now to get the best seats or go right before the show and get the best that’s still available. The show runs Thursday, February 11 – Sunday, February 14. Any show, any available ticket – only $14 when you show that downtown receipt.
What’s February Fantasy? More information on the show is online at the DPAA web site. With four separate pieces being performed in one night, there’s great diversity and it’ll be a fun introduction to ballet. PLUS, if you’re interested in learning a little something, too – you can attend the pre-show talk that starts 45 minutes before each show.
So – here’s my recommendation for you (no matter who you are):
Do you do the romantic Valentine’s Day celebration? Buy your sweetie something sweet from one of the awesome local downtown shops and then go get tickets. You get extra points for trying something new and being a hip, in-the-know local.
Do you stay away from the saccharine of the pseudo-holiday? Buy yourself something cool (or, y’know, be a pragmatist and just buy lunch) and treat yo self to a great show or plan a friends’ night out (two tix per receipt, so bring more receipts if you have a bigger group).
Do you procrastinate and stay away from making plans in advance? This still works out for you whether you’re planning a date or just looking for something new to do with your group of friends. Head downtown the night of the show, get dinner (or drinks at a local brewery/pub) and wander over the the Victoria right before curtain. Show that receipt and you can STILL get the $14 tickets (best available seat).
This is such a great idea, I reached out to Dave Bukvic from the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance to find out how it came about. He shared, “We’ve got a definite history working together with the Downtown Dayton Partnership. Much of our strategy is in alignment with the vision for growing downtown and showcasing the convenience and quality of all there is to offer. This was a great opportunity to encourage our arts patrons to explore a new restaurant or shop and invite those who are regular visitors to the downtown cafes, stores and pubs to enjoy a performance at the ballet.”
As I arrived at the Victoria Theatre on spring-like Sunday afternoon, I was curious to see how this season would end for this venerable troupe. While there were a few surprises, the final spring concert of the Dayton Ballet season ended on a quiet note.
The concert began with former artistic director Dermott Burke’s Fete des Courtiers; a swirling confection of neoclassical formalism, it was perfectly perfunctory in form and execution as couples moved through formations that hinted at a noble engagement. While Fete Des Courtiers broke no new ground choreographically, it nevertheless engaged both the performers and the viewer.
Susanne Payne’s Interactions was a winner of the choreographic competition that Dayton Ballet held three years ago and it has not lost any of it’s charm or choreographic vitality. I have always believed that Ms. Payne is a tremendous artistic asset to Dayton Ballet and to the cultural fabric of our community when she creates works like this. Her talents for generating unique movement vocabulary is wildly entertaining. This was the first time we had a chance to explore the talents that she possesses and she continues to grow and develop artistically. It is evident that over the past few years Dayton Ballet has benefited from an influx of new performers with their energy and ability to tackle the modernist movement vocabulary of Ms. Payne; in turn helping to illuminate her work to dazzling effect. Interactions felt as vibrant and thrilling now as its did during its world premiere a few years ago.
Next up on the bill was Jessica Lang’s From Foreign Lands and People. And what a powerful and unique work. When the curtaine opened we were presented with several four-sided columns from five to ten feet tall as well as a group of dancers. As a viewer you were automatically expecting some interaction or engagement with the columns. As the work progressed you were surprised just how farthat interaction would go. The dancers manipulated the columns into slides and hurdles that they moved across, rolled and leaped under and over, respectively. They then proceeded to stack the columns into evocative sculptural tableaus. The choreography was sublime in the economy of its construction. Jessica Lang weaved a magical spell on the audience that left more than one person in the theatre swooning with giddy satisfaction. This is a work that bears repeating and deserves to be in the repertory of the company. It is a sure fire audience pleaser and beautifully constructed work of art.
The concert concluded with Karen Burke Russo’s Canyons, a semi-abstract work that highlights her skills as a choreographer to maximum effect. Canyons evoked a Native-American motif in the imagery and movement vocabulary without being so literal as to fall into tropes and mawkish triviality. The dancers danced it with a beautifully modulated sense of control and abandonment, which they displayed consistently throughout the concert. Dayton Ballet is benefiting from a similar scenario that exists for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company; an A company of young and eager performers that are pushing the performance quality of older works in the rep as well providing a blank canvas for new and thrilling choreographers in which to create their particular form of artistic alchemy. Now is the time to be bold and decisive. While it may not draw record crowds, it makes a better case for relevancy and the right for continued support from the community.
With the “Diversity in Dance” concert, Dayton Ballet highlighted what works well for this regional ballet company. Once again the tantalizing prospects for a full fledged renaissance are on display. From the work of legendary choreographer and co-founder of the Joffrey Ballet to the rich and tantalizing movement construction of Susie Payne, This was a concert of bountiful returns.
I have to impress upon the Dayton arts community what a rarity it is to see classical and or neoclassical ballet repertory being presented with a live orchestra. This symbiosis of elements adds a third contextual layer of interpretation and experience for the viewer. Having performed to live orchestration many times myself as a performer it changes how and what is being danced at the molecular level not to mention the spiritual. The fact that we got to see it in conjunction with the re-staging of a Gerald Arpino masterwork is worth the price of admission.
“Reflections” was a neoclassical master class in what is usually missing from present day choreographers, innate musicality and the ability to translate it into choreography. With it’s almost Balanchine-like phrasing and musical weaving, The Dayton Ballet dancers accompanied by the Dayton Philharmonic under the masterful baton of Neil Gittleman kicked off this concert with a Joie de Vivre that was at once effervescent and steely in design. In shades of gray and pink, the women and men weaved beautifully rendered lattice work of patterns and tableaus. with particular attention being payed to several playful, athletic variations and Pas de Deux’s, most notably Abby Phillips and Evan Pitts, which left an indelible impression long after the bows.
The second work on the concert was “Dreams of Flight” by Dayton original, Susanne Payne. This was a bravura choreographic work that showcased the incredible skills of the Dayton Ballet men. In her program notes she says the work was loosely inspired by “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coehlo and that it is rigorously athletic. The latter part was an understatement as the piece evolved and built to it’s rousing conclusion. While Susanne was weaving her metaphoric choreographic alchemy, you could not help but be pulled into its intoxicating adrenaline-spiked power. This was a visceral, heart-stopping epic work that in lesser hands could have been maudlin and overwrought. “Dreams of Flight” tapped into layers of emotional, intellectual and spiritual connectivity wrapped up in a rich and utterly original movement vocabulary. It was in turns, playful and childlike, mature and insightful. While it was danced with athletic vigor and panache, this was a triumphant success for not only the dancers and the choreographer but also the company itself. I have always stated that when a dance company breaks out of routine and embraces the new and unexpected, we all walk away winners.
Your next chance to see the Dayton Ballet in action will be in the upcoming show, New Directions.
The show opens this Thursday March 20th and runs through Sunday March 23rd at the Victoria Theatre.
This performance includes:
Dermot Burke’s “Fête des Courtiers”
Susie Payne’s “Interactions”
Jessica Lang’s “From Foreign Lands and People”
Karen Russo Burke’s “Canyons”
Buy New Directions tickets online or by calling
the box office at (888) 228-3630.
Another year has waltzed by, creating a beautiful stir in the Dayton dance community. I have been privileged to bear witness to some incredible moments of sublimeness amidst the cautious backdrop of these uncertain times in regards to patronage and audience building. Now more than ever we as patrons of the arts have to reinforce our commitment to the arts in our community. While financial support is critical to keeping the lights shining, an education and connoisseurship is vital to elevating our community collectively. These moments and individuals made this year a tantalizing appetizer for a brighter future.
In no particular order:
How often do we have a goddess walking amongst us? For over forty-five years Sheri has illuminated and turned up the heat on the stages of Dayton and around the world. When they describe DCDC as a “world class” organization, they are really describing Sheri. What she brings to the world can only be attributed to the divine. Her artistry is on the level of Dame Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and Aretha Franklin, an ageless category defying artistic genius that we are privileged to witness. She is worthy of our continued attention.
Dayton Ballet-crop of new choreographic voices
Kudos to Dayton Ballet and their commitment to elevating female choreographers in the realm of classical ballet. This season saw the beautiful work of Gina Gardner-Walther, Amy Seiwert and Susanne Payne. They released the aesthetic beauty and artistic abilities of the dancers and challenged them to new heights and we as an audience were grateful to witness.
DCDC Urban Impulse
This is what a satisfying concert looks like; one that combines community outreach and artistic ambition. It was a gamble that payed off brilliantly. I cannot imagine any lover of dance not leaving that show ecstatic.
This company came back in the fall with a concert of original works that was inspired. The luscious, diverse choreographic works that made Boll Theatre feel like Lincoln Center for a brief autumn evening.
Paul Gilliam, Dayton Ballet
A physically gifted performer who brightens the stage with charm, grace and intelligence. I have been very fortunate to briefly witness his choreographic skills. And I believe we are witnessing a diamond in the rough. Breakout star of 2014
Jammie Walker, Dayton Ballet
A welcomed soulful and passionate presence at Dayton Ballet. A dancer who can handle classical and contemporary work with ease. I look forward to seeing more of him in 2014.
Shed by Kiesha Lalama
Ms. Lalama set an energetic work that was wonderfully constructed and rendered by the dancers at DCDC. The company came roaring back to prominence with this piece and this reviewer was incredibly grateful.
Extremely Close by Alejandro Cerrudo
Okay, so this piece was performed by Cincinnati Ballet, but I would be remise in not discussing it. I had no expectations for this evening of dance at the Aronoff, but as we entered the auditorium, we were greeted with a blank stage, except for a white wall partition and a steady stream of feathers lazily drifting into a pile center stage. It took this reviewer/audience on an unexpected journey, one that we all gladly took. Note to artistic directors in Dayton this guy is worth the investment.
Prodigal Son by George Balanchine
Closing the same concert for Cincinnati Ballet was a re-staging of Prodigal Son with coaching by Edward Villlella. They delivered a bravura performance that brought down the house.
Smag Dance Collective
Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of Smag Dance Collective. The tenacious Artistic Director Michael Groomes fights for his vision of dance that is interwoven into the fabric of our community quilt. This is dance by the people and for the people. He is truly an urban visionary walking amongst us and he and the company deserve our support.
The Brown Dance Project
A poignant, funny and beautifully rendered work created by choreographer Rodney Brown and danced by members of DCDC. MODULE is an educational community outreach work that deals with HIV prevention. A brilliant example of the power of art to address social issues. I was particularly impressed by the audience Q & A afterwards and the fact that they came out on a Saturday afternoon to embrace this necessary work.
I am looking forward to several things: The choreography of DeShona Pepper Robertson for Dayton Ballet in the fall. The site specific installation piece being presented by Ohio Dance and created by Crystal Michelle Perkins. Amy Seiwert and Susanne Payne creating new choreography for Dayton Ballet. Dance concerts returning to the Blair Hall Theatre stage at Sinclair Community College. The return of DCDC to the Victoria Theatre stage and the revival of the Dayton Arts Project.
I can think of no better resolution than to see more dance. And in the immortal words of London Coe, #dateyourcity.