HCAC sparks new dance initiative Oct. 21

Oct 12, 2016
Photo by: Bill Hebert, Courtesy of Doug Varone and Dancers Erin Owen

It has been over 10 years since the Haywood County Arts Council brought the Atlanta Ballet to Haywood County to showcase classical dance, but this tradition will soon be renewed.

The Haywood County Arts Council is creating an annual dance artist residency to serve as a new platform for professional classical and contemporary dance. Called Dance ARĪS (pronounced “arise”), which stands for Artist Residency in the Smokies, the residency will include performances as well as classes and outreach activities to schools and underserved communities in the region.

To give a taste of what is to come in 2017, we invite the community to attend this year’s inaugural fundraising performance, and to take advantage of the workshops and master classes that will be offered by the artists.

On Friday, Oct.21, HCAC will offer Spark: An Evening to Benefit Dance ARĪS, which features three distinct dance styles rarely featured in combination: ballet, contemporary modern, and classical Indian dance. The performance will take place at the new Fangmeyer Theater at Haywood Arts Regional Theatre (HART), with a pre-show gala catered by Harmon’s Den. Tickets will be $25 for the performance alone, $60 for the gala and performance package, and a $10 discount on all tickets for students 18 and under (or with valid ID). On Saturday, Oct. 22, the dancers will offer a variety of workshops and master classes at Folkmoot’s Friendship Center.

This year’s artists are all professional or pre-professional dancers, and most are from or reside in Haywood County. Kendall Teague, Sky Byrd and River Byrd will perform classical and contemporary ballet pieces like those some may remember from the Atlanta Ballet. Erin Owen and Kendall Teague will perform contemporary modern dance works by world-renowned choreographer Doug Varone.

Aparna Keshaviah and Nisha Pai will present a modernization of Bharatanatyam – a south Indian classical dance style with theatrical roots over 2,000 years old. Each of the featured dancers were influenced by artists who visited their home towns when they were young, and through this performance, they hope to help build a program that will inspire a new generation of artists.

For details and updates and tickets, visit HaywoodArts.org/dance.