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Choreographer’s Showcase returns to Derry

Thursday, March 13, 2014

DERRY – Southern NH Dance Youth Ballet, presents the NH Choreographer’s Showcase at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at the Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy in Derry.

Tickets are available in advance for $15 at www.snhdt.org or $20 per person at the door.

Both performances are a unique collaboration of 18 choreographers and eight local dances companies – showcasing New Hampshire’s dance at its best. Featured dance companies this year include Ballet Misha of Manchester, City Center Ballet of Lebanon, dSundanceX from Windham, FreeFall Contemporary Dance Company of Bedford, Northern Ballet Theatre Youth Ensemble of Nashua, Peterborough Dance Theatre of Peterborough, Saving Grace Dance Ensemble of Milford, and Southern NH Youth Ballet of Bedford. This years’ showcase is an even larger collection of dance companies, choreographers and dancers who have come together to display their talents. From classical ballet to tap to theater dance and modern/contemporary dance – these performances will feature a wide array of genres from artists of local and national reputations.

The two performances on Saturday, each different in content, will showcase a total of 23 original works that have been choreographed and staged by various choreographers with highly acclaimed resumes as dancers, professionals and choreographers.

“I am excited to see the Showcase grow into an even larger event this year … displaying some of New Hampshire’s most talented dancers and choreographers,” said Patricia Lavoie, artistic director for Southern NH Youth Ballet and both founder and producer of the NH Choreographer’s Showcase.

Many of the companies appearing in this showcase have been performing throughout the various stages of New Hampshire for years. Ballet Misha, founded by director Amy Fortier in 2008, is the affiliate company of Dimensions in Dance. This young company will present three original works by choreographers Ashley Carrier, Mari Frederique-Streitburger and artistic director, Amy Fortier. Northern Ballet Theatre Youth Ensemble, established in 2000 by former director Doreen Cafarella, will present four original works, choreographed by artistic director, Tina Cassidy and Northern Ballet Theatre faculty members, Rebecca Powers and Tracy DiJulia.

Saving Grace Dance Ensemble, a liturgical dance ensemble, will present three contemporary pieces – one by its founding director, Robyn Goulette and two others by guest choreographers Ashley Walton and Steve Rooks.

New to this years’ showcase are City Center Ballet and Peterborough Dance Theatre. City Center Ballet is celebrating its 15th season and brings to the stage a romantic pas de deux from “Cinderella” choreographed by the company’s ballet master, Robert Royce. The newly formed Peterborough Dance Theatre, under the guidance of its director, Pati Cloutier, brings four original works to the showcase varying in styles from contemporary to tap to theater dance.

“The real stars on stage here are the works themselves and the choreographers that have crafted them,” Lavoie said. “This year’s showcase has grown so much that we’ve expanded our Showcase to two completely separate performances. In addition to the works presented by local companies, we also have pieces submitted by independent artists, Kristina Griffin and Heather Budinscak,” added Lavoie.”

Six pieces on the program have been staged exclusively for Southern NH Youth Ballet by choreographers Douglas Davis, Robyn Goulette, Ashley Walton, Bafana Matea and artistic director Patricia Lavoie. Davis and Goulette are both resident choreographers at Southern NH Dance Theater who have been staging works for the Youth Ballet for more than eight years. Goulette’s choreography credits include “The Prayer Basket,” which was chosen to perform opening night at the 2007 Regional Dance America’s National Festival in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Davis’ works Smetana Suite and Symphonic Variations were selected for Regional Dance America’s Northeast Festival in 2008 and 2010, respectively. New to the roster of artists working with the Southern New Hampshire Youth Ballet this year is Bafana Matea. Matea is no stranger to New Hampshire audiences as he has appeared as a guest artist in the Palace Theatre’s annual production of “The Nutcracker” for more then eight years.

“Our dancers were so excited to work with Mr. Matea this year. His original work ‘Lava,’ is truly a unique and innovative piece that I just know the audience will love,” Lavoie said.

And, of course, no Showcase would be complete without a new work from Ashley Walton. This is Walton’s sixth year working with SNHYB. Walton has received numerous awards for her choreography from Regional Dance America including the Monticello award, the Barbara Wiesenberger award, the Project Tier award and the National Choreographic award.

Join in for an inspiring afternoon and evening of dance at the NH Choreographer’s Showcase Saturday, March 15 at either 2 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at www.snhdt.org in advance for $15 per ticket or you can also purchase tickets at the door for $20. For more information visit www.snhdt.org.

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