Ballet choreographers showcase their talents

Thursday, March 14, 2013

DERRY – Saving Grace Dance Ensemble of Milford will be among the featured companies at the Southern NH Dance Youth Ballet presentation, the N.H. Choreographer’s Showcase, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, at the Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy in Derry.

The evening will showcase 12 original works that have been choreographed and staged by various choreographers with acclaimed resumes as dancers, professionals and choreographers.

“This evening is truly a celebration of how far dance has grown over the years right here in New Hampshire,” said Patricia Lavoie, artistic director for Southern NH Youth Ballet, and founder and producer of the NH Choreographer’s Showcase.

A collaboration

The performance is a unique collaboration of 11 choreographers and six local companies, including Ballet Misha of Manchester, Paper Moon Dance Center of Nashua, Northern Ballet Theatre Youth Ensemble of Nashua, dSun Dance Experience from Windham, Saving Grace Dance Ensemble of Milford and Southern NH Youth Ballet of Bedford. This is the first time a large collection of dance companies, choreographers and dancers have come together to display their talents. From classical ballet to tap, ballroom and contemporary dance – this performance will feature an array of genres from artists of local and national reputations.

Many of the companies appearing in this showcase have been performing throughout the various New Hampshire stages for years. Saving Grace Dance Ensemble, a liturgical dance ensemble, founded by director Robyn Goulette, will present a contemporary piece by guest choreographer Ashley Walton. Ballet Misha, founded by director Amy Fortier in 2008, is the affiliate company of Dimensions in Dance. This young company will present an original work choreographed by Ashley Carrier, a dancer, instructor and member of Ballet Misha. Northern Ballet Theatre Youth Ensemble, established in 2000 by former director Doreen Cafarella, will present two original works, a lively Tarantella choreographed by the company’s new artistic director, Tina Cassidy, and a trio choreographed by Tracy DiJulia of Paper Moon Dance Center of Nashua will take the stage with a collection of Ballroom dances.

Showcase expanded

“The real stars on stage here are the works themselves and the choreographers that have crafted them,” Lavoie said. “We really expanded the Showcase this year to include a wider variety of dance styles. We also have pieces submitted by independent artists, Tracy DiJulia, Kristina Griffin and David Sun.”

Five pieces on the program have been staged exclusively for Southern NH Youth Ballet by its resident choreographers Lynn Cote, Douglas Davis, Robyn Goulette and guest choreographer Ashley Walton.

Douglas Davis and Robyn Goulette both resident choreographers at Southern NH Dance Theater, have been staging works for the SNHYB for more than seven 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, Pennsylvania. Davis’ works “Smetana Suite & Symphonic Variations” were selected for Regional Dance America’s Northeast Festival in 2008 and 2010 respectively.

This is guest choreographer Ashley Walton’s fifth year working with SNHYB. Over the years, Walton has received numerous awards for choreography from Regional Dance America including the Monticello Award, the Barbara Wiesenberger Award, the Project Tier Award and the National Choreographic Award.

Tickets for the showcase are available at; advance tickets are $15 per ticket or $20 at the door. For more information, visit

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