DRAFT IN PROGRESS FOR
ISSUE #2, OCTOBER 2011
Footprints is the Newsletter of Port City Dance Academy and Felicità. We welcome all suggestions and contributions to Footprints. Let us know what you are doing, upcoming or ongoing events, thoughts, ideas... Forward all information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. From the Leading Ladies, a.k.a. the Hag Bag!
2. Just a thought
3. Spotlight on...Ron Lees
4. A Five Minute interview with Georgia Rondos
5. Upcoming Events
6. Applause & Reverence
From the Leading Ladies, a.k.a. the Hag Bag!
Vibrant - that’s my one word summary of life at Port City Dance Academy since Footprints #1!
From the long list of activities and events since last October, the highlights that immediately spring to mind include our celebrations of Georgia Rondos’ work and Tara Butler’s ‘retirement’, Liam Caines’ residency, Karen Galbraith’s homecoming, and a recent unexpected visit from Stephen Ring.
Now we’re in the full throes of Nutcracker, and ever so grateful to Fred Ross and Stephen and Pamela Ring for giving us permission to reproduce the beautiful Girl With Shell on the posters for The Nutcracker and The Girl With The Shell. There are far too many exciting tidbits of information relating to this year’s extra special Nutcracker, so you’ll just have to check them all out on the NUTCRACKER page of our website.
Following closely on the heels of Nutcracker will be Winterfest I; the highly anticipated BLACK BOX concert formerly known as the December In-Studio Show. Jane Alison McKinney has graciously offered to step into the role of Director for Winterfest I, allowing Georgia and me to sit back in the co-producer’s lazy boy chairs with a coconut-shell cup, a little pink paper parasol, and a straw. (Okay, maybe rocking chairs and nice cup of tea.) If you’ll be in Saint John on December 29, contact Jane Alison about what you’ll perform – or come and sit with the producers!
Plans are well underway for the spring concerts, and much planning and preparing has already been done for Summer 2012. Together with Liam we’re planning “Residency, the Sequel”, and the ROOP call to artists has gone out for Summer Company activities.
Summer 2011 was outstanding – big shoes for Summer 2012 to fill! To everyone who taught, danced, learned, and created – THANK YOU! I hope all of our “old gang” know how much we appreciate hearing from you. The projects, ideas, collaborations and support that you bring to PCDA/F & ROOP are greatly appreciated, as are your visits, emails, and updates via social media. Keep them coming!
Lastly, I would welcome you to share any ideas you have about how to make this newsletter a quarterly or biannual affair instead of an annual one!
Love to you all,
My thanks to everyone who took part in this summer’s dancing bodies Rondos Out of Proportion Dance Co. dance festival. The success of the show was made possible because of the enthusiasm and hard work everyone put in. Unfortunate that the success of the show got so little attention from the press but your insightful and supportive feedback made up for that.
Rondos OoP Dance Co. presented the film Dance Images From New Brunswick, the coat, the wrap, the hankie… at the Saint John Arts Centre, Tompkins Hall, Oct. 1, 2011, 4:00-5:00 p.m. as part of N.B. Culture Days.
Jane Alison McKinney will perform Pink (work in progress) created this past summer, at Magpie Dances, Oct. 4, Toronto, Ontario. Also on that day, tune in to CBC’s Information Morning, where Jane Alison will be interviewed as part of the Saint Johner away series.
Rondos OoP Dance Co. has put out CALL TO ARTIST and completed two grant applications so far, for upcoming new work titled Shades of Pastel to be completed by summer 2012.
Just a thought…
We have been thinking for a long while that the time and effort you put into your dance studies should be (or should have been) recognized on your high school transcript. Some preliminary research is complete, and further investigation is ongoing into the idea of having some really excellent dance courses in our local public high schools. If you know a teacher, if you are a teacher, if you are studying to be a teacher, or if you have other knowledge and/or skills to help with this vital and interesting project, please contact Andrea Scott and/or Georgia Rondos.
Local high schools are currently offering a wonderful array of courses, including; culinary studies, choral studies, history of rock and roll, theatre arts, visual arts, 122 music, 112 art, AP studio art, photography, media studies, theatre arts… Ballet and modern dance belong on the list.
Ron Lees, father of Miranda, husband of Li-Hong Xu, UNB professor, and musican…
Miranda Lees has been a student at PCDA for almost as long as I can remember. Miranda’s mother, a professor of physics at UNBSJ, is an active member of the arts community in Saint John. Aside from being Miranda’s mum, which in itself makes her an active member of the local arts community, Li-Hong is very involved with the Chinese Cultural Association and the Chinese dancers, and she is currently a member of the Saint John Community Arts Board.
In this issue, however, we are highlighting the contribution of Ron Lees, father of Miranda and husband of Li-Hong. Dr. Ronald Lees is a physics professor at UNBSJ by day, and a singer/guitar player by night. Well, not every night, but three nights last August Dr. Lees led the dancing bodies house choir in the famous Peter Paul & Mary song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone. An old song given new life as the accompaniment for Georgia Rondos’ work, Flowers, which was remounted for dancing bodies & Rondos Out of Proportion.
Here is what Ron had to say about db & ROoP…
Dear Georgia and Andrea,
I just want to convey my thanks and admiration for the remarkable performances at the Rondos Out of Proportion dance festival last week. In my earlier days in Fredericton with the UNB Creative Arts Committee, we regularly brought in some of the major contemporary dance companies across Canada, and I remember many wonderful shows with the Toronto Dance Theatre, the Danny Grossman Company and the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers. I thought the breadth of innovation and the talent of the dancers in your retrospective certainly was in the same class as the big companies, and it was an incredibly satisfying experience. I am not sure of the origin of the name of your company, but in my view the quality, breadth and emotional range of the choreography are certainly well "out of proportion" when comparing the size of Saint John with the other large centres of Canada, and a tremendous testament to the lively cultural spirit and atmosphere that you have done so much to help foster here. Congratulations on a terrific show and a truly admirable collection of works.
All the best, Ron Lees
Ronald M. Lees
Centre for Laser, Atomic and Molecular Sciences (CLAMS)
University of New Brunswick
100 Tucker Park Road
Saint John, NB, Canada E2L 4L5
Georgia’s reply to Ron…
You did a magnificent job in the show. Thank you so much for the insightful feedback, I appreciate it very much.
Rondos Out of Proportion Dance Theatre
To which Ron humbly replied…
Thank you for your kind words. It was really fun to contribute in a small way to the show - I was sorry that with Miranda's schedule I couldn't watch it all 3 nights. I did have strong encouragement from my family to seek very high performance standards - I believe their actual words were "Try not to suck too much!" I look forward with great anticipation to see what will be in your next festival. I might say I particularly enjoyed the concept and Tara Butler's stunning performance in "Rendezvous" - how did you persuade that seagull to fly by at just the right moment?
Thanks and all the best, Ron
Well, Ron, we are grateful for the contribution you made to our shows. The time and talent of everyone involved made for a very special event. We are also very grateful to you, and to so many others, for taking the time to share your feedback with us. The feedback we have received about our activities during summer 2011 has been outstanding – encouraging us to believe that we are achieving excellence in educating, training, innovating, challenging, and inspiring.
Ron, this little video clip is for you...
WE ARE EXPERIENCING
PLEASE ENJOY THIS PHOTO
OF TARA BUTLER AND
GEORGIA RONDOS IN
REHEARSAL WHILE OUR
ENGINEERS ATTEMPT TO
RECTIFY THIS RATHER
Andrea’s five minute interview with Jane Alison McKinney...
Question: What is your favourite memory of Port City Dance Academy and Felicita?
Answer: There are so many memories, too many to pick one favourite.
Q: What is your funniest memory of PCDA & F?
A: One day Georiga & I were having rehearsal, creating Gnossiennes. The first bit was two steps backwards. After Georgia stopped me for the sixth time Sinéad was killing herself laughing.
Q: Do you remember a sad day at PCDA?
A: Seth’s mom wouldn’t let me have a cat in the studio and I really wanted to have one.
Q: What was your best meal in the last two weeks?
A: Oh man, I’ve had some really dcrappy meals. Sinéad made me some Greek thing, mousaka,.it was good.
Q: If you could be any cartoon character, whom would you be?
A: I’d probably be a mix of Sally & Lucy from Charlie Brown.
Q: How about Georgia – which cartoon character would she be?
A: Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus.
Q: Any pieces/roles you didn’t dance that you wish you had?
Q: Any roles you did dance that you wish you hadn’t?
A: I’ll say no, because they all make for good memories, but maybe I’d say Slavonic dancer #5.
Q: A personal best?
A: The Coat.
Q: If you could change one thing, what would it be?
Q: Okay, if you could change two things?
A: Two nothings.
Q: Favourite composer, choreographer, visual artist, actor or movie, magician, author or book, and TV talk show host?
A: John Stewart.
Q: Any nostalgic thoughts about your time at PCDA?
A: Oh, so many.
Q: Anything to add?
A: Rock on!
November 19, 2011 – on behalf of PCDA Christine Bamford is organizing and decorating our float for the Christmas Parade. Anyone who would like to participate should get in touch with Tina! By the way, last year our float ran away with first prize for churches and organizations. (Who says PCDA is not a competition school?!)
November 19, 2011 – (yes, the same day as the parade) National Ballet School audition tour presenting open classes at Port City Dance Academy.
November 20, 2011 – NBS auditions at PCDA
December 3rd and 4th, 2011 – In partnership with Foundation Glycosylation and the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation, PCDA/F will be presenting The Nutcracker & The Girl With The Shell at Théâtre Louis Vermeersch (Samuel de Champlain). Special guest artist, Liam Caines from Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
December 28, 2011 – Special workshop with Jane Alison McKinney. Details will be posted on the website soon.
December 29, 2011 – Winterfest I, in the BLACK BOX studio-theatre.
Sometime in March or April – the annual BLACK BOX show of works and student works.
May 19 – PCDA Annual Spring Recital. We’re not quite ready to reveal the theme for this year’s recital, so don’t tell anyone that it’s most likely Vivaldi’s Four Seasons!
June – Liam’s residency begins
July – and Summer Company events, and ROoP dances…
April 24, 2013 – RWB performs in Saint John (only 567 more sleeps)!
Applause & Reverence…
Yay Jane Alison – congratulations on your Italian gig!