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Howard County Community Dance Festival Tomorrow and Sunday Events

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Dance Pros Will Chase Away the Winter Blahs

For local aficionados who cherish those rare professional dance appearances in Columbia, note two unique concerts this weekend. Misako Ballet Company celebrates its 10th anniversary in a multi-facet retrospective program featuring guest artists from Japan this Sunday afternoon at the Jim Rouse Theater Sunday. Another local highlight will surely be the Howard County Community Dance Festival Gala Concert Saturday evening at Howard Community College.

The Misako Ballet Studio in Columbia opened in 2003 with just a handful of dedicated students. Today, dancers from all around the country come to study with the quiet but resolute woman who trained in London, danced professionally in Asia, and toured the world with a string of renowned ballet performers.

Four years later, Misako Aoki formed a professional ballet company, many of the originals still dancing with their mentor. In 2015 she opened her Misako Beats studio in neighboring Marriottsville, another outlet for her storied ballets, influenced by her homeland in the Japanese Islands.

“Misako has an eye for details and impeccable phrasing,” dance icon Eva Anderson told Misako’s multi-faceted troupe at a recent rehearsal. “Her movement is elegant and you must capture that in your dancing. Keep in touch with the feeling of unlimited power in this dance. The message is to appreciate life and to soar as long as you can.”

And soar they do. Company dancers Amanda Wade, Melissa Lineburg, and Jessica Markiewicz zip in and out of formation in the classical variations. Guest Artists Fumihito Shimizu and Eriko Tokura Murray fly across the Marley floor. Never has the company looked better.

“I have always loved seeing the audiences’ faces after shows and the astonishment and awe,” Misako reminds her fans. “For me, it’s the total performance that makes a difference…when it all comes together, I am moved.”

The Misako Ballet Company presents Perspectives at the Jim Rouse Theatre – 5460 Trumpeter Road, in Columbia, MD, on Sunday, February 19, 2017, at 2 p.m. For tickets, purchase them online. For more information, go to their website.

Japanese guest artists, Fumihito Shimizu, Tsubasa Nishioka, and Kayo Noguchi will take park in a children’s workshop at The Misako Ballet Studio – 5485 Harpers Farm Road, in Columbia, MD, on Saturday, February 25, 2017,  from 1-3 p.m.

They then travel to Farmland Elementary School – 7000 Old Gate Road, in Rockville, MD on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. For tickets, call (410) 884-9690, or visit their website.

Howard Community College will be overflowing with Terpsichore for 9th annual Community Dance Festival. Area students are welcome to participate in the two-day event that includes master classes, workshops, lectures, demonstrations, a Saturday evening concert, and a Sunday afternoon showcase. HCC dance director Joan Walker calls this event, “a way of reaching out to the community to those interested in the many aspects of dance.”

For serious dance fans, it’s the Saturday gala concert at HCC’s Smith Theater to note. Six East Coast contemporary dance companies will be represented with a mélange of styles like the snappy footwork of Furia Flamenca, real contemporary moves by Ricki Huff & Gabby David or Deviated Theatre with its fabulous, offbeat dances. Dissonance Dance Theatre takes its classical ballet company to new heights – love the sexy guys in this company. Elizabeth Terschuur from DC’ City Dance offers choreography with a light airy feel and a bit of humor to delight all ages. Topping off the night will be the HCC Dance Company and guest artist Jess Beach.

The 9th Annual Howard County Community Dance Festival Gala Concert will be held in HCC’s Smith Theatre, Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center – 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, in Columbia, MD, on Saturday, February 18, 2017, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10, and are available at the door. Call (443) 518-1500, or purchase them online.

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