BalletNova Center for Dance will present a Global Dance Showcase, featuring ethnic dance companies from around the DC metro region. The performances will be held in the Fredgren Studio Theatre – a 150-seat black box theatre located in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Northern Virginia.
Why such cross-cultural arts programing? Well, Northern Virginia is one of the most diverse regions in the country with a population representing countries from around the globe as well as a wealth of cultural organizations embodying many cultures. With support from the Arts Council of Fairfax County’s Global Arts Initiative, BalletNova will showcase the diversity of Northern Virginia through the medium of dance.
For BalletNova, by presenting dance from around the world, “We hope to expose audience members to new forms and cultures, provide another venue for ethnic dance companies, and celebrate our county’s cultural diversity.”
BalletNova’s Global Dance Showcase will specifically highlight four dance companies including:
-> Furia Flamenca, a Spanish flamenco dance company.
-> Nomad Dancers, a collective inspired by dance traditions of Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, India, and Turkey.
-> Four Seasons Dance Group presenting dances from Armenia and Russia.
-> Jayantika Dance Company that specializes in Odissi dance from India.
The Global Dance Showcase will be performed on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. The Arts Council of Fairfax County’s Global Arts Initiative received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support diverse cultural arts programming by ethnic and immigrant communities throughout Fairfax County.
I interviewed Ballet Nova’s Artistic Director Laveen Naidu to learn more about the upcoming Global Dance Showcase.
David Siegel: Why did you want to become the Artistic Director of BalletNova?
Laveen Naidu: I am passionate about the power dance possesses to inspire and build community. Having been a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher, and for the last 10 years an Arts Executive, I felt joining BalletNova as artistic director would give me the opportunity to work with a talented faculty and administration toward creating an exciting center for dance excellence in Northern Virginia.
What was the inspiration for BalletNova’s Global Dance Showcase?
There is a vast and rich history of dance around the globe just like there are residents of Northern Virginia and the greater DC Metro area who have roots in a great many countries–the Global Dance Showcase celebrates the area’s cultural tapestry and brings people of different backgrounds together to experience high quality performances in our state-of-the-art Fredgren Theater.
Why is it important for audiences to be exposed to different forms of dance and cultures?
I think it broadens our perspective when we are exposed to new forms and ideas. Imbedded in the dances of different cultures is the “cultural DNA” of its people. The temperament, movement, music and sometimes narrative allows us–the audience–to experience a part of that culture in a unique way. We often find things we like and perhaps could further explore more or we may not “get it,” which is great because it is the start of a conversation!
Can you tell us a bit about the music performed in the Global Dance Showcase?
Music is an integral part of the experience and will be different for each dance. You will hear a wide variety of music from the more melodic to high energy percussion. The rhythms vary quite a bit among cultures and it is often intriguing to see how the dancers interpret the music with all parts of the bodies.
How would you like audiences to feel during the performances of Global Dance Showcase?
I hope the audience feels a wide range of emotions–live performance is captivating especially when it is high quality–it can take you on quite a journey.
Why do you think that audiences “hunger” to attend dance performances?
The exquisite detail, concentration and sheer physical effort is captivating– once you have experienced dance live there are few other things that can compare. I also think enjoying a live performance with others gives us a feeling of community and bonding–we are after all, social animals.
If you could invite audiences to the Global Dance Showcase, what would you say to them?
I would say make it a social outing–invite a few friends, come to the performance and then grab a bite to eat afterwards. I bet you will have lots of new stuff to talk about (or post on social media.)
BalletNova’s Global Dance Showcase will be performed on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 7:30 p.m at Fredgren Studio Theatre at the BalletNova Center for Dance – 3443 Carlin Springs Road, in Falls Church, VA. For information and to purchase tickets, call (703) 778-3008, or purchase them online.
In the Moment: An Interview with the Fredgren Studio Theatre (which opened in September 2014) by David Siegel.