The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought presents HATCHERY

The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought



A new pre-professional dance company is born!

Saturday, December 17, 7:30 PM
Sunday, December 18, 3:00 PM
SCDT Studios, 25 Main Street 4th floor, Northampton MA (across from Strong Avenue) $10 general admission, $5 students/seniors | No Reservations

SCDT directors Jennifer Polins and Barbie Diewald are proud to announce the premiere performance of Hatchery, the valley’s only independent pre-professional dance company for teens, ages 13-19. Hatchery begins a tradition of innovation and excellence in dance, showcasing student-generated choreography as well as dances created by renowned guest artists. Twelve student members will perform a range of dance styles including West African Dance and Drum, Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary and installation-based work. Professional guest artists include Kalpana Devi of the Black Rebels; Kate Seethaler, artistic director of skeleton collaborative and SCDT resident choreographer; Jorg Muller, professional juggler and acrobat from France; and artistic directors Jennifer Polins and Barbie Diewald. Also performing on the program is “Familiar Faces” Hip Hop group, joining us from Springfield, MA.

After directing PVPA’s Catalyst dancers for seventeen years, Polins knew she had to continue the work she found most rewarding and founded Hatchery in September 2016. Hatchery’s mission is to prepare young dancers from diverse backgrounds for the versatile demands of a professional dance career. In addition to studying with internationally acclaimed artists, students choreograph their own work, receive mentorship from experts in the field, and create dynamic, inspiring performance for the Pioneer Valley. Hatchery offers merit and need-based scholarships to exceptional students to make the program accessible to all. Hatchery’s 2016 company dancers are: Rose Cole-Cohen, Ashira Devi Dalomba, Sonai Donnell, Amelie Fisher, Seraphina Forman, Lila Gaffney, Clara Gudran, Zev Lane, Melle Lowenthal, Gabriella Mack, Sade Murray and Georgia Weaver.

Hatchery is a catalyst for young dancers to create the future of their dreams in dance. The growing company looks forward to spring 2017 commissions by renowned professional guest choreographers including Raja Feather Kelly (NYC-based artist and 2016 Solange MacArthur award recipient), Jennifer Nugent (Bessie Award-winning choreographer and former member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company), and local hip hop artist Alessandra Garcia. Students will also have access to SCDT’s entire spring line-up of artists, including Bebe Miller (Guggenheim Award-winning choreographer), Mariana Valencia (Movement Research Artist-in-Residence), and Katy Pyle (Artistic Director of Ballez).

Jennifer Polins is a curator, mobilizer, movement practitioner and performance maker, bridging somatics -performance practices- and contemporary dance techniques for over 25 years. Jen is the founding director of The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, founded Wire Monkey Dance, holds an MFA in dance from Hollins University/The American Dance Festival and is a 2014 MCC choreographic fellow. She has danced professionally in America and Europe, starting with the Joffrey Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and then the Zurich Operahouse Ballet companies before migrating to a professional career in contemporary performance art.

Described as a “consistent force in the vast scene of emerging contemporary choreographers (DanceInforma),” Barbie Diewald is a 2016 Bogliasco Fellow and the Associate Director of Programming at the School for Contemporary Dance & Thought in Northampton, MA. She holds an MFA in Dance from Smith College and is an adjunct professor of Dance at Keene State College. Her work has been supported by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, as well as residencies at Ponderosa (Germany), The Field, Dance NOW NYC and Chen Dance Center. She has performed extensively in New York and New England, including engagements at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Movement Research at Judson Church, the Kitchen and the 92nd Street Y.

The School of Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT) is comprised of independent and internationally experienced performance artists/movement practitioners who are also innovative teachers. The goal of SCDT is to serve as a hub by maintaining space for the local community and curating performance art of the highest quality by connecting communities on an international scale. SCDT showcases contemporary movement training and performance practices that embrace multiplicity, arouse curiosity, and emphasize personal choice. Central to the school’s mission is an abiding respect for the tradition and history of re invention and a directive to continue challenging established ideals. SCDT offers adult and youth programming in dance training that includes modern, ballet, hip hop, contemporary Indian dance, and improvisational techniques. The school creates a space for the creative process by regularly curating performances and workshops with established international performance practitioners. SCDT works collaboratively with Stephanie Maher and the Ponderosa TanzLand Festival outside of Berlin, Kathleen Hermesdorf and Alternativa in SanFrancisco, Jared Williams and The New Movement Collaborative in Boston and the Northampton Community Arts Trust. SCDT is affiliated with the Northampton Community Arts Trust and is working to maintain the space at 25 Main in Northampton as a vibrant community arts space for the greater pioneer valley.

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