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NR

Washington, D.C.’s Dance Magazine

Modern Dance in Washington, D.C. New Kid In Town: Contemporary Ballet Food Fuel for Dancers Dancer Ja Kylah Lewis talks about school and dance Hip Hop and Concert Dance Is It Blending?

www.ngomareader.org

Mar/Apr 2015


Dissonance Dance Theatre

Winter/Spring 2015 Productions WINTERSTEPS

This one-night evening of dance features new works by Dance Theatre of Harlem-veteran Michelle Sloan, Abraham.In.Motion apprentice, now-principal choreographer of the Red Project Johnnie Mercer, Ailey II veteran Torens Johnson, and Dissonance Dance Theatre’s Principal Choreographer/Producing Artistic Director Shawn Short. Saturday January 24, 2015 8:00pm Tickets @ $15!

On the Fifth*

Pointe shoes, pop music and contemporary dance still adorn the stage in DDT’s new production, On The Fifth. Missouri Ballet Theatre’s Founder/Artistic Director Adam Sage present DDT’s first classical pointe work, Baroque Fantasy. With his infinity for regal footwork, complex lifts and strong lines, Dissonance Dance Theatre’s Founder/Artistic Director Shawn Short unveils his new twerk music-infused pas de deux, Plyo and evening length work, Stitch. Presented as part of the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival, February 20-March 7, 2015. Sunday, March 1, 2015, 5:30pm Tickets @ $22!

Black to Silver: A Black LGBT Experience*

Experience the beauty and heartfelt energy of Dissonance Dance Theatre latest production, Black to Silver: Sons of Baldwin. Black to Silver (now in its third year), is a multidisciplinary arts production that examines and explores interpersonal relationships, identity and love within the African-American LGBT community. Saturday, April 11, 2015, 8pm Sunday, April 12, 2015, 7pm Tickets @$15

Tickets are available for purchase at www.ddtdc.org *Ticket sales start after Jan 24, 2015

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Dance Metro DC Your Dance Community Auditions, News, Performances and more...

www.dancemetrodc.org

Ngoma Reader Magazine Partner

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Ngoma Reader__Table of Contents Volume 2 Issue 2 Feature

24 She Dances, She Lives Award-winning choreographer 7 Has Washington Roxanne Morgan D.C. become the new Rowley has seen east coast hub for many peaks and modern dance? Local choreographers valleys throughout her weigh in on career. She speaks beginnings, growth, challenges, and future candidly on her experiences in our aspirations. Director Spotlight By Damon Foster By Donovan Johnson 14 Contemporary Photography Feature ballet is gaining 17 Our Dancer momentum in the Spotlight, Ja Kylah nation’s capital. Lewis along with What’s fueling the Moyston Henry Jr, of creation of non-traditional ballet Dissonance Dance Theater show off their works? hy: In the Studio pg. 18 lines Compiled by Staff By Shawn Short Writers

Health 30 The Healthy Ballerina Dancers need fuel. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts By Paul Medina Dancer Spotlight

Opinion Hip Hop Fused With Classical Form 33 Hip Hop blends with styles of old and continues to grow locally. By Chris Law

31 The Bubbly Bunhead 14 year-old Ja Kyla Lewis lights up every time she moves across the floor. The high school junior opens up about her aspirations and and why dance is her “happy place.”

Cover Photography by Shawn Short Dancer: Ja Kylah Lewis

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NR Washington, D.C.’s Dance Magazine

Editor In Chief/Publisher Shawn Short

sshort@ngoma-center-for-dance.org

Editor Damon Foster

dfoster@ngoma-center-for-dance.org Contributing Writers and Editors Stephen Clapp Derek Clemente Damon Foster Ingrid Graham Donovan Johnson Tyler Lewis Tehreema Mitha Shawn Short Staff Photographers Jeremiah Jones Jade Enders Shawn Short Sergey Apasov

For advertisement information and news submissions, please email: NRmagazine@ngoma-center-for-dance.org

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Stay Connected Sign up for the Ngoma Newsletter

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Dance Ethos Photo Courtesy of Amanda Kilgour

A Modern Way of Moving Local Choreographers Speak on the Growth of Modern Dance in D.C. Written By Damon Foster Pg 7


Ask choreographer Jane Franklin what comes to mind when modern dance is mentioned—it’s not shapes, not lines, not flashy stages, not music—it’s people. Engaging people. Bringing dance to the “everyday” people, creating an accessibility to an art form that can seem as intimidating as it is entertaining. Franklin, who founded her company Jane Franklin Dance, believes her sentiments are largely echoed amongst local choreographers, and the ideology along with availability studios spaces in which to create, is fueling the growth of modern dance in the Washington D.C. “It’s great to see dance continue to thrive in whatever form. People are going in multiple directions with movement, whether that is in movement-based theatre, on the street, on video, or with specialization in a style of movement,” said. “There seems to be more real estate suddenly on the scene, which means more places to study dance, teach dance, rehearse and perform. People are more than ever interested in creating non-traditional performances such as outdoors for festivals or for collaborations that move into multiple artistic disciplines. Festivals like Capital Fringe and Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival additionally contribute a lot, making it feasible for artists to present work in well-equipped theatrical venues without having to take on the full financial obligation.” Another such space that features modern dance on a continuous basis is Dance Place. Located in the Brookland community in Northeast Washington D.C., Dance Place has been a mainstay in the local dance artists to both take classes and present work since 1978. Venue features national and international dance artists as well. Dance Place founder Carla Perlo, says the growing number of local venues and studios, gives the Greater Washington D.C. metro area an advantage over other urban dance metropolises located on the east coast. “Dancers want to dance. They want to share their dance. More venues equals more opportunities for dancers to do what the love most,” Perlo said. “The growth of modern dance in the city is excellent. DC is becoming more and more an alternative as a home base instead of NY or Philadelphia. D.C.’s close proximity to those

cities, makes the region attractive to artists who desire live on the east coast.” From the Beginning Although the city is known amongst local performing artist circles as a “theatre town”, dance has seen its share of “good times” in the nation’s capital. Choreographer and educator Tyrone Murray, 65, who was one the original faculty members of Dance Place, has witnessed four decades of transitions for dance in the area. “Coming from an African-American perspective, the 1970s was a time period of awakening for dance in D.C.,” he said. “In the aftermath of the riots of the late 60s, people needed a creative outlet and the government was more generous in awarding grants to artists. I think that fueled the fire. “There was this synergy about D.C. as venues like Dance Place and Dance Exchange, and later on Joy of Motion Dance Center all became more established. Dancers had more option in terms of studio spaces where they could to hone their craft.” Six days of riots erupted in Washington D.C. following the assassination of Civil Rights Movement leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a teaching opportunity at Dance Exchange, founded my by Liz Lerman, that brought a then young Vincent Thomas to Washington D.C. from North Carolina. Now age 51, Thomas has been fixture in the modern dance community since the late 90s. He recalls the general camaraderie amongst dancers at that time. “The modern dance community was very eclectic and very communal, “ Thomas said. “At that time what connected us where classes. It was through taking various classes that I met a lot of dancers that I probably would have not crossed paths with. Some of those bonds I made are still current in my life. To me that is the uniqueness of the dance community in DC at large.” Thomas is an associate professor at Towson University and also faculty at Joy of Motion Dance Center. Story continued on page 11.

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“The biggest challenge is getting an audience. There are so many forms of entertainment at your finger tips where you don’t have to show up at a specific date & time,“ she said. “But attending a live performance is not a ‘call it in’ experience, you do have to show up to a live performance to enjoy the power of viewing it with other people. And the other challenge is the continuing hunt for real estate; as in booking a theatre that is affordable, near public transportation.” - Jane Franklin, Choreographer, Founder of Jane Franklin Dance

Dance Ethos Photo Courtesy of Amanda Kilgour

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“Artistically, you have to keep your well full. Get out take advantage of what classes are available. Go to other artists’ shows. Let yourself be inspired. You don’t have to be a fan of a particular artist or work to learn something from the experience,” - Carla Perlo, Founder of Dance Place

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Jane Franklin Dance Photo Courtesy of Andrew Bossi

Professional vs. Community Arts A continuous debate among modern dance artists, is how to classify modern dance at large in Washington D.C. Is it industry-standard professional or more community based where the emphasis is not on large scale productions like a Nutcraker or Chicago, but rather creating intimate performance experiences in non-traditional venues (i.e. theater houses). Non-traditional venues often include outdoor open public spaces. For Franklin, who creates works “I believe modern dance in DC can be classified as both - Professionally in the studios and on the stage, community in outdoor performances flash mobs, in the schools, parks and recreation centers,” she said. “I live believe that it is important to be engaged in both. Just because it is community does not mean it is not professional. Community to me means access and nontraditional spaces.”

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Creating and performing work that is accessible to the non-dancer audience member is part of the mission of Haughn’s DanceEthos, founded in 2010. From the start, building community ties artistically through collaborations with other choreographers, companies, etc has been a strong emphasis. She asserted that defining modern dance in Washington D.C. is partly a matter of financial health of the artists. “If you are defining professional arts by whether or not the artist can solely support themselves through their art, then definitely not for the DC area. I don’t know any choreographer or performer that is sustaining themselves without supplementing with teaching or some other type of work,” she said. “However, that is how the dance world operates in almost every city across the US. But we have many professional level artists in this city who are creating high-quality work, even as they navigate the financial challenges of making a living in DC.”


Current Day Challenges Members of the modern dance community share more than just their love of movement. They also share the ongoing struggle to produce more quality shows, affording more reputable venues, in efforts to reach new audiences. Franklin believes that it is incumbent of the local dance community to fight to win new fans of modern dance. “The biggest challenge is getting an audience. There are so many forms of entertainment at your finger tips where you don’t have to show up at a specific date & time,“ she said. “But attending a live performance is not a ‘call it in’ experience, you do have to show up to a live performance to enjoy the power of viewing it with other people. And the other challenge is the continuing hunt for real estate; as in booking a theatre that is affordable, near public transportation.” Tiffany Haughn, founder and artistic director of Dance Ethos, further expounded that as the cost of living increases in the city, finances at the heart of a majority of modern dance entities, not just in Washington DC, but throughout the greater DMV region.

“It is so difficult as a choreographer to find affordable space to rehearse and create in. I find myself choreographing in my kitchen because I cannot afford to rent a studio to create and can barely cover the costs of rehearsing,” said Haughn. “Performance space is also a major financial difficulty. Dance Place is the only theater in the area that offers a high quality professional theater ready equipped for dance, crew and staff for affordable rates. Most other popular venues are expensive enough that many smaller dance companies cannot afford to rent the theater for both a technical rehearsal and the performance, so there is not enough rehearsal time in the theater to adequately prep for the show.” Both Perlo and Haughn admonish both current and aspiring dance artists to look toward partnerships, terms of producing and presenting works, to curtail heavy financial obligations. “Everyone is so strapped for time and since collaboration tends to make every task take a bit longer, since you need to compromise and find agreement on every issue, I think most shy away from it. But the end product is so worth it. We all thrive and grow so much more when we reach outside of our own little bubbles,” Haughn said.

Vincent Thomas Dance Photo Courtesy of Vincent Thomas

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Jane Franklin Dance Photo Courtesy of Andrew Bossi Perlo advises that for modern dance artists to make themselves more attractive for said collaborations and partnerships, continuous professional development is needed both on the creative end and the administration end. “Artistically, you have to keep your well full. Get out take advantage of what classes are available. Go to other artists’ shows. Let yourself be inspired. You don’t have to be a fan of a particular artist or work to learn something from the experience,” Perlo said. “Administratively, the two most effective skills all artists need are bookkeeping and marketing. I think people are instinctively hesitant to partner with organizations that lack strong history of financial management and/or marketing capacity. This is the non-glamorous side of being artist in today market. But the work must be done.

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Pointe This Way

The Rise of Contemporary Ballet Companies in D.C. Area Compiled by Staff Writers The Jones-Haywood School in 1941 by Doris Jones and Claire H. Haywood created the Capital Ballet in 1961. Mary Day created the Washington School of Ballet in 1944 and its pre-eminent company The Washington Ballet in 1976. Both organization brought their love of ballet to Washingtonians. According to Wikipedia, George Balanchine is often considered to have been the first pioneer of contemporary ballet. Categorized by the use of classical ballet and modern dance elements, contemporary ballet employs the fundamental technique and body control principles of both styles but permits a greater range of movement than classical ballet and may not adhere to the strict body line of turnout that permeate classical technique. Decades later five contemporary ballet call D.C. home: DC Contemporary Dance Theatre, Bowen McCauley Dance, Dissonance Dance Theatre, Moveius Contemporary Ballet, and Chamber Dance Project, Dancers and Musicians. Under the direction of Founder Miya Hisaka, DC Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDDCT) has been a mainstay in D.C. for over 30 years. DCCDT was also one of the first tenants in the Stables Arts Center, and soon became involved with important City issues, such as the redevelopment of the Gallery Row, 14th and T Arts Districts, and the renovation of the Lincoln Theatre.

Dissonance Dance Theatre Photo Courtesy of Shawn Short

Continued on page 15

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Within their first year, DCCDT became one of the first local, ethnic companies to have a regular season at the Kennedy Center, Dance Place and the first Add Arts Festival. DCCDT brought international acclaim to the District when they were selected as cultural ambassadors to represent Washington, DC to the world, with a ten-year tour sponsored by the State Department and the Sister Cities Cultural Exchange Program taking them from Thailand, Jordon to the Dominican Republic. DCCDT’s School, The 8th Street Studio (in the Stables Arts Center); it soon became a training center for some of the City’s most gifted and talented African American, Latino and Asian dancers. The Company became a feeding ground to major companies, such as the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, Philadanco, along with their counterparts, Cleo Parker Robinson, Dayton Contemporary Dance Theatre, and Lulu Washington. Hisaka also mentored much of DC’s dance leadership such as Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Douglas Yeuell, Juan Carlos Rincones, Lucy Bowen McCauley, Shawn Short, and others, in the creation of their own institutions. For 19 years Bowen McCauley Dance (BMD) has energized broadly diverse audiences with inventive and vibrant choreography – a fusion of contemporary and classical techniques set to a sweeping range of musical styles. Founded in 1996 by Lucy Bowen McCauley, this Maryland Youth Ballet resident partner is rooted in Silver Spring and Alexandria, Virgina. Committed to sharing the joy of dance with people of all ages and ability, BMD has instituted outreach programs that, as evidenced by thoughtful feedback, have touched the lives of thousands. Bowen McCauley dance is the only dance company in the Metropolitan-DC area to provide Dance for PD, free weekly dance classes for people with Parkinson Disease and their care-takers. BMD has continued to fulfill its mission, bringing the joy of dance to people from Virginia to New York, and as far away as China, Mexico, and Germany. Lucy has choreographed more than 85 original pieces and has collaborated with the best artists from a variety of fields. Live music not only is a strong element to the performances of BMD but is an integral part of BMD’s guiding philosophy. Now in its eight season, Dissonance Dance Theatre is the flagship and resident professional dance company of Ngoma Center for Dance. Dissonance brings with it professional dancers who inspire, interact

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with, educate and entertain Ngoma Center for Dance students — as well as the Washington, D.C., community-at-large. Dissonance Dance Theatre serves as an ambassador for Ngoma locally and nationally. Moreover, Dissonance provides emerging choreographers of merit the opportunity to work with professional dancers within the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and to further their development as artists. The company uses dance to challenge what audiences assume about the human experience, and develops contemporary and classically trained artists. Founded in 2007 by Founder/Producing Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Shawn Short. The company serves as Mr. Short’s laboratory to explore contemporary dance that reflects reality through narrative, movement and formal acting elements. It is a vehicle that helps him to fulfill his personal mission of inspiring contemporary artists who are looking to use their talents and develop their professional skills. Since its inception, Dissonance has been nominated for several awards by the local dance organization, Dance Metro DC; debuted in New York at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange; was recognized by the Capital Fringe Festival as one of the “Top 5 Performances to Watch”; and has been fiscally sponsored through the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) since 2009. Dissonance Dance Theatre has performed the works of Shawn Short in New York City, Wisconsin, and Columbus, Ohio The 2010’s brought in two new companies with founders from outside of D.C. MOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet was founded in 2010 by North Carolina native Diana Moveius. Moveius strives to catalyze the creation and public presentation of innovative, accessible, and thoughtful contemporary ballet. MOVEIUS officially became Montgomery County, Maryland’s only contemporary ballet company in 2013 and is committed to bringing diverse, ballet-based choreography to DC metro audiences. Since its inception, MOVEIUS has performed in a variety of venues in Maryland, DC, Virginia, and North Carolina, including Dance Place, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, the GALA Theatre at Tivoli Square, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in DC,


and the Booth Playhouse in Charlotte, North Carolina. MOVEIUS has received critical acclaim and enthusiastic press coverage from Washington Post, Huffington Post, DC Metro Theater Arts, Charlotte Observer, and others.

MOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet Photo Courtesy of Sasha Fornari

Chamber Dance Project, dancers & musicians,(CDPDM) is a company of professional artists dedicated to redefining contemporary ballet in partnership with live music in intimate settings heightening the impact on audiences. Founded originally in New York City by Artistic Director Diane Coburn Bruning CDPDM is dedicated to sharing our art and exposing it to a diverse audience not otherwise afforded the opportunity. The company moved to Washington, D.C. in 2014. Our work is a celebration of outstanding artists and designers collaborating on works which have a contemporary relevance and resonance. It’s devoted to supporting the creation of new choreographic works and musical scores and to their performance with other contemporary works onstage as well as in film. They utilize the intimate and interactive settings of the rehearsal studio, educational classroom and the theater to share creative process. Despite this growth of contemporary ballet companies in Washington D.C., the genre still is a minority amongst the majority of D.C. area dance entities. According to Dance Metro DC’s website, there are 74 dance entities in the Washington, D.C. area; only five of the dance entities are contemporary ballet companies/ organizations; only seven percent approximately. Contemporary ballet is grounding itself in the D.C. area. As show like So You Think You Can Dance or movies like Center Stage or Black Swan continue to gain popularity, contemporary ballet can only grow and thrive in the nation’s capital.

Chamber Dance Project Photo Courtesy of Website

DC Contemporary Dance Theatre Photo Courtesy of Enoch Chan

Bowen McCauley Dance Photo Courtesy of Website

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Toffee Toe Shoes Photography by Shawn Short Model: Ja Kylah Lewis Pg 17


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Dance Steps, Life and Visions: Roxan Morgan Rowley Dance steps, life and visions is a spotlight that showcases “the behind the scene” lens of local DC artists. Our inaugural artist is Roxann Morgan Rowley. Roxann Morgan Rowley completed her MFA at George Mason University and her BA in dance at George Washington University. She is an award winning choreographer and educator. Currently Ms. Rowley teaches for University of Mary Washington, Northern VA Community College and Joy of Motion Dance Center. Since 2006 Ms. Rowley has been an integral part of Next Reflex Dance Collectives development as Artistic Director. Interviewed by Donovan Johnson Questions: 1. So where are you from originally Roxann? I’m from San Diego , CA 2. How would you describe the DC dance scene? The DC dance scene is ever changing and evolving. Though very transient in nature and often politically driven there is a supportive and nurturing network of dance artists here. And though there is a lot happening with art in DC I think the dance artists are really the ones pushing things forward, experimenting, crossing boundaries, disciplines and spaces. 3.What do you feel you bring to the scene? To its history? My history with the DC dance scene is mostly through my own company however I have contributed in other ways as well. I have designed costumes for many of the artists here and love working on a collaborative level with them in that way. I also worked for Dance/MetroDC for some time and helped sustain programming that impacted the dancers, artists and organizations in DC. I also love finding new spaces and supporting, participating and experimenting in the development of dance in our community. 4. Can you inform us about the DC Improv dance festival? I don’t know a lot about the current DC Improv Dance Festival. I was involved with the festival many years ago and contributed to the site-specific aspect that was created. I know there is a rich and thriving improv community in DC as well as several well known improvisationally based companies like Nancy Havlik’s Dance Performance Group, Sharon Mansur, and Human Landscape as well as others. 5. Tell us about your family? I live in Fairfax VA with my husband and two boys, one 5 years old and one 9 months old. 6. Tell us about Next Reflex? Next Reflex Dance Collective was founded in 2007 by myself and Erika Surma. A modern dance company based in Northern Virginia, NRDC has a long standing history in the DC metro community and has had the privilege of being included in many festivals and local venues, including; The DC Dance Festival, Mason/Rhynes Productions “Late Night Series”, The Carter Barron Amphitheater, The American Dance Institute, Dance Place, The Harman Center for the Arts, The National Theater, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, among others. NRDC has received support from the Puffin Foundation, the Arts Council of the Valley, the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Arts Council of Fairfax County. In 2009, NRDC was the proud recipient of the Metro DC Dance Awards’ “Founders Award” for innovation in dance and was a finalist in multiple award categories. The mission of NRDC is to create dance collaboratively with artists of all disciplines and to support the creation of experimental dance work. We are devoted to being a part of our dance community’s growth through the inclusion of various artists in specific performance and outreach programs.

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The company has been through many changes throughout it’s history and has supported and collaborated with many artists in the community through different programs like “en Route a Touring Dance Project”, which brings together various artists from different locations and supports a tour of all the work. Many of full length productions have a collaborative aspect to them for example “Places in Space” where artists were invited to perform under a programmed umbrella, in this case outdoor spaces were the inspiration for the artists work. Over the years company members have changed and our personal and professional lives have grown. Both artistic directors have grown families and developed professional careers beyond NRDC. Currently the company is in the midst of restructure, partially because it needs a little nip and tuck and also due to changes in artistic directors. Though the company is still a collaborative entity fostering creative relationships in this way, I am looking forward to how the company can fit into the current climate of the arts community right now. So, many changes lay ahead. 7. Is it hard to be a creator, administrator and mom? Tell us about. Yes it’s hard to be all three things and do them well and focus on other aspects of my life too. I’m not going to sugar coat it, sometimes it’s frustrating and cumbersome. I am pulled in three directions most of the time. However I love being a mom and I love sharing what I do with my kids. I love my creative work and being in the studio as well as teaching and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 8. Do you feel having a company is like raising two families simultaneously? Yes it does feel like raising two families. Both involve the chores of budgeting things and taking care of people, just like I would with my family. So yea it’s a lot like raising two families. There’s definitely different things, like my dancers will never spit up on me and I don’t have to worry about 1099ing my kids, but many things are the same. 9. What do you think would add to the enhancement of the DC dance scene? I don’t really know. I feel like growth happens when its needed and I feel like the DC dance scene grows continually. I think more space for dance would be beneficial and not just in a physical sense but also a mind set. The obvious need of more funding for dance and artists would also be beneficial. 10. Did anyone mentor or assist you for the life of a director? If so who? Erika Surma and I founded NRDC together and both assisted each other in having the role as director and learning from each other. We informed each other on how to deal with things like resources, how to develop a company and each others work, those sorts of things. I also looked to many other artists for guidance on raising a company, Helanius Wilkins, Gesel Mason, Daniel Phonix Sighn, Peter DiMuro, Cheles Rhynes, Ilana Silverstien, Sharon Mansur, to name a few and many others . Being able to talk to them about simple things like how to deal with personnel or how to form a board, even balancing creative work with all the other stuff really fuels you keeps you going. I feel like that’s a really big part of how you develop a director and artist and keep moving forward. 11. Do you feel college aided? What classes if so? I received my BA in dance at George Washington University and my MFA in dance from George Mason University. Many of the classes required in both instances aided in how to run and direct a company. We had classes like arts management and I also helped direct the student dance shows. And I think a choreographer knows how to direct, knows those basic things, knows how to manage people and I feel like that in it self is a marker of helping you learn how to direct.

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12. What do you wish to do with dance in the new year? Man I just want to dance in the New Year. I’ve been so focused on having a second child and being pregnant in the last year. So yea just being able to reclaim my body is something I have to do and its hard, its’ a hard road. And creating more work. There is a fulllength production I’ve been working on for a year and a half now and I’d like to have it produced in the new year as well as make new work. I’m also reevaluating where NRDC is going and what is the shape of the company now that I am the sole artistic director. I feel like maybe NRDC has lived it’s life and it’s time to look forward and reshape it so it’s viable to what’s needed in the community and to what’s happening in the community. So those are big goals in 2015. 13. Any upcoming shows? This year has been fairly light. We have two shows coming up in April and May. One is part of the Faculty and Student Dance Concert at the University of Mary Washington where I am teaching and are a part of a very small program of dancers. I’m also curating a show at the Harman Happenings, they are doing happy hours now which is fun and different. So those are the two performances we are up to this season so we are staying rather light. The 2015-2016 season there will be more, I’m looking forward to a performance up in Boston in the fall and more performances throughout the fall and spring. 14. If you had to tell a young artist in front of you who wanted to do what you do, what advice would you give them? It’s funny that you ask this question I get a ring from a student at JMU every year researching life as an artist in DC and as a mom. And it’s fun to be able talk to a young person looking to continue in the field outside the University. I’m always very honest with them about the life of a mom and an artist. I think the biggest advice is to keep pushing yourself forward keep moving forward and don’t rush. Take your time. Take your time to invest in your artwork and yourself and think about what is important to you in your art and your dancing. I mean the dance field is always there, venues are always there, there’s always someone there to watch you. And if you take time to have a baby, that’s ok, take that time. Then rejoin and put one

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foot in front of the other and keep moving. 15. What’s your zodiac sign? Leo

Ngoma Center for Dance Trainee Sunday Program Now till Apr 2015! Open Enrollment! $500 a month (Partial Scholarships Available) Designed to further the training of interested dance artists, the Trainee Program nurtures and develops dancers between the ages of 15- and 23-years-old who are interested in contemporary and classical ballet forms of dance. Selected trainees have the opportunity to perform at community engagements, artistic events and Dissonance Dance Theatre productions. Alumni of the Trainee program are now in college programs, community dance programs, summer intensive attendees and members of Dissonance Dance Theatre. Selected trainees are provided scholarships for classes and workshops. Contact Director Shawn Short at sshort@ngoma-center-for-dance.org or 202-540-8338. Ngoma’s Trainee program conducted through faculty from Dissonance Dance Theatre! www.ngoma-center-for-dance.org


Dissonanace Dance Theatre

Company Auditions Male/Female Contemporary Ballet Dancers March 15th & 29th, 2015 April 19th, 2015 Registration: 2:00pm - 3:00pm Audition: 3:00pm - 6:00pm Flashpoint, 916 G ST, NW Washington, D.C. 20001 Audition Requirements Headshot and CV/Resume $20 Audition Fee: Cash or Pre-Register Online For More Information , visit www.ddtdc.org Audition consists of a contemporary ballet class and combinations. Season includes six local productions and one international engagement. Season runs late June, 2015 - June 30, 2016 (subject to change). Company dancers receive performance stipends and pointe shoe allotments for classically trained female dancers. For early consideration, please send headshot, bodyshot, resume and video reel to Producing Artistic Director Shawn Short at sshort@ddtdc.com Company Members (Paid Stipends & Pointe Shoe Allotment) DDT is seeking classically and contemporary trained dancers to add to its ranks. Operate on a 3 day schedule. Apprentices (Unpaid Positions) A selected number of dancers will be considered for apprenticeship for further training. Operate on a 3-day schedule. Apprentices work alongside company members. What to Bring Headshot, bodyshot, resume, ballet shoes, and professionalism. Non-professionals who are auditioning for an Trainee positions can bring a faceshot and clear body picture with a short bio of their dance experience.


The Energized Body Right Nutrition is a Right Step By Paul Medina It is that moment when the heart is racing, breathing is heavy, the head may feel light, hands are trembling, and muscles are cramping or worse failing—but wait there are two more acts left in the show. Such a scene is not uncommon in the dance world. To execute a 90 minute dance production not only requires skilled technique but also peak cardiovascular endurance. And while the common thinking to increase cardio levels would be more physical exercise, building solid endurance begins with nutrition. Professional modern/ballet dancers are athletes at the top of their game. They work hard, requiring high-octane fuel. Granted, their bodies also function best when not laden with excess poundage, so they can’t over-fuel either.

Do: • Cliff and Quest bars (gluten free) • Protein shake (low sugar) • Coconut water for hydration • Trail mix • Fruit such as apples and watermelon (add almond butter for protein), or grapefruit (low GI) Don’t: • Sugary sports drinks like Gatorade and Poweraide • Dehydrating caffeine drinks like red bull • Energy bars with too much sugar and artificial sweeteners • High fattening foods. If there are any questions please feel free to discuss through my website at www.capitalenergytraining. com.

Having said this, it is important to remember that modern/ballet dancers are not fashion models who can subsist on just 500 calories per day. They have to fuel the engine that drives them through rehearsals all day long and perform long into the evening. Henceforth, quality food becomes more a necessity and less a craving. No wasted calories! Protein is crucial: eggs, nuts, chicken, fruit and veggies for grazing. Bananas are a great choice, as they also provide the potassium that keeps muscles from cramping. Peanut butter or banana, yogurt and a fistful of nuts before an evening’s performance? That’s a perfect way to load up on “good carbs.” Remember the purer and coarser the grain, the better it is for the body! Here’s another facet to a ballet dancer’s eating regimen that helps keep their weight down: they graze. Lunch is a quick affair, followed thereafter by the mini pre-performance snack, and later, the light after-performance dinner. As for dancers enhancing their performance to maintain or increase their energy levels through nutrition, this has been a common issue in order to keep or increase their energy levels during a performance. Here are a few nutritional Do’s and Don’t’s to achieve and maintain those desired energy levels: 2

Paul A. Medina is the CEO/Director of Capital Energy Training, LLC, located in Wasington, D.C. In addition to being a certified trainer, Medina holds a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Towson University. Seeing the importance of lifestyle in his clients’ lives, he is also in the process of obtaining a Nutrition Certification through NASM.”

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Dancer Spotlight: Ja Kylah Lewis Dancer

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Ja kylah Lewis started dancing at the age of four at the Expressions Dance Theatre, Clinton MD under the Artistic Director Paulette Wilson. She later continued her early studies at the Joyce LaVerne School of Dance and The National Ballet School of the Arts Institute under the Artistic Direction of Pamela Moore. Currently, Ms. Lewis is a member of “Vision Contemporary Junior Ensemble” Artistic Director Katherine Smith.

9. Sneaker, Boots, or High Heels? I would have to say sneakers and high heels when it’s time. 10. Video games or a book? I like to read my favorite book is called “Love Possible” by Kanika Vann.

1. Where are you from? I was born in Prince Georges County, Maryland currently a resident of the District of Columbia.

11. What’s your favorite dance movie? My favorite dance movie would be “Fame” the Debbie Allen version

2. How old are you and what’s your zodiac sign? I am 14 and my zodiac sign is an ARIES

12. What would be your funniest dance moment? My funniest dance moment was when I was 11 years old performing a piece choreographed by Linda Darr and my pony tail fell off during a performance. I kept right on dancing

3. Where do you dance currently? I dance at Duke Ellington School Of the Arts and became a member of the Vision Contemporary Dance Junior Ensemble 2012 under the Artistic 13. Do you want to go to college or Direction of Katherine Smith dance professionally first? I would like to dance professionally and then attend 4. What’s in your dance bag? college Tights , leotard, ballet shoes , pointe shoes , toe pads , Band Aids , Toe nail clippers , Bear Paws, 14. Anything you want to tell dancers? hair nets , Edge Control and most of all Bobbi Pins. One thing I would like to tell all dancers is “We get up , We walk , We fall down, Meanwhile you keep 5. iPhone or Android? on dancing . iPhone 5 6. Who inspires you in the dance world? Do you have a dance mentor? I have Several Mentors: Ms. Katherine Smith has taught me to always keep your head held high and to know that I am better than what I think I am and to always enter and leave the stage with poise and grace ( she will always have a special place in my heart and will always love her dearly). Mr. Shawn Short has trained me in ballet since the age of 8 and has taught me to work through movement and not at the movement. He continues to push me to be bigger and better and to stay hungry for the love of dance. (I love you Mr. Shawn) . Jenelle Figgins inspires me to always use my emotion and imagination through every movement in dance. 7. What’s your favorite dance style? My favorite dance style is Modern Jazz 8. What’s your dream company to work with? Dayton Contemporary Dance Company Photo by Shawn Short

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Hip Hop’s Fusion into Classical Dance Written by Chris Law, D.C. Area Hip Hop Correspondant The ever-evolving nature of Hip Hop culture has brought about many advancements in society nationally and internationally. Based on my ten year involvement in Hip Hop as a teacher, choreographer and researcher, I have observed that from K-12 schools, universities, and dance studios are increasingly incorporating this powerful art form into their curriculums as a means to educate, engage, and enhance the learning capacity of urban youth. For example, in the Washington D.C. metro area, studio owners who offer a variety of dance styles embrace Hip Hop as a means to capture the interest of their young dancers, while also exposing them to classical movement. This method has proven especially effective in the case of garnering young male dancers, who, in general, tend to be initially thrown off by the idea of performing a grand battement in tights. My statements are not to discredit classical movement genres such as ballet; but rather to reinforce the growing notion that both classical movement in combination with Hip Hop training has the potential to cultivate more well-rounded artists. Charles “Lil Buck” Riley is a perfect example of a Hip Hop street dancer who has managed to apply his knowledge of urban movement in the classical performance world. According to references found through Wikipedia, this Chicago born street performer specializes in a dance style called “Jookin” and studied ballet for two years, on scholarship with the New Ballet Ensemble in Memphis, Tennessee. He originally accepted the scholarship under the condition that he would not have to wear tights, but later warmed up to the required attire so as not to be excluded from potential performances. Lil Buck is most notably known for his appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show and his performance of “The Dying Swan” alongside Yo-Yo Ma. Most recently, you can find him dancing & modeling the 2015 “Rag and Bone” Men’s line with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Lil Buck is an inspiring performer and artist that has been pushing the envelope by showcasing Hip Hop movement to classical music. His path symbolizes a trend where Hip Hop becomes the gateway into the enlightenment of a young dancer’s cultivation in a

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formal performance arena. As a subculture that developed in the Bronx during the 1970s, Hip Hop and the dances that were produced out of the culture continue to evolve in the present day. In the article “The Future Is Now, and It Is Odd: A Retrospective on Hip-hop” author Andrew Doscas describes a new era of Hip Hop where “there are no rules.” Doscas states that the drop of “808s and Heartbreak” by Kanye West in 2008 marked the beginning of the Post-Modern Era of Hip Hop. Artists no longer have to uphold the images that were so highly respected in generations before. According to Doscas, artists no longer have to portray the gangster stereotype, “hang out with no shirt on, smothered in chains or wear fitted hats with all the price tags still on just to show its authentic.” He further cites how music shifted from the popularity of artists like rapper 50 Cent, who gained his credibility because he was shot nine times and survived, to the popularity of Kanye West--a high fashion icon who showed that Hip Hop is about “doing what you want with it”. Yet, there are artists from the earlier generations of Hip Hop who don’t agree with the direction in which Hip Hop seems to be progressing, and/or debate if current trends today deserves to be classified as Hip Hop. In fact, last October (2014) there was a panel discussion at the University Maryland called “How Could I Move the Crowd?: A Conversation on Spoken Word, Hip-Hop, and Subversion.” This panel included a number of Hip Hop artists and scholars spanning different generations who spoke on the changes that have taken place in Hip Hop from its earlier days to the present. As more Hip Hop artists reject the typical stereotypes, the culture is becoming liberated. This filters into dance as well. Hip Hop dance today has incredible versatility and adaptability; it can cross-over into any genre, even classical dance. The media is fueling this phenomenon with a prevalence of dance TV shows such as Fox’s hit, “So You Think You Can Dance”. A


Above Image: Chris Law Posing show which encourages dancers to be well versed in multiple styles. Additionally, it is being reinforced in classroom settings where Hip Hop artists like myself and many of my colleagues are now teaching Hip Hop as a part of the curriculum in colleges including the University of Maryland, both College Park and Baltimore County campuses, George Mason University, Howard Community College and more. As a Hip Hop artist who was primarily influenced during Hip Hop’s Golden Age of the 1980s and 90s, I embrace and pass along to my students , the importance of becoming knowledgeable of Hip Hop’s rich history while also not being afraid to incorporate their personal experiences into the style and making it more their own. Hip Hop can be fused. As long as you are motivated, humble and knowledgeable, you don’t have to be a Bronx-born native to understand Hip Hop culture and see how it’s evolving. Chris Law is a local dancer in the Hip-Hop/Urban Dance Arts. He is a Masters of Fine Arts 2017 Candidate in Dance at University of Maryland College Park.

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Community Directory African-American Managed Dance Companies African Dancers and Drummers Melvin Deal, Founder 1320 Good Hope Rd Southeast Washington D.C 20020 202-399-5252 www.facebook.com/africanheritagedc Cacho Dancers and Drummers Bonita Cacho, Founder/Artisitic Director 202-607-0164 Coyaba Dance Theatre Sylvia Soumah, Founding Artistic Director 3225 8th Street Northeast Washington, D.C 20017 (202) 269-1600 www.coyabadancetheater.org Dissonance Dance Theatre Shawn Short, Founding Artistic Director Resident Company of Ngoma Center for Dance

P.O. Box 2377, Washington D.C 20013 202-540-8338 www.ddtdc.org EdgeWorks Dance Theatre Helanius J. Wilkins, Founding Artisitic Director P.O.Box 73396 Washington D.C, 20056 (202) 483-0606 www.hjwedgeworks.org Farafina Kan Mahiri Fadjimba Keita, Founding Artistic Director 3802 34th Street, Mt Rainier, MD 20722 http://www.farafinakan.com Just Tap/Sole Defined Quynn Johnson, Ryan Johnson Founding Artistic Director www.quynnjohnson.com

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KanKouran West African Dance Company Assane Konte, Founding Artistic Director P.O. Box 1338 Washingto D.C, 2013 202-518-1213 www.kankouran.org Lesoles Dance Project Lesole Z. Maine, Founding Artistic Director 3802 34th street. Mt. Rainer, MD 240-744-6694 www.ldpdance.org Memory of African Culture Akua Femi Kouyate, Founder MAC, Inc. P.O. Box 50045, Washington, D.C. 20091 (202)210-7120 www.memoryofafricanculture.org Step Afrika Brian Williams, Founding Excetive Director 133 4th street NE Washington, D.C 20002 202-399-7993 ext. 112 www.stepafrica.org

World Dance Companies D.C Contemporary Dance Theatre Miya Hisaka, Founding Artistic Director P.O.Box 9796 Washington, D.C 20016 202-316-5277 www.teatrodedanza.org Furia Flamenco Estela Velez ( Director) Joy of Motion Dance Center 5207 Wisconsin Ave NW Washington, D.C 20015 (703) 568-4404 www.furia-flamenca.com Jayamangala 8600 Waterside Ct, Laurel, MD 20723 (301)617-2712 www.jayamangala.org Maru Montero Dance Maru Montero, Founder admin@marumontero.com www.marumontero.com Nomad Dancers Christel Stevens( Co Director) Adriane Whalen (Co Director) 4166 South Street, Arlington, Va, 22206 (703) 799-0282 www.nomaddancers.com

Vision Contemporary Dance Katherine Smith, Artistic Director P.O. Box 48087 Washington, D.C 20002 301.909-VCDE (8233) www.visioncontemporarydance.org Silk Road Dance Compay Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray, Urban Artisty Founder and Artistic Director Junious Brickhouse (Founder) P.O. Box 11346 8001 Kennett Street Takoma Park, MD 20913 Silver Spring, MD 20910 301-585-1105 202-431-4202 www.silkroaddance.com www.urbanartistry.org Tehreema Mitha Dance The National Hand Dance Founding Artistic Director Association 8509 Pelham Rd, P.O. Box 70006 Bethesda, MD 20817 Washington, D.C. 20024 (301) 581-9520 www.nationalhanddanceassociation.org www.tmdancecompany.org


Community Directory Dance Schools and Institutions Angel of Hope Ministries, Inc Rev. Claudia H. Harrison Developing the Physical through Dance and Health Awareness www.angels-hope.org Coyaba Academy Sylvia Soumah, Founder and Artistic Director Dance Place 3225 8th Street Northeast Washington, D.C 20017 (202) 269-1600” www.coyabadancetheater.org Dance Dimensions Dakyia Lambert (Artistic Director) 7979 Parston Dr District Heights ,MD 20747 301-420-1567 www.dimensions-inc.com Dance Institute of Washington Fabian Barnes, Founder and Artistic Director 3400 14th street NW, Washington, D.C 202-371-9656 www.danceinstitute.org Dance Makers INC Ms. Robin Angelica Pitts, Executive Director 9901 Business Parkway, Suite L Lanham, Maryland 20706 301-731-0003 www.marylanddancestudio.com District Dance Arts Cristine Davis, Director Classes held at the Capoeira Spot 2008 Rhode Island Ave NE Washington, DC 20018 www.districtdancearts.com Divine Dance Institute Amanda Standard, Founding Director 505 Hampton Park Blvd., Suite R Capitol Heights, MD 20743 301-333-2623 www.divine-dance.com

Duke Ellington School of the Arts Charles Augins, Dance Chair 3500 R street NW , Washington, D.C 202-282-0123 www.ellingtonschool.org Howard University Theatre Arts Dept - Dance 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, D.C 20059 howarduniversitydancemajor@yahoo.com 202-806-7050/7052 www.coas.howard.edu/theatrearts/dance Jones-Haywood Dance School Saundra Fortune-Green, Artistic Director 1200 Delafield Place NW Washington D.C 20011 202-441-1099 www.joneshaywood.com Making Moves Dance Collective Inc Amber L. Comer, Artistic Director Kellie N. Sellers, Artistic Director 5640 Sunnyside Avenue, Suite E Beltsville, MD 20705 301-220-1500 www.makingmovesdc.org Ngoma Center for Dance Shawn Short, Founding Artistic Director P.O. Box 2377 Washington D.C 20013 202-540-8338 www.ngoma-center-for-dance.org Northeast Performing Arts Center Rita Jackson (Founder) 3431 Benning Rd NE Washington, D.C 20019 202-388-1274 www.nepag.org Suitland High School Center for the Visual and Performing Arts 5200 Silver Hill Road Forestville, MD 20747 301.817.0092 www1.pgcps.org/suitlandhs

The Davis Center Beatrice E. Davis-Williams 6218 3rd Street N.W. Washington D.C 20011 202-277-6110 www.thedaviscenter.net Ubuntu Nankama Dance Studio 3802 34th Street, Mt Rainier, MD 20722 Words, Beats, & Life Inc. 1525 Newton Street, NW Washington, D.C 20010 202-667-1192 www.wblinc.org Baltimore Area Morton Street Dance Donna L. Jacobs, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Ste. 108 Baltimore, MD 21211 410-235-9003 www.mortonstreetdance.com Baltimore Dance Tech Stephanie Powell, Director, 5130 Greenwich Avenue (Near Route 40 West) Baltimore, MD 21229 410-233-1101 www.baltimoredancetech.com Connexions School for the Arts 2801 N. Dukeland Street Baltimore, MD 21216 Phone:(443) 984-1418/1419/1420 Fax:(410) 669-4418 www.csfta.org Dance & Bmore Cjay Philip, Director danceandbmore@gmail.com www.danceandbmore.com Coppin State University Vanessa Coles, Chair - Dance Physical Education Complex Rm 212 2500 West North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21216-3698 dance@coppin.edu www.coppin.edu/dance

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Ngoma Reader is looking for committed, and enthusiastic writers to join its team. Is that you?

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Ngoma Center for Dance

The Ngoma Reader (NR) is a bi-monthly online publication that gives literary voice to the minority dance artists of Washington, D.C.

Internships Experience the thrill and rewards of working in Ngoma Center for Dance and its programs! Whether you’re a high school student looking for summer employment, or a college or graduate student seeking a substantive internship supporting the arts in D.C., there’s no limit as to how far our opportunities can take you. At Ngoma Center for Dance, you’ll have the opportunity to gain insight into a budding dance organization, explore new career avenues and acquire lifelong skills. Our two programs, (1) Production, and (2) Administration, enable students to obtain job experience in a in the theatre and in the back office. The opportunities are endless—and they all start right here. Begin by finding out which program is right for you, or speaking with our director about an internship with Ngoma Center for Dance and its programs. Contact Shawn Short, Director at sshort@ngoma-center-for-dance.org for more information. Check out more at www.careersushi.com/ngomacenterfordance Ngoma Reader is looking for committed, and enthusiastic writers and photographers to join its team. Is that you? The Ngoma Reader (NR) is a bi-monthly online publication that gives literary voice to the dance artists of Washington, D.C. QUALIFICATIONS: Current major/Interest in Journalism, Communications, dance, or English Strong news judgment Quick and accurate editing/writing skills Thorough attention to detail Knowledgeable in the local DMV dance scene and/or other arts-related events The ability to multi-task with little-to-no supervision

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Interested writers send your writing sample and resume to: NRmagazine@ngoma-center-for-dance.org (In the subject line type: Potential Writer for NR Magazine) WWW.NGOMAREADER.ORG WWW.NGOMA-CENTER-FOR-DANCE.ORG


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Ngoma Reader Magazine March/April 2015 Issue  

Washington, D.C.'s Dance Magazine The Ngoma Reader (NR) is a Bi-monthly online publication that gives literary voice to dance artists of Was...

Ngoma Reader Magazine March/April 2015 Issue  

Washington, D.C.'s Dance Magazine The Ngoma Reader (NR) is a Bi-monthly online publication that gives literary voice to dance artists of Was...

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