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DanceWorks New York City

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria Hosts DanceWorks

danceworks nyc dance works new york cityNovember 23, 2015 / Astoria Neighborhood / Modern Dance in Queens / Queens Buzz.

I just returned from one of the most exciting dance performances I’ve seen in a long, long while. The dances were performed at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria on Saturday night. Unfortunately, DanceWorks performances may only be seen twice a year and the next one isn't until May 21st 2016 at this same location.

The show opened with a short introduction by DanceWorks Founder Lisa Mara, and DanceWorks New York City Director Jackie Arcy. Their introduction was followed by a dance video. And then the show began.

The show presented about two dozen original works and literally included a cast of about 140 dancers and choreographers. All of the dancers and choreographers had auditioned to participate in the show and then practiced and rehearsed for 16 straight weeks. The show lasted two hours, but the time flew by.

The photo above shows one of the dance performances at DanceWorks New York City at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts.

Click here to read the rest of our report about the semi-annual performance entitled DanceWorks New York City NYC at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria.


DanceWorks New York City

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria Hosts DanceWorks

danceworks nyc dance works new york cityNovember 23, 2015 / Astoria Neighborhood / Modern Dance in Queens / Queens Buzz. Continued.

The show provided a variety of well choreographed dances including contemporary, hip hop, jazz and one tap piece performed by professional and trained dancers. Most of the dances were original works created by choreographers for the DanceWorks show. Unfortunately I was only able to stay for the first half, but I left wanting to twist, leap and spin because the performances were inspiring.

The first half of the show included a dozen dances, each individually choreographed by someone unique, and oftentimes by choreographers who also danced in their own pieces. The works included a range of styles as mentioned above, and at times incorporated both steps and movements borrowed from the ancient ensemble of the art of dance.

The dance themes also ranged far and wide and included loves, hopes, desires, heroes, moods and aspirations. An enthusiastic audience of about 1,500 attended the two shows on Saturday, some of whom were the dancers' family and friends.

I had an opportunity to speak to both Lisa Mara, Founder of DanceWorks and Jackie Arcy who is the Director of DanceWorks New York City. Lisa founded the company in 2010 in Boston. It caught on danceworks nyc dance works new york cityso well that she opened up a second chapter in New York City in 2011. DanceWorks recently hired Jackie Arcy as the Director of DanceWorks New York City, which practices and performs at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria.

DanceWorks operates on the assumption that a lot of great dancers want to continue dancing after they leave school. The DanceWorks participants are looking to continue their growth and performance within the art of dance, and to commune and develop relationships with other dancers and choreographers. Thus DanceWorks was created to enable dancers and choreographers to simultaneously develop their skills, while also providing both a performance and a social venue.

Dancers and choreopgraphers are invited to audition for the semi-annual performances and, upon being chosen, then work in collaboration with DanceWorks for the sixteen weeks leading up to the semi-annual show.

Lisa and Jackie said that it’s a great opportunity for dancers and choreographers to meet and share ideas and techniques, and begin collaborations. DanceWorks limits participation to trained dancers and choreographers in order to maintain a certain standard of performance. The rehearsals and practices in New York City take place at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts at 35th Street and 35th Avenue in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens.

danceworks nyc dance works new york cityOne of the things that struck me about the DanceWorks performance was the contagious excitement of the audience ... many of whom knew someone involved in the program. The enthusiastic applause gave both recognition to and appreciation of some very artful performances.

Given the size of the dance troupes, one could easily find a kaleidoscope of dance experiences to visually enjoy, and I hope I have captured that in some small measure on the video which follows.

You can sign up to audition for the next DanceWorks performance by going to their website - www.danceworksnewyorkcity.com. There's a $50 registration fee for dancers and a $25 registration fee for choreographers; and a $295 tuition fee for those accepted into the program for a single season [Spring or Fall]. Tickets to the semi-annual DanceWorks performances are $28 / $18.

In the photo at right are Jackie Arcy Director of DanceWorks New York City [left] and DanceWorks Founder Lisa Mara [right]. Many thanks to both for organizing an aesthetically rich dance performance experience.


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