Dance Programs


Dance Programs
Ballet Los Pampas, comprised of the dance team of Laura Valdes and Pedro Escudero, is dedicated to keeping the popular culture and heritage of Latin America alive, especially the authentic dances of Mexico and Argentina. In class and in performance, this couple embodies the essence of Latin American culture with their colorful costumes, bold dance moves and insight into the regional cultures.
Artists: Ballet Los Pampas (Laura Valdes and Pedro Escudero) (see Artist Bios)
Capoiera, originally a martial arts practice disguised as innocent dancing by Brazilian slaves, plays an important role in Brazilian history and society. In its current form, wildly popular around the world, it combines elements of martial arts, games, music, and dance. The teaching artists under the auspices of Mestre Jelon Vieira, perform breathtaking physical demonstrations and accompany this fascinating art form with the traditional berimbaus, pandeiros, and reco-reco. Participation includes singing, clapping, and basic capoeira martial arts moves.
Artists: Jelon Vieira and the Capoeira Foundation (see Artist Bios)
The dances of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company fuse the freedom of American modern dance with the grace and splendor of ancient Chinese art. The company’s choreography takes the audience beyond cultural boundaries to a place where tradition meets innovation, where East meets West. Single and multi-session workshops cover the ten elements of Chinese dance, including the spectacular ribbon dance. The company encourages students to engage in the visual, physical and narrative aspects of Chinese dance, seamlessly introducing them to Chinese culture in the process.
Artists: Nai-Ni Chen and members of the Company (see Artist Bios)
In most forms of Indian classical dance, such as Bharata Natyam, Odissi, and Kathak, the performer must be a storyteller, an actor, a musician, and a dancer. Students learn about the use of the eyes, neck, shoulders, and hands to accentuate the characters, actions, and rhythms of these ancient and venerated story-dances, as demonstrated by the artists. As a series of workshops, this program involves more advanced training: hand gestures, a stylized technique of mimed storytelling, and poetry that is sung or chanted along with dance. In performance, Shiva, Ganesha, Krishna and other colorful figures come to life for the audience.
Artists: Parul Shah, Malini Srinivasan, Swati Bhise or Devika Bhise (see Artist Bios)
Through the rhythms and movements of Plains Indians music and dance, groups learn the origins of tribal traditions and discuss the history of the Plains Indians. Under the direction of Louis Mofsie, the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers introduce musical instruments, artifacts and clothing of various Plains Indian tribes. Students learn and perform Native American dances and songs. In the lecture demonstration or performance format, Thunderbird’s colorful tribal regalia adds to the vibrancy of their music, dance and storytelling.
Artists: Louis Mofsie and the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers (see Artist Bios)
Placing emphasis on the songs and dances of the Iroquois, participants learn and perform several Native American songs and dances, while exploring the past and the present of the Iroquois nation with Louis Mofsie (Green Rainbow,) and members of the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. Through stories, discussion, clothing, instruments, other artifacts, and Native American vocabulary added depth is brought to the presentation.
Artists: Louis Mofsie and theThunderbird American Indian Dancers (see Artist Bios)
Square dancing had its origins in Europe and was brought to America by the early colonial settlers. Professional dancers draw on their wealth of historical knowledge, illustrating how social dance reflects the manners and mores of a time period, as well as connecting past social dances with current square dance forms. Dance artists skillfully engages students in pattern formations, memorization, steps, rhythms and peer interaction, all part of the legacy of square dance in America.
Artists: Barbara Barr and Regina Larkin (see Artist Bios)
Several major American dance visionaries -- Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, and Lester Horton -- introduced ground-breaking concepts into the budding modern dance movement in America. The teaching artist explores this tradition with students, freeing and focusing the body and mind to experience the full joy of motion. Her workshops culminate in students creating their own original dances. At the same time, through movement, archival photos, and discussion, participants gain a deep understanding of the development of modern dance and its role in American society over the past century.
Artist: Regina Larkin (see Artist Bios)
This art form consists of dancers and musicians who celebrate African dance and demonstrate its influence on other cultures. The dancers and drummers engage students in a variety of African dance movement, emphasizing the connection between traditional African culture and the dance and music that permeate African society even today. In workshops, students participate in drumming and movement from this rich heritage. In performance, the company treats the audience to a thrilling and colorful repertoire.
Artist: Ella Moore and members of the Charles Moore Dance Theatre(see Artist Bios)
Focusing on dance as an essential ingredient in African society, commemorating important life events as well as being an exuberant form of expression and interaction, the professional dancer shares the enthusiasm for African dance with students aged 2 to 70. In a workshop series, traditional African dance techniques is used to create an original dance with students.
Artist: Karen Farnum (see Artist Bios)
For more information about Global Arts contact Regina Larkin, Manager of Education Programs, at regina.larkin@symphonyspace.org, (212) 864-1414 ext. 212.