InspiRED, the 5th Edition of Rochester Ensemble of Dance performed last evening. I left the studio at 10:55pm after vacuuming, putting away 91 assorted chairs, 6 tables and 10 floor pillows with the kind and generous help of many others. As I watched the light crew strike while I dust mopped the floors, many thoughts filled my head.
Those thoughts stayed and simmered and grew overnight until I found myself, this beautiful Saturday morning, with a pencil in my hand. Yes, that is correct, pencil & paper. Sorry Macbook Air. Sorry Google Docs. Sorry Rachelle :-).
RED originated as a Showcase on recital weekend to highlight and provide additional opportunity for advance dancers to perform well rehearsed Spring Dance Concert pieces. That filled the bill for a couple of years. Parents of middle and high schoolers loved the abbreviated, advanced performance. Then the Showcase separated from SDC weekend held in April rather than in June. Performance company begged to be included. Younger students also wanted the change to be a part of it. Then - in Allegro Style - I brought it to the faculty. "What is our goal with this production? How do we best serve the artistic needs of our advancing students? How do we further the Allegro mission of creating a lifelong love of the art forms? Could we possibly include the entire Rochester community in this process?"
As with many things contained in a tightly closed hand, the idea flourished once my hand opened up and others bounced to and from the idea with artistic thoughts of all sorts! But thought must commit to action in order for measurable results to occur. With dedicated faculty and my willingness to let it grow - it did.
Rochester Ensemble of Dance was born - an "evening of creativity and inspiration." RED is now comprised of original works. Many champions have graced the roles of director, producer, choreographer, student mentor, stage crew and more. Choreographers from within Allegro, guest choreographers (both local and from Minneapolis) audition, cast, rehearse, costume and produce a collegiate style performance open to dancers from age 8 and above community wide. There is also a student choreography element, adding to the educational component from choreography class, encouraging self creativity and confidence including the priceless opportunity to work with a mentor. Rochester Ensemble of Dance is perhaps one of the biggest and best little known gems in the Rochester performing art scene.
Last night, I encouraged and congratulated performers, worked with and thanked the team and volunteers, greeted guests, distributed programs, listed to the choreographer talk back and helped with the transformation of studio to stage and stage to studio. Introspectively I re-stacked the building blocks both hidden and tangible that went into our evening of creativity and inspiration. And it was good. My busy hands felt open with life and energy, community and the love of dance flowing through them, flowing through all.
brittany vukovich tom burson jesse schmitz boyd janet johnson trudy stevens elizabeth stubbs jen oniell autumn rife katie cook kennet oberly stuart pimsler dance rachelle bernard kathy chase austin meinholz melanie johnson carol engle jennifer glaws emily winn elisabeth michealson ben hain heidi oehler lauren dodds