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Twirling into the Cosmos 

Dance in June

click to enlarge Cosmos dancers Morgan Van Gemert and Delia Bense-Kang, standing. Mikayla Craghead, seated and Ariana Atkins-Salazar, kneeling. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ERIN FERNANDEZ
  • photo courtesy of Erin Fernandez
  • Cosmos dancers Morgan Van Gemert and Delia Bense-Kang, standing. Mikayla Craghead, seated and Ariana Atkins-Salazar, kneeling.

Just around the corner is Dance Class with Erin Fernandez' Spring Concert*. Unlike her winter production, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, a staged ballet that follows the tradition of Nutcracker with the littlest dancers looking ahead to the roles they‘ll be dancing each year as they move up the ranks, Fernandez' Spring Concert is a collection of new dances she and her team of teachers choreograph around a unifying theme. This year's show, *Cosmos, centers on outer space with space explorers and flashy objects of the night including meteors, a supernova and the Milky Way. 

Those who saw Fernandez' Trillium Dance Ensemble premiere a ballet piece from Cosmos at the Two Left Feet show were reminded that Erin is not only great with kids but a serious artist and a dancer surrounded by a talented cadre of teachers who perform in the company, Julie Ryman and Lindsay Bond among them. Lucky us, Trillium will be performing Constellations again (this time on pointe), *along with another new dance, Dark Matter, *set in black light.

Private dance studios often have resident companies such as Trillium or Brava! Dance, out of the Dancers' Studio in Eureka, who perform their professional-level dance works as part of all-school productions. Kids and dancing are a winning combination, but I would like to see work like Fernandez' Constellations or Virginia Nierkrasz-Laurent's Back to Bach, a charged ballet recently premiered by Brava!, in professional-level shows as well, separate from the all-school extravaganza model. Full company concerts are expensive to put up, yet envision this: two or more companies sharing a concert program, dividing the costs and the workload, offering a full evening of the more experienced dancers in the county. Some day. For now I'll be happy to watch Trillium kick it out in Cosmos with Haley's Comet, the Big Bang and more than 200 dancers of all ages this weekend.

Cosmos*,* directed by Erin Fernandez: 6 p.m. Saturday, June 4, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 5 at HSU's Van Duzer Theater. Reserved main floor tickets on sale at Common Ground Community Center in Arcata, $12, $8 children/seniors; (unreserved) balcony tickets at Mosgo's in Arcata, $10, $8 children/seniors.

Also this weekend, The Upper Studio celebrates its one-year anniversary with an informal in-studio performance of student class work and variations: 6 p.m. Friday, June 3, in the Old Schoolhouse across from the Bayside Grange.

The Arkley Center for the Performing Arts becomes dance central in the weeks ahead with performances every weekend in the month of June.

The biggest show is the North Coast Dance musical dance theater piece, Gabriel's Garden, about the local folk-artist Romano Gabriel, written by North Coast Dance director Danny Furlong. (You'll hear much more about that one in a future Journal.) Gabriel's Garden runs June 17-19 at the Arkley Center with an opening night reception Friday, June 17, catered by Avalon.

Trinity Ballet Academy presents an original ballet interpretation of the classic tale The 12 Dancing Princesses, with performers ranging in age from 4 to adult, directed and choreographed by Trinity Ballet Academy's artistic director Greta Leverett: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Arkley Center, $15, $12.50 children 11 and under.

No Limits Tap & Jazz presents Dance Circus*,with dancing acrobats, elephants, tigers, tightrope walkers, animal trainers, trick riders, clowns, hula hoopers, jump ropers and even a ring master: 2 p.m. Sunday, June 12, Arkley Center.

Ferndale Dance Academy presents its 9th annual production of Pure Imagination, a whimsical journey through a child's imagination showcasing a variety of music and dance in settings from the grassy plains of Africa to the Eiffel Tower: 7 p.m. Friday, June 24, Arkley Center.

The Studio Of Dance Arts' 30th annual dance production ranges from the ballet Thumbelina to jazz, tap, contemporary ballet, Middle Eastern and salsa, with Irish stepdancing performed by the award-winning Irish Company Dancers: 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, Arkley Center. For more information call Studio Of Dance Arts at 442-1939.

For ticket information on all Arkley Center shows call 442-1956 or go to www.arkleycenter.com.

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About The Author

Stephanie Silvia

Bio:
Stephanie Silva directed her own modern dance company in New York City and is a student of American poet Diane di Prima. She teaches movement and writing.

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