To cap off its 2011–12 season, J City Theater finds comic relief in the stages of grief with its production of the biting and bittersweet British romp The Memory of Water. The female-led ensemble piece surveys eccentric sisters Mary, Teresa, and Catherine as they quibble in preparation for their mother’s funeral. Quips fly at a machine-gun clip as the estranged siblings circle around childhood memories, strained romances, and the old wounds their mother's death has opened. Trying desperately to hold the trio together with her more-developed sense of responsibility, the unhappily married Teresa finds tightly wound expression in Rosalind Ashford, whose voice and acting chops have graced countless TV programs, audiobooks, and voiceovers. J City artistic director Sandy Cockrell steps into the role of middle child Mary as she struggles with memories of the son she placed for adoption at age 14.
JCDA has been in business for over 35 years. The school provides the atmosphere and training that will nurture both the potential artist and the recreational dance student who studies only for the inherent rewards of self-discipline, confidence, physical fitness and a greater appreciation of movement and music.
Roshelle “Rocky” Wilder, NYC Dance Arts’ founding director, began dancing and choreographing dance pieces when she was still in high school. She has performed with underground hip-hop artists such as Denzil Porter, Deena Jones, and The Future, and her students at NYC Dance Arts have performed on Broadway, earning mention from ExpertsColumn.com.. With a team of teachers, Wilder guides students through the steps of contemporary hip-hop, classical ballet, heart-healthy Zumba, and other dance-centric classes.
Ballet classes boost students’ balance, concentration, and coordination while strengthening core muscles. Modern/contemporary dance rebels against the traditional aesthetic of classical ballet with abstract, emotive movements—or by cutting class, sneaking out, and taking the works of Jean-Paul Sartre very seriously. Break dance 101 introduces students to urban street dance, focusing on inspiration and creativity. Yoga fitness classes combine a cardio workout with deep-breathing exercises and yoga poses. In addition to regular classes, NYC Dance Arts offers special workshops with visiting choreographers and professional dancers, and organizes dance flash mobs—groups of dancers who meet in a public place to perform a dance routine.
Though they hail from all over the world, the instructors at Bellyqueen are united by their passion for belly dance. Their dedication to the Middle Eastern art?and their eagerness to educate others about the empowering, often misunderstood dance form?led co-founder Kaeshi Chai to established their own bellydancing company and school in the East Village. Kaeshi's enthusiasm has caught on?since opening in 1998, Bellyqueen has gained acclaim for its unconventional workouts welcoming participants of all sizes and skill levels.
Today, the bustling studio continues to teach traditional bellydancing techniques while incorporating world-fusion styles. Experienced instructors guide guests through the sensual movements, encouraging them as they practice footwork, breath, and presentation. When they aren?t fine-tuning their routines to eyeball-enticing perfection, students can watch Bellyqueen?s professional dancers perform at weekly Djam NYC shows at Jebon and special events.
The spirit of Russian Imperial Ballet–legend Olga Preobrajenska jetés over the New York Conservatory of Dance. Founder Vladimir Dokoudovsky—a Monaco-born dancer who worked extensively in Paris before arriving in New York—picked up Preobrajenska's philosophy of pure lines and elegant movements through close study with her at the École des Beaux-Arts. Though Dokoudovsky passed away in 1998, the conservatory is now overseen by his widow Patricia Heyes Dokoudovsky, who focuses especially on bringing classical ballet to adult beginners.
The Conservatory's studio is as stately as its lineage. Dark wood embraces its double-decker space beneath pendant lamps hanging from 28-foot ceilings, with a mezzanine for watching the dancers below and getting a look at the complicated system of pins and pulleys that hold each bun in place.:m]]
Dance Times Square’s founders and professional Latin ballroom dancers, Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin, corral expert dance instructors into their studio space to teach students of all levels high-energy dance routines. With an impressive roster of celebrity clientele, such as Vanessa Williams, Pierce Brosnan, and Betty Boop, along with decades of experience in the dance and choreography world, Tony and Melanie remain leaders in competitive Latin ballroom dance. The nimble-footed instructors rolls out dynamic group and private lessons, leading participants in shimmying through a wedding dance class or mastering skills for such dances as the salsa, tango, cha-cha, or swing.