The dedicated instructors at Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey see capoeira as more than a blend of dance and martial arts—they see it as a way of life. They train children and adults of all ages in capoeira's graceful movements through classes, therapy sessions, and afterschool programs, many of the instructors drawing from extensive training in Brazil and an understanding of Brazilian folklore and culture. But their instruction doesn’t end at capoeira—many of the Cultural Center's coaches specialize in disciplines including yoga, Zumba, salsa, and West African dance. Though many of the instructors were born and raised in New Jersey, others hail from places such as Guinea and Senegal and infuse their culture into their teaching style. The instructors hold classes at least once a week and more frequently for students preparing to dance-battle chaperones for control of the prom.
Sharron Miller has devoted her life to dance. She attended the Juilliard School and worked with the director of the Garden State Ballet. After completing her training, she danced as a soloist for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and appeared in seven Broadway shows. Sharron also taught at Renaissance Middle School for 13 years, where her dance and drama program for youth was praised by the State of New Jersey. Today, as the founder of Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts, she shares the skills she acquired throughout a lifetime in the arts with students from all walks of life.
SMAPA is a not-for-profit organization that provides classes in jazz, ballet, tap, and modern dancing for students of all ages. SMAPA's skilled faculty members teach hundreds of students every year and conduct outreach to the community, engaging youth in the arts through school programs and impromptu performances in the daydreams of teenagers.
A bullying incident escalates to all-out domestic warfare in Mile Square Theatre’s production of God of Carnage, a searing comedy that interrogates the assumed disparity between childish and adult behaviors. Penned by French playwright Yasmina Reza, the play centers on a pair of couples who meet under the pretense of civility to discuss a quarrel between their 11-year-old boys. The parents’ quest for resolution gradually deteriorates into a psychological head-butting contest, culminating in the moment when their inner toddlers break out pacifiers for a soft-sworded duel to the end. An outstanding cast of stage veterans draws laughter with a convincing performance, committing to the chaos while audience members chuckle and shift uncomfortably in their chairs.
For nearly four decades, the intellectual incubators at Playwrights Horizons have hatched award-winning productions of thought-provoking, emotion-evoking plays, nurturing new generations of writers and theatrical performers. The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World makes its New York debut in a joint effort with the crafty thespians at the New York Theatre Workshop, who themselves have fostered more than 100 dramatic new works over the past 27 years, including Jonathan Larson’s RENT and Doug Wright’s Quills. Together, these two show-stopping institutions weave a tale of rock-and-roll ambition cast against against the backdrop of the 1960s, a time when music was raw and Oprah’s guidance was nowhere to be found. Audiences will sit on the edge of their seats as the characters from this brand-new musical grapple with the dark side of parental obligation and the limits of talent––all based on a true story.