The Connecticut Dance Conservatory teaches students three key skills to make them experts of dance: technique, individuality, and artistry. Students of all ages can master these skills in a variety of styles including ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and more. Their classical ballet classes encourage students to develop graceful arm and leg movements, while theater-jazz classes get dancers ready for Broadway?quality performances. Hip-hop sessions, meanwhile, help students express themselves in a modern style inspired by music-video performances. At the end of the year, students can perform their new moves in an annual recital for friends and family.
Music Theatre of Connecticut delights droves of drama fans with musicals and song-free plays featuring world-class actors and entertainers. Produced around the globe since its debut more than 20 years ago, the Pulitzer Prize–nominated Love Letters weaves a half-century of correspondence between childhood friends into one amusing, emotional, and ardently romantic evening. Broadway vet Jodi Stevens and Emmy-nominated actor Scott Bryce declaim the hills and valleys of two separate yet intrinsically-affixed confidants moving through life with their deepest bond sealed in an envelope. The night ends with complimentary wine and cheese accompanied by commingling with the cast and crew.
It's not every day that an Academy Award?winning actress like Joanne Woodward arrives at your theater and offers to be the Artistic Director. But that's pretty much what happened at Westport Country Playhouse in 2000. Woodward, a resident of Westport, was enraptured by the the playhouse and concerned with the physical disrepair of its building?a former tannery built in 1835. Determined to revitalize WCP, she set about renovating the space while continuing to stage lauded works starring the likes of Gene Wilder, Jane Curtain, and Paul Newman.
Woodward's five-year tenure is just one of many pivotal eras in the playhouse's history. Throughout its entire history, though, the theater has held to its mission, performing everything from comedies and musicals to classic dramas and new works by emerging playwrights. And its dedication to the performing arts shines through in more than just its staged offerings and enthusiastic spotlight polishing. It's also home to the Woodward Internship Program, a summer workshop for burgeoning stage managers and producers.
The floor-to-ceiling mirrors at Ballroom Elegance Dance Studio reflect silhouettes of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels. Owners and directors Vladimir and Irina Gorshkov chart each dancer's progress as feet fly over the studio's blond hardwoods, securing more confidence and precision with each bend, dip, twirl, and hover attempt. While private lessons and group classes tackle foundational footwork and precision techniques, regular social events put new moves to work to the big-band sounds of swing or the sultry fire of salsa. Instructors welcome pairs and solo artists hoping to have fun, practice for an upcoming wedding, or more gracefully sidestep the grocery store's automatic doors.
Located at Veterans Green in Downtown Westport, Biergarten On The Green welcomes guests to an oasis of craft beer, German-inspired cuisine, and live music. Tasting mugs hold pours from local, national, and international breweries. The fermented treat is also highlighted during cooking demos, where chefs prepare appetizing dishes and advise guests on pairing food with beer. All the while, a live band performs waltzes, polkas, and drinking songs.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary dancer himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form using their expert eyes. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.