Happy National Dance Day!
"On Earth Together," by Ronald K. Brown
and his Company Evidence will be performed this
Tues.at Wolf Trap. Photo Credit: Kurt H. Leggard
Did you know that today, July 30th, is the second annual National Dance Day? Created by the hit reality TV show "So You Think You Can Dance," this grassroots initiative celebrates all styles of dance and encourages everyone, young and old, to move.
I'm pleased to join the nationwide celebration, but, of course, at Wolf Trap, we dance every day. Sometimes the dancing takes place on a stage, from our affordable dance season at the Filene Center to our programs in the Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods. Sometimes the dancing isn't done by professionals, but rather by the crowd grooving on the lawn or a master class student or a child enjoying a field trip at our Center for Education.
Dance brings people together, it marks special times and moments of celebration, and it's fun. Also, as First Lady and Honorary Chair of the Wolf Trap Foundation Board of Directors Michelle Obama reminds us with her Let's Move campaign, it is great exercise. In a recent NPR interview Mrs. Obama mentions a family pre-dinner routine of turning on the radio and dancing for an hour, saying there's "lots of dancing going on" in the White House.
Dance is extremely important to me and to Wolf Trap. This is evident in the hundreds of dance performances that have been presented here, starting with our opening season in 1971. When I joined as President and CEO, I encouraged Wolf Trap to start its tradition of annually commissioning new dance works. In the past 16 years, I have seen 18 new choreographic pieces come to life, right here on the Filene Center stage.
With each of our dance performances we offer Master Classes so dance students have an opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business, and observers can see just what's involved in perfecting these moves that the dancers seem to do with such ease and grace.
Wolf Trap also spotlights the importance of dance with our Face of America multimedia series. With a commissioned site-specific dance component in each program, Face of America provided the perfect content for a PBS Great Performances: Dance in America show. You can watch the 90-minute special in its entirety here. Stay tuned for more details on a new production, Face of America: Spirit of South Florida, premiering in 2012.
In the meantime, I hope you will join me next week for Ronald K. Brown's company Evidence. The second of Wolf Trap's three dance performances this season, this show will feature the D.C. premiere of a new work titled "On Earth Together" performed to the music of Stevie Wonder. This powerful piece, dealing with human healing, enrichment and compassion, joins the ever growing list of Wolf Trap dance commissions. If you know dance, you'll love Ron Brown's work and if you have never seen dance, you may just find your inner dancer that evening.
So what are you waiting for? Let's dance! And prepare to be moved!