By: Susan Lenz
On Monday night, Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan kicked off the Nickelodeon's new special programming series Dance Scene celebrating the best in contemporary dance-based cinema. Four more films are slated over the coming month of Monday evenings. Programming coordinator Amada Torruella described the series as "riveting tales of spirit and commitment, capturing the passions and partnerships that subtend the dance world." Each film is partnered with a local organization to highlight area dancers, artists and community leaders and their relationships to international dance movements.
Before the theater darkened for Restless Creature, Columbia City Ballet's artistic director William Starrett introduced principal dancer Regina Willoughby. Regina discussed her journey into ballet, her support system, and future plans after retirement. For Willoughby, dance is the fabric of her life, and her upcoming retirement will be a time for celebration. Using all of the available space, Regina then performed the first half of a new work she choreographed on herself to a piece by Dustin O’Halloran. When asked about the musical selection, Regina commented on the soft, new beginnings of the piece that builds in excitement only to end, abruptly but peacefully, much like she envisions this, her final year as a professional ballerina.
Between the film and Regina’s presentation, I learned something new and was truly entertained. I highly recommend this enlivened and well-curated series. Hope to see you on subsequent Monday nights!
For tickets and additional information on the Dance Scene series, please visit http://nickelodeon.org/. Below is a list of the upcoming films:
Alive and Kicking, a dynamic exploration of the history of swing dancing, will be screened on Monday, October 30th and is partnered with a performance by Palmetto Swing Dance Association.
KIKI, a film set in the New York LGTBQ community's dance and ballroom scene, will be screened on Monday, November 6th and is partnered with South Carolina Black Pride, featuring MeMe Revlon and Babe Ebony.
Rize, a documentary on clowning and krumping in Los Angeles, will be screened on Monday, November 13th and is partnered with Fuse Arts Alliance.
Mr. Gaga, a documentary on Ohad Naharin, the artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, will be screened on Monday, November 20th and is partnered with both Columbia City Ballet and modern dancer Carolina Lewis Jones.