Rhythm Tap Dance Workshop
Saturday February 15th, 2-4p, $20
with action-based dance artist Stefanie Weber
Northampton School of Dance, 141 E. Damon Rd., Northampton, MA.
Performance to follow
Tap & Blues
with Blues Woman Robin O’Herin
and Tap Dancer Stefanie Weber
221 Pine St. (Arts & Industry Building) Florence MA Studio #422
Join action-based dance artist Stefanie Weber (USA) with collaborative dancer/choreographers Adam Chienjo (NRB) and Sara Kwala Opondo (NRB) and special guests from VOCAL, Shangilia, Ghetto Exposed and more for a showcase of performance work featuring the fusion, growth and development of the American vernacular art form of Tap Dance in Nairobi with Kenyan-based musicians, dancers and image-makers.
Photographer Monika Pizzichemi (USA) partners with guest photographers from Nairobi to project images throughout the event that investigate the theme:
The Space To Transport Time
Nafasi Ya Kusafirisha Mda
Old Concert Hall
Kenya National Theater
Reserve tickets in advance:
THEY DANCE FOR RAIN
The Whitney Center for the Arts, 46 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield MA announces the presentation of They Dance For Rain: A Slideshow on Sunday December 15th 2013 at 5:30p. The event is open to all ages and there is a suggested donation of $10 which goes directly to the continuation of the project in view.
They Dance For Rain is a dance-making project that works with arts-for-social-change organizations in Nairobi, Kenya. It is created and directed by action-based dance artist and Pittsfield native Stefanie Weber in collaboration with fine art photographer and Pittsfield’s Empty Set Project Space co-owner Monika Pizzichemi. The slideshow coincides with a photo exhibit up until December 21st at The Lichtenstein Center For The Arts at 28 Renne Ave in Pittsfield.
Since January of 2012, They Dance For Rain has brought Tap shoes and the art form of Tap Dance to people with an interest and need for this unique kind of artistic self-expression. They also bring hoops to dance with and teach others the skills of making long-lasting dance hoops. They bring visibility to an otherwise unrepresented population of slum and ghetto dancers and dwellers through photography and film. In this area of the world, Tap Dance is still quite young and the eagerness to learn it is immense. Through this continuing global exchange of artistic dialogue They Dance For Rain inspires a new generation of Tap Dancers. These dancers will innovate the form through use of their own culturally distinctive ideas and styles.
The slideshow will feature select photographs, videos and stories from Weber and Pizzichemi’s 2013 residency in Nairobi working with four organizations that support the performing arts in underserved areas: Shangilia Child Rescue Center, VOCAL (Voices of Change All Over), Banjuka Dance Program and GoDown Arts Center. The artists will take time to answer questions, announce further upcoming plans, promote their active fundraising efforts and explain the artistic expansion of the project.
The Whitney Center for the Arts was established by Pittsfield native Lisa Whitney in 2012, saving and creatively reusing the historic Colt House in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District. Named in honor of her parents, the arts center features changing art shows, intimate theatre and music performances, and other special events, and has upstairs offices and studios for rent.
This newly established arts center aims to provide a platform to established and up and coming visual and performing artists to showcase their talent and promote arts and culture in Pittsfield. For more information contact Ghazi@thewhit.org
They Dance For Rain is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. To learn more about They Dance For Rain, visit www.rockethub.com/projects/34186-they-dance-for-rain-2014 or contact Stefanie@fertileuniverse.com or 413.281.6734
Come to a place that beckons for some Blues. Join us as we openly explore the roots and branches of Delta Blues and the lush punctuations of rhythm Tap Dance.
…from our two heads and two hearts to our twenty toes…
Featuring slide guitar and two pairs of Tap shoes.
• Tuesday • December 10th • 7p
The Whitney Center For The Arts
46 Wendell Ave., Pittsfield, MA
•Saturday • December 14th • 7p
Arts& Industry Building #422
221 Pine St., Florence, MA
The Anatomy of a Tap Dancer is a dance workshop that examines through movement and sound the details that create today’s Tap Dancer.
Rhythm, pulse, tones. Muscles, fascia, bones. Steps, shoes, phrases, numbers and history known and unknown. Poetry, styles, trends and zones. Heart, sole, spirit and… minds of our own.
Celebrate this amazing American vernacular art form, its roots, our bodies, the floor and each other. All levels are welcome, all will dance, be challenged and changed. Every workshop at each location is unique and suited specifically to those in the room.
Saturday December 14th
Northampton School of Dance
141 E. Damon Rd. Northampton, MA
Tap shoe rentals: $2
Stefanie Weber is an outsider Tap Dance artist. Action-based, she travels near and far to share her love, experience and passion for the American derived art form of Tap Dance. Focusing on the deep and subtle aspects of the biomechanics (movement), dynamic expressions, and space between beats, Stefanie brings a unique perspective and vast knowledge from her years of study, performance, isolation and creative action.
Saturday December 14th at 7p, Stefanie appears on Tap with Delta Blues singer and guitarist Robin O’Herin in the intimate space of Studio Revolution #422 in Florence in the Arst & Industry Building.
to RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1479433392281957/
To support Stefanie’s dance making project in Nairobi: http://www.rockethub.com/projects/34186-they-dance-for-rain-2014
Sometimes the trees shout at you when you walk by unassuming, just crunching leaves, trying to put one foot in front of the other. What is it that they want? What is it that they beg for you to hear? Then there are the ones that are like, “…pssst, hey you….yeah, you….,” and they try to whisper something you might already know but forgot between measured steps, stopping you on a rock. You sniffle from the chill and wonder swiftly because if you wonder too leisurely your nose will freeze, or at least you feel like it will.
There are safe places at the base of mama trees, places you tell yourself that you may have to squat and hide beside when the wind blows so hard sending a charge through the woods that lands on a vulnerable sapling. It’s probably an adolescent sapling that’s been grooving to the tousle to and fro, doing its best party dance. Until the moment of the snap and the tumble. It didn’t happen, but you could easily imagine it now. I could too. That’s part of the problem with being in the woods alone: the suggestive sounds of the cold moon days in the whipping forest.
The canopy is less than peaceful, bouncing side to side in eager announcement of its reluctant power over those below. The luckiest still have sunset at their finger-branch-tips and a steady memory of stability, a cambium thickness that they worked hard for over the years with their minor living parts from root hairs to bud cells. The success is in the ability to lay it down with a swingin’ sway with the wind through each changing season’s song, I suppose. Oh and how the wind bares the timidity of such susceptible human beings and yet holds each of us in awe. It’s magnificent and chilling.
There are, we know this, chemical changes occurring at the exact immeasurable spot where bud cell membrane meets light wave. It has to be this way otherwise the existence of such a being would cease and ultimately so would we strange Homo-sapienistas as these reactions quench our inevitable thirst for oxygen. And so we walk along these wounded and wonderful trails, turning crooked corners in a crooked pace of time that only matches the most complex pulses of our natural origins. We pause to look up overhead and gaze at the stark majestic contrast of shape and sky. We push through the thick animal muscles of our back legs to breathlessly reach higher ground and contemplate the quality of the air, the sometime safety in elevation and the sound of the forest floors’ layers of fallen timber underfoot. We arrive at a place of dedication and rest and consider memories…old, new and unformed. And then the moment appears to move again, retracing recent parts and watching the woods like a album of snapshots laid on sticky paperboard and covered with plastic pages bound by metal rings. We stop at certain rocks and peel back the plastic coating of the thought to find ourselves removing the images to look closer at their value in our finite time.
There is always something sacred…untouchable by doubt and shames’ long and beckoning fingers. There is always something pure about the trace of movement in space and time left behind by those who walk among the trees together and apart. There is always a reasoning and a functional logic to the reaching of branches and the settling of stones that is like a medicine to the one passing through and over. And there is an understanding of all parts and the estrangement of most unnaturalized humans such as myself. There is an agreement with this strangeness, this deep bottomless sadness, this inaccessible bliss that never terminates and keeps the edges refreshed, and yet among all this inescapable lack of control there is an acceptance of what is now, what has passed and what is craftily and joyfully brewing on the other side of a season.
Held By Tree
Beginning November 6th, I will be offering 6 Tap Dance Sessions on Wednesdays at The Whitney Center For The Arts in Pittsfield on 42 Wendell Ave. All levels of Tap Dancer are welcome. The classes will serve the needs of the dancers in the room. Focus will be given on technique, improvisation, musicality, artistry, individual needs, biomechanics and flow. There is nothing like this anywhere else in or near to Berkshire County. Try it.
Classes are a steal at $10 each and shoe rentals are $2.
Contact me if you’d like to find out more about the way I approach this art form, my enthusiasm for it..or just to let me know you’ll be coming for class and need some shoes. (smiley face.)
Classes: Nov 6, 13, 20, 27. Dec 4 & 11.
RSVP on FB if you want to: https://www.facebook.com/events/690363294315872/
Long term visions