By Jenn Sheridan ·
Courtesy of Kinetech Arts ·
Feb. 7 | 7 p.m.
Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema
7th annual Winter Season
March 6 | 7 p.m.
March 7 | 2 & 7 p.m.
Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema
Lake Tahoe Dance Festival
New Chamber Ballet
Oct. 15-17 | 7 p.m.
Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema
It’s a Friday morning and Maia Baehr, Bryce Walsh and Sage Quinn are running through the moves to a dance they are choreographing. There are giggles and grace as Christin Hanna, artistic director at Tahoe Youth Ballet, explains the inspiration behind the dancer’s movements.
Lifelong friends, the three girls are students at Squaw Valley Prep Charter School. The school’s flexible schedule gives them the opportunity to pursue an extra dance class and they’re using it to choreograph their own piece for the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective’s 7th annual Winter Season on March 6 and 7. Hanna provides the framework allowing the girls to create their own work.
“I want to give them the view that choreography is not just about coming up with the steps,” Hanna says. In fact, my presence in the studio is part of the experience.
Following the rehearsal, the girls take the time to explain their work to me. Inspired by the book “Paper Towns” by John Greene, and snippets of poetry from Walt Whitman used in the book, the girls dance to invoke the emotion they felt while reading. For them, the project is a chance to share and expand on a mutual passion.
Lake Tahoe Dance Collective is born
Following a busy career as a freelance artist in New York City, Hanna returned to North Lake Tahoe and founded Tahoe Youth Ballet to offer young dancers in the community the chance to work with professional teachers, choreographers and dancers. The name pays homage to the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, a studio that revived the small town it called home and grew to be one of the premiere ballet schools in the country. It was the inspiration for what Hanna hopes to create in Tahoe City.
Since 2008, Hanna has worked to create opportunities for professional dancers to teach and perform against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra. In 2012, Tahoe Youth Ballet hosted the first Lake Tahoe Dance Festival bringing professional dancers and performers to the lake for three days of modern, contemporary and traditional dancing. The years that followed brought increased attention to the area and the program from throughout the dance world. Today, Hanna receives cold calls from dancers looking to perform in Lake Tahoe.
“As we brought in more guests, it became obvious the name wasn’t representative of all we do,” said Hanna.
Her long-term goal to build a full season of performances is taking shape under the newly formed Lake Tahoe Dance Collective. In addition to offering continued opportunity for classes and workshops for dancers in the community, the Collective will bring performances from visiting companies, as well as self-produced shows.
A key part of this expansion is a partnership with the new Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema. The new venue will provide a permanent location for the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective to host shows, performances and workshops throughout the year. Currently, the Collective is working on a fundraising campaign to purchase portable staging, lighting and audio equipment, which will help them save the money spent on renting the equipment for each performance. Visit tahoeyouthballet.com for more information on how to help.
2015 Dance Season
This year kicks off with a presentation of Kinetech Arts (presented by Tahoe Weekly) in The Other Sight on Feb. 7 at the Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema. The Other Sight is a multifaceted collage of situations inspired by personal anecdotes, images, beliefs and current events that concern all of us exploring the effect of public surveillance on our psyche and bodies.
The work was developed as part of the Resident Artists Workshop at KUNST-STOFF arts, choreographed by Daiane Lopes da Silva in collaboration with the dancers; technology by Weidong Yang; visual art by Raymond Larrett; featuring dancers Daiane Lopes da Silva, Irene Hsiao, Qinmin Liu, Priscilla Park, Diane Mateo and Rebecca Rose Robinson-Leviton. The company’s work includes dance performances that interact with technology using open-source code, scientific theory and the inventions of the company’s engineers.
Look for the 7th annual Winter Season in March featuring new works by Constantine Baecher, Hanna and Christopher McDaniel, and danced by the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective and guests artists Alex Castillo and Christopher McDaniel of Los Angeles Ballet. This summer, the Lake Tahoe Dance Festival returns in July with three days of intensive workshops and performances, and in October the New Chamber Ballet takes the stage at the Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema.
Tickets and season passes are available at laketahoedancecollective.com.