Joy of Motion Dance Center proudly announces its fall Studio to Stage program, Justice in America, which runs from September 18th to November 18th. In this nine-week enrollment program, student dancers will work with Joy of Motion choreographers to develop thought-provoking new work in a range of contemporary styles. Justice in America will culminate in two public performances on November 19th and 20th at Joy of Motion’s Jack Guidone Theatre.
For over a decade, Joy of Motion’s Studio to Stage has offered students an excellent opportunity to learn, rehearse, and perform in a high-level concert setting. For those who are not necessarily professional dancers, but still have the desire and training to perform in a professional setting, Studio to Stage represents an invaluable experience.
For the first time this year, Studio to Stage choreographers will create work under a unifying theme. “Performance does not translate into art without self-reflection and soul- searching,” said Steve Barberio, Executive Director of Joy of Motion. “We want to provide our students the opportunity to express more than just their love of dance in performances onstage.”
Studio to Stage this fall will delve into the intersection of social awareness and performance art. Participants will form the cast of Justice in America, the final concert in the Studio to Stage program, and will express their awareness of America’s current heightened cultural and political tension into motion. The goal for the students is to learn to explore and express their own social consciousness beyond words through the more visceral, honest, and meaningful language of the body.
“Emotions are running hot throughout the nation in this time of historic cultural and political change in our country,” explains Barberio, who conceived the theme. “We should all self-reflect and find constructive ways to share the insights of our reflections with each other. We have challenged our choreographers and their students to open the social discussion through dance.”
Exploring a current theme through Studio to Stage is just one of several fundamental changes Joy of Motion has undergone since Barberio took the helm in March 2016. Elizabeth Malone, one of five Studio to Stage choreographers, observed, “Studio to Stage’s new theme shows that Joy of Motion is reinventing itself and seeking new, innovative ways to engage with its communities of interest.” Malone recently became one of six full-time dance instructors at Joy of Motion through Barberio’s Employee Conversion Program. Another major change to the organization, this initiative aims to provide job opportunities for professional dancers. This year, nearly all Joy of Motion dance instructors will transition from independent contractors to full-time, half-time, and part-time salaried employees. As the program matures, Joy of Motion intends to provide further salaried positions for future instructors.
The five Studio to Stage choreographers are: Elana Anderson for intermediate Contemporary Modern; Elizabeth Malone for advanced-beginner Contemporary Modern; Vanessa Carmichael for intermediate Contemporary Jazz; Angela Ingram for advanced-beginner Contemporary Jazz; and Mackenzie Shimon for beginner and advanced-beginner Contemporary Hip-Hop.