Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Features · TC Dance Project is Back
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TC Dance Project is Back

After a one-year hiatus, the Traverse City Dance Project is back.

Ross Boissoneau - August 4th, 2014  

Artistic directors Jennifer McQuiston Lott and Brent Whitney, a Traverse City native, are bringing together professional dancers, apprentices, choreographers, and musicians for two shows at the City Opera House.

The vision for this project stemmed from a desire the two shared to create a professional dance company in a smaller, Midwestern city.

Given Brent’s upbringing and familiarity with the area and the Traverse City area’s long-standing enthusiasm for the arts, the duo decided to launch their concept here.

Then came the hard part: actually making it happen. “We talked about it for two years,” said Lott, a native of Indianapolis.

They finally decided to take a chance and the Traverse City Dance Project debuted in 2012.

“I was in graduate school in California in 2011 and decided it was the best graduate project,” Lott said.

The two had a Kickstarter campaign and raised enough money to put on the show in 2012, which was deemed a success.

But when it came to year two, Lott was finishing grad school and Whitney was busy in New York, so they passed on 2013.

Now they’re back, and their increasing familiarity with the region and its resources has Lott more excited than ever. She’s taught the past two summers at Interlochen; her colleagues are among those who will be providing the music, the bulk of which is live.

Musical director Steve Larson and conductor Matt Schlomer are both from Interlochen, as is vocalist Courtney Kaiser-Sandler.

Other musicians include Lott’s husband, Son Lux, with arrangements developed in collaboration with DM Stith; Jade Brings Plenty from Loch Lomond, who grew up in Traverse City; six string players from the area; and local musicians The Accidentals.

Dancers in the 2014 company include Lott and Whitney, along with Sarah Atkins, Marcia Hetrick, Seyong Kim, Justin Koertgen, Amy Saunder, Michael Spencer Phillips, Brittany Fridenstine-Keefe, Katelyn Somers, and Jeremy Zapanta.

A new addition to this year’s programming is the company’s apprentice program.

During the two-week rehearsal time, dancers from Interlochen Arts Academy, Dance Arts Academy and Ballet Etc. will join the professionals.

The company will be presenting two works. The first is a contemporary version of Henry Purcell’s tragic 17th century opera, “Dido and Aeneas,” with choreography by Lott, Whitney, and guest artist Nicola Conraths.

The second piece is Gerald Arpino’s classic masterwork, “Birthday Variations.” It is being staged by former Joffrey Ballet dancer Cameron Basden, director of dance at Interlochen Arts Academy.

Both performances will present modern takes on the pieces, said Lott.

“We use the stage differently,” she said. “The stage, the floor, plus we have live musicians. It’s wonderful.”

Lott said she is excited about the upcoming show as well as the region’s interest in dance.

“One of the surprising things to me is how many people have a commitment to dance in Traverse City,” she said. “It’s a vibrant arts community. Brent suspected [the interest], but hadn’t experienced it as an adult.

“There’s really great support for dance.” Lott says she is hopeful the performances will spark even more local enthusiasm.

“They should be prepared for a very immersive experience,” she said. “This is a chance to see dance up close. You can hear their breathing.”

Dance enthusiasts can also attend rehearsals to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how such a show is put together. Admittance to rehearsals is free, but seats must be secured in advance. To do so, email traversecitydanceproject@gmail. com. Lott says the best days for rehearsal attendance are Aug. 6-9.

The Traverse City Dance Project performance will take place Aug. 15 and 16 at 7:30pm at the City Opera House. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. For more, visit tcdanceproject.org.

 
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