Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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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