New World Ballet organizes a dance festival with an international flavor
Since 2012, when former Harlem Dance Theater performer Victor Temple moved his company and New World ballet school from Arcata to Santa Rosa, he has sought opportunities to showcase the talents of his students.
This Sunday, he intensifies their exhibition with âDancing in the Darkâ, a dance festival with an international flavor.
âWe invited dance groups from all over to represent different types of music,â Temple said. âI got the best acts I know to come together and play. These are all people I have worked with. Many of them haven’t played for two years.
The event will feature a variety of international styles from different choreographers, including Afro-Brazilian by Dandha Da Hora, West African by Alseny Soumah, Cuban salsa and bachata by Manuel Suarez and dance. classic and contemporary of Temple.
Temple’s New World Ballet group of 12 dancers will perform and guest choreographers will also bring their own dancers, he said. The evening’s opening ceremonies will feature Native American Pomo dancers.
âWe’re getting rid of stereotypes of what classical ballet should be like,â Temple said. âWe are starting to see more diversity in dance.
At the outdoor event, visitors are also invited to dance to live music from SambaDa. Dinner will be prepared by Sally Tomatoes and is included in the ticket price. Part festival and fundraiser, the event even includes a silent auction.
Visitors are advised to adhere to current health department guidelines regarding masking and social distancing during the event. Hand sanitizer will be available.
After the long process of establishing the New World Ballet School, Temple aims to create a local audience for the performances.
âWe have had approximately 1,200 students in our school over the past nine years. We never turned anyone away for default, âTemple said.
The festival will feature dancer Teryn Trent, 21, of Santa Rosa, a 2017 Santa Rosa High School graduate and this year a Butler University graduate in Indianapolis, Indiana.
âWhen he came to see me he was 14,â Temple said of Trent. âAs a high school student he was not doing well. Then he started studying with me and he started playing. His grades improved and he joined Butler.
Temple, 50, has had his own success story. After studying at the Chicago City Ballet School, he performed with the Dance Theater of Harlem for four years, then was invited to China to choreograph and teach contemporary ballet and hip-hop.
After four years in China, Temple returned to the United States and performed with the Oakland Ballet for three years. There he made an appearance with the New World Ballet in Arcata. When the director retired in 2005, Temple took over the business.
âClassical ballet, when done correctly, is very difficult,â Temple said. âI let my students know that if they can do this, they will do anything. This training gives children a sense of motivation, confidence and purpose.
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