In June, the Center for Modern Dance Education in Hackensack, NJ, celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala performance, featuring Samuel Pott of the Martha Graham Dance Company, Javier Ubell of Oregon Ballet Theatre, and choreographer Claire Porter, who presented a new work in which performers posited various answers to the enduring question, “What is modern dance?” CMDE, co-founded in 1962 by Shirley and Earl Ubell, fosters a strong sense of community through classes and programs for all ages and abilities.
The Chicago Human Rhythm Project announced the establishment of the American Rhythm Center (ARC), a new institution that brings the education programs, rehearsal spaces, and administrative offices of several Chicago arts organizations under one roof. Those partnering organizations include Luna Negra Dance Theater, Giordano Dance Chicago, Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts, Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute, River North Dance Chicago, and Cerqua River Dance Theatre. ARC will be located at the city’s historic Fine Arts Building, where CHRP plans to renovate spaces occupied for three decades by the Boitsov Classical Ballet. Among the many goals of the new shared facility is to offer a wide range of dance and movement classes to the public. ARC will host a grand opening in early September.
Pennsylvania Ballet reopens its school this month, after 20 years as one of the few major American ballet companies without an affiliated training program. (Its original academy went independent in 1992 as the Rock School for Dance Education, which remains one of the northeast’s leading centers for ballet training.) Directed by William DeGregory, the School of Pennsylvania Ballet will open in East Falls, Philadelphia, and move in January to PAB’s new downtown headquarters, the Louise Reed Center for Dance. Arantxa Ochoa, a principal dancer with the company, will retire from performing in October to become principal instructor at the school.