Ballaro Dance Stages Site-Specific Work, Open Air, at Alumni House
Alumna’s dance company helps inaugurate brand new patio and community garden at campus’ historic Alumni House.
On Saturday, August 24, 2019, SUNY Brockport alumna Marisa Ballaro’s company, Ballaro Dance, will present a site-specific performance of its summer series, Open Air, in and around the College’s brand new community garden and patio at its historic Alumni House. That curtain warmer will then lead into a more formal showing of various pieces from the company’s repertoire in the Rose L. Strasser Studio in Hartwell Hall, located on Kenyon Street. The evening begins at 5 pm, and tickets are $20, or $10 for students. There will be a brief talkback, featuring Ballaro, following the performance.
Open Air: Brockport takes place in the new outdoor spaces at Alumni House, resplendent with a gorgeous backdrop of floral landscapes and patio structures. Accompanied by live music played by Boston-based cellist Rob Bethel, dancers will perform throughout the space during a wine reception provided by the Brockport Alumni Association. After this special outdoor movement experience, dancers will lead the audience across the lawn to the Strasser Studio for a formal concert indoors. Ballaro Dance will present a few of their greatest hits, including audience favorites “Jazz for Six,” a fun, care-free ensemble work exploring musicality and gesture, and “Stairway to Nowhere,” a quirky solo composed of acrobatic feats of flexibility and power. Several new dances will round out the program, designed to engage audiences of all ages, given the company's energized approach to modern dance.
The company’s Open Air series has featured dance works in outdoor spaces across five cities in New York State and Connecticut: Manhattan, Brockport, Buffalo, Sandy Hook, and Oyster Bay. Set in unique places (such as community gardens, rooftops, and farms), the dancers interact with each space differently — and as the space may allow or inspire — during these site-specific performances.
As a finale to this special event, on Saturday, August 25, the company will give a dance class, featuring live cello, which is open to the community. The class is free with an event ticket purchase (or $10 for drop-ins), and will take place from 11:30 am until 1 pm in Studio 240 in Hartwell Hall.
Regarding her return to Brockport, Ballaro says that it is “actually incredible. I feel like big gigantic eagle wings have just swooped down to gather me in and to welcome me home. And I mean that with a capital "H." Brockport was a physical home for me for four incredible years, but it has continued to provide me with so much... very dear friends, supportive colleagues, irreplaceable mentors, opportunities for me to grow professionally as a member of the board of directors for the Alumni Association… My hope during this visit is to reconnect with the Brockport Dance community… I hope to inspire current students to see what their future could possibly hold and to give back to a community that continues to inspire me.”
Along with founding artistic director Ballaro, the company’s dancers include Lacey Birch, Emily Chin, Abby Corrigan, Darcy Guariglia, Emily Hoff (pictured above to the right), Hannah Kearney, and Lauren Russo.