Diversity, individuality in July 14-15 BalaSole dance concert

Sunday Jackson

Roberto Villanueva, founder/artistic director of BalaSole Dance Company, presents “Contrasts,” a new program of 10 dancer/choreographers in a broad range of dance styles, music choices, and artistic voices, July 14 & 15 at Ailey Citigroup Theater.

As always, the selected artists, hailing from such diverse locations as Russia, Venezuela, and Wassila, Alaska, will demonstrate a wide range of dance styles and themes, reflecting their own voices as well as their training and performing experiences with The Tulsa Ballet, Sokolow Dance Ensemble, Juilliard, Purchase Conservatory, The Limon Institute, Kirov Academy of Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, and associations with choreographers, teachers and artists that include Chuck Davis, Elisa King, Gelsey Kirkland, Milton Myers, and pop artists Celine Dion and Nicki Minaj.

Roberto created BalaSole because he decided that “it was time to create a multi-ethnic organization that would open its doors to underrepresented dance artists of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds.” BalaSole is the only dance company in the U.S. with a mission to address the gaps in the field of concert dance. The company’s artists are provided artistic freedom and are encouraged to find and hone their artistic voices.

Diversity and individuality are the keywords of the organization, which has already, at the tender age of two, mentored and given performance opportunities to dozens of dancer/choreographers. The company has presented seasons at Baryshnikov Arts Center’s Jerome Robbins Theater, Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York Live Arts, and Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Villanueva is pleased to make the major announcement that BalaSole is now the resident company of Mount Saint Vincent College in Riverdale, where Villanueva will also join as an adjunct faculty in September.

Choreographing and appearing in “Contrasts” are:

Emily Aiken is a native of North Carolina, where she still lives, dances, and continues to create work while pursuing higher education.

Musashi Alvarez, a former member of the Tulsa Ballet, is a native New Yorker and graduate of LaGuardia High School.

Ann Sterling Dale

Ann Sterling Dale, from North Carolina, graduated from Elon U with a BFA in Dance.

Jenny Efremova was born in Russia, lived in Sweden, received a diploma in Dance Theatre and Production from a college in Kingston, Jamaica, and completed her studied at the University of Ghana.

Stephanie Flackman has appeared in productions that range from ballet companies to the Disney Cruise Line and Las Vegas musical theater entertainments.

Stephanie Flackman

Sunday Shannon Jackson is a graduate of LaGuardia H.S. and holds a BFA in Dance from Juilliard. She is an original member of Celine Dion’s A New Day Show in Caesars Palace/Las Vegas.

Ricardo Mateo Rique-Sanchez is a native of Wasilla Alaska and started dancing at Stephens College in MO. He studied Humphrey/Weidman technique with Deborah Carr, Limon technique at the Limon Institute, and has danced with the Sokolow Dance Theater Ensemble.

Alexzandra Sarmiento is a graduate of LaGuardia H.S. She recently performed in “A Chorus Line” under the direction of Baayork Lee.

Yvanhova Silva graduated from Taller de Danza de Caracas in her native Venezuela.

Roberto Villanueva has been hailed for his virtuoso technique as a dancer with Complexions, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Co, Buffalo City Ballet, and other groups, and has taught and/or performed in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Villanueva served on the faculty of Dance Masters of America’s Teachers Training Program; received a 2011-12 Harlem Stage Fund for New Work Award for his one-man show; has created works presented at venues in NYC and around the U.S.

Tickets priced at $25, $18 for students, seniors. For reservations, contact 212-868-4444 or visit smarttix.com

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