Friday, December 14, 2007

Showtime is nearing!

It's really astonishing. I don't mean this in any negative way, but it's really astonishing how excellent the upcoming show is. We've worked hard, been creative, planned, staged, produced, discussed, rehearsed, loaded, unloaded, built, hung, and etc. so it's not too hard to see why the show is good, but it's way more than good. It's truly astounding. It's beautiful, amazing, magical. The directors and I looked at each other last night after the tech rehearsal and we all said, "I can't believe how great it is." I'm truly astonished.

And proud! The dancers look great, the music is wonderful, the band is ready - showtime is nearing!

Tickets are still available at Paradise Ridge CD's, 117 E. 3rd in downtown Moscow today and tomorrow (Sat.), or you can buy your tickets at the door at the Hartung.

Showtimes: Sat. 3:00 & 7:00, Sun. 3:00 at the Hartung Theatre

The band members and the Sugar Plum Fairy and others will be in the lobby to sign autographs after the shows, and refreshments, DVD's, t-shirts, and roses will be on sale at the intermission.

Don't miss the best show for the holidays! Nutcracker Suite & Celtic Treats!
And keep dancing...............

Monday, December 10, 2007

Make It A Tradition!

I'm feeling gushy and in the holiday spirit! Especially since the nice snowfall we had last night. I would mention this to my husband, but he is outside snowblowing, so I suspect he doesn't share my sentiment. The pine trees are covered in white, the rolling hills are beautiful, and campus is like a winter wonderland. Along with this holiday sentiment, I'm feeling gushy about our upcoming show.......... The rehearsal Saturday was fantastic! Omie Drawhorn from the Daily News came with a photographer, interviewed the dancers, took pictures, and watched a sneak preview of the show. She is going to do an article about it- so be sure to check the paper this week! Yiipppppeeeeeee!

The dancers were proud to be interviewed by a real reporter and it excited everyone to have a new person to perform for. We also had a great article in the Argonaut, and will have a good one in the Tribune, too. All this publicity does wonders for the confidence of the dancers, not to mention the size of the audience.

In all the hoopla about the show - sometimes the Celtic concert in the first half gets overlooked.... The Celtic Nots from Spokane will be performing an entertaining show accompanied by our Celtic dancers in the first half. If you haven't heard the Celtic Nots, go to their website to hear their music. Katie Saunders, our Celtic instructor has been working hard to present a show that you won't forget! Katie will be doing a solo for the Sunday performance. When you see her dance, you will see an incredibly talented young woman. She will be teaching a world dance class with the UI Dance Program next year. We're very proud of her!

This Wednesday at 7:00am turn your radio to Bull Country to hear me try to describe Nutcracker Suite and Celtic Treats, and Thursday at 7:15am I'll be pitching our show on ZFun! I think the most important part of my job is to convince community members to attend this Holiday Tradition - because it is a great time and also to support the dancers who have worked so hard for their time on stage.

DVD's will be on sale at the show for $25, we will have roses for sale, and refreshments. The dancers will have the opportunity to take professional photographs in costume at dress rehearsal. The coloring contest participants will have their artwork displayed in the Lobby of the Hartung, and the winner of the contest will win 2 free tickets to the show. Stay tuned to find out who won!

Remember, get your tickets now at Paradise Ridge CD's in Moscow.

Attend Nutcracker Suite and Celtic Treats - and make it a tradition!

Keep dancing.......

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Mia Swartwood is a genius!

The rehearsal yesterday was beautiful. It's amazing how it all comes together and all the production meetings, emails, phone calls, hard work, choreography, and staging seem well worth the effort. I am always thankful for our Artistic Director and head instructor, Mia Swartwood. (Her middle name is Song, and that's fitting, because she's as lovely as a song!) Mia's choreography is delightful. It's light, airy, fun and inspiring; it's got a signature grace and style - and for lack of a better description - it's got sprezzatura! Hers is the sort of choreography that makes you think, "That's EXACTLY what I would have done - if I were a genius!"

Other news is that the Omie Drawhorn from the Moscow-Pullman Daily News will be interviewing dancers and others at our next rehearsal, December 8th. She's bringing a photographer - so we will make sure she gets some excellent pictures of the rehearsal performance and costumes so we can make our marketing goal: The Front Page Of The Pulse. Believe it or not, that is what will make the difference between a packed house and just a 'full audience.' When you're operating on a shoestring budget, that exposure is very important. Also, C. Rod Bacon is going to take some photos this Monday so we can send them to the Lewiston Tribune, so they will hopefully do a lovely story on the incredible local event. If anyone out there knows Jennifer Bauer, put in a good word for us!

Other than the articles we hope will give the show some exposure, you may have seen our poster and you may have been mailed our postcard. (If you're not on our mailing list and would like to be, just call 208-883-DANS.) We'll also have ads in the papers, you'll hear of the show on NPR, KQQQ, Bull Country, and ZFUN, and if you have a child in K-3rd, you'll see a coloring flyer in their school folder. The flyer is a coloring contest and the winner gets 2 free tickets!

Possibly the most exciting news about the upcoming production is that it will be played on Channel 8 Dec. 26,27,28 & Jan. 2,3,4 thanks to Idaho Public Television! This is a great opportunity for Festival Dance to share our wonderful, talented young dancers with more people. (Plus, the dancers are excited to see themselves on TV!) We have dancers from Moscow, Pullman, Genesee, Lewiston, and Lapwai involved in the show; our holiday production epitomizes collaboration and artistic diversity.

If you haven't purchased your tickets for the show yet, get yourself to Paradise Ridge CDs in Moscow. While you're there, listen to the new holiday album by Dianna Krall. I couldn't resist it when I was last in there, and I've been listening to her jazzy renditions of the holiday favorites and loving them!

Keep dancing...........

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Nutcracker is cracking me up!!

Well- not really. I just thought it would be fun to start out the blog with a little play on words. But, we are working very hard on our upcoming production, and it has given me a new respect for everyone involved. Sheesh - the details are complicated!

If you haven't purchased your tickets yet, get to Paradise Ridge CDs (117 East 3rd, Moscow) on Monday to get yours. (Paradise Ridge doesn't start selling them until Monday the 19th.) We aren't sold out yet, but tickets are selling quickly. Also, the stage will be altered in the Hartung Theatre to bring it out closer into the audience, and we will loose the middle of the front row of seats. (They're doing this for Midsummer Night's Dream, and we've asked them to leave the stage like that for our show.) So that's 10 less seats that we have for audience members. I was a little worried about that, but the impact will be so great on the show, that I now think it is a good idea. The stage and sets will be wonderful!

I've created a FAQ sheet to aid in communication with the parents and students. Please go to to read about what part your child has in the show, who is in which performances, costumes, hair & make-up, tickets, safety backstage, and how to buy Nutcracker Suite and Celtic Treats t-shirts. I hope it will really be informative.

There are no classes at any Festival Dance studio next week for the whole week of Thanksgiving. (19th-23rd)

Quote of the day:
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein

Keep dancing..............

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dancing Into the Holiday Season

The holiday season is almost here, and dancing is in the air. Actually, it's more like rehearsals, rehearsals, and more rehearsals. For me, the challenge of the season is communication. When one is producing a full scale performance that includes 100 dancers, a live band from out of town, lighting and sound technicians, choreography, music splicing, costuming, setting, staging, marketing, directing, ticket sales and more, and it's a new creative endeavor that's never been done before.............. well, the hardest part is communicating with and communication between all the above parties.

Schedules change because of a zillion reasons; costumes change because of sizing issues, sets change because of space issues, lighting changes because of difficulty and personnel issues, roles change because of attendance issues - everything changes. This is the nature of a creative endeavor that includes human beings. Especially in dance, which is such a creative field. We are truly fortunate to have so many creative people involved in our production, because that is what will make it excellent. It's the creative people that make the show 'take your breath away' during a scene, or bring tears to your eyes, or when the lights go out and the curtain opens and you get that excited feeling in the pit of your stomach.

But because of all this creativity and the monumental task of bringing all the pieces together to make one whole holiday production, there will be communication break downs.

Sometimes things change 3 times in one day. So I'll do my best to keep you informed by sending out emails, writing in this blog, posting on our website, and encouraging the teachers to send home notes with the students. Stay in touch and check the website often, for the latest updates and for rehearsal schedules and performance information.

And keep dancing!