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‘WinterDance’ showcases local talent this weekend

KNOW & GO

WHO: The Center for the Arts presents

WHAT: WinterDance — A Holiday Dance Celebration

WHEN: Friday & Saturday, Dec. 2-3; Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday only –1 p.m. matinee

WHERE: The Center for the Arts; 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley

TICKETS: $17 adults; $14 youth (6-18 years); 5 and under free (ticket required – request from box office)

Tickets available at: The Center for the Arts Box Office or by calling 530-274-8384 ext 14

Briar Patch – 530-272-5333,

Tickets online at http://www.thecenterforthearts.org

WEBPAGE: www. thecenterforthearts.org

http:// thecenterforthearts.org/winter dance-2016/

There are many different reasons why people like to dance. Some people do it for cardio-fitness exercise, or as an artistic outlet.

While many find solace in fluid, rhythmic movement as they spin, twist, and pulsate to the music. Like the Sufi whirling dervishes, still others use dance to transcend ordinary reality for spiritual awakening. Dance, therefore, communicates a universal language that we can all understand and celebrate.

The Center for the Arts will honor Nevada County’s dance community on Friday and Saturday with their 10th Annual WinterDance — a Holiday Dance Celebration. There will be many genres presented, from ballet to Brazilian Samba, to hip-hop, tap, jazz & modern, Persian classical dancing, and ‘40s era swing dances.

The community-oriented dance concert at The Center For the Arts opens on Friday at 7 p.m., and shows again Saturday at a 1 p.m. only matinee. “The WinterDance concert is a great opportunity for dancers to share what they’ve been doing, to showcase their choreography and classes, and to get feedback from their peers,” says Event Producer Marni Marshall. “It is also a fundraiser for the Center For The Arts.”

This year’s event includes performances by Sierra Dance Institute, Kickin’and Swingin’, Air Aligned and The Aerial Lab, Del Corazon, Anderson’s Step It Up, CORE Charter School, Nevada County Dance Collective, NorCal Curumim, Schirin Dance, Tendu Fondu, and many others.

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR GEORGE JAYNE

George Jayne, a teacher and the operator of Sierra Dance Institute in Grass Valley, is the Artistic Director of this years WinterDance concert. Jayne moved to the local area from Los Angeles in the early 1980s after performing and teaching dance professionally for many years. He has performed in every dance venue imaginable — Hollywood movies, stage musicals, TV shows, and school concerts.

“If there would be an overall theme to the WinterDance this year,” Jayne remarked, “It’s the idea of bringing a multitude of dance groups together with different age groups, different dance styles, both professionals and skilled amateurs to celebrate the artform of dance.”

It’s a great opportunity for the community to view a multitude of different dance groups, Jayne added. “It’s mostly dancers from the local dance schools. So people will want to attend to be supportive of all the wonderful dancers and dance groups in our community.”

One local professional dancer, Schirin Chams-Diba, will be performing a solo classical Persian dance, and a Persian & Indian Sufi fusion piece. “Persian and Indian dance is the embodiment of elegance, grace, beauty, poetry, spirituality, and romance,” said Chams-Diba. “The dance beautifully expresses the intoxication one feels with Divine Love.”

The Oriental dancer said she enjoys traveling to diverse cultures — like India, Egypt, and Turkey — to experience different ways of life and to explore their dances and music. “I seek out mostly sacred and folkloric dances as they stand for the living breathing people of those places and their history,” Chams-Diba enthused. “Music comes from a Divine Source; and dance is the language of the heart and soul, and a means of healing. My goal is to preserve the beauty of cultures by learning their dances.”

The local dancer thinks dance and music can be a way to unite and create commonality — rather than differences — between cultures and countries. And she has a special interest in dances that are healing, specifically to women. “Think of countries like Afghanistan, which goes through so much horror,” Chams-Diba explains.”They have some of the most beautiful dances and music and costumes anywhere; so it’s very worthwhile to present them. Through art, people’s eyes can be opened about misrepresented countries and their cultures.”

AERIAL GROUPS, HIGH SCHOOL DANCERS

George Jayne said some of the schools have their own dance groups, like Bear River and Nevada Union high schools.

“There are a couple of different aerial groups, AirAligned and The Aerial Lab, that dance from silk cords like at the Cirque du Soleil,” said Jayne. “And there is a dance group called Del Corazon, a new dance studio that’s opened up for girls, which is very cool. Corazon goes with the Spanish heart theme.”

There is a competition dance studio called Anderson Step it Up that will do a couple of numbers, and a lively swing dance group with music from the ‘30s through 50s that will perform, Jayne said. “The leader of it is an internationally-known swing dancer, Matt Richey, who lives here in Grass Valley. It’s called Kickin’ & Swingin,’ with a lot of local kids that do the dances.”

The Brazilian Cultural Foundation will field singers and dancers at the concert that will perform a trio of folk dances — a couple of sambas and a Capoeira, a dance that is also a martial arts form that combines music, acrobatics and dance.

David Gaines is a freelance writer that lives in Grass Valley. He can be contacted at dtgaines@att.net, or 530-615-4647.