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Growing strong: bright times for Alaska Dance Theatre.

From its humble beginnings in 1981--a Quonset hut with a handful of students--Alaska Dance Theatre has thrived in recent years. Part company, part school, the Anchorage-based organization now serves almost 700 students in its multimillion-dollar facility, which opened its doors in 2005. Here, classes, rehearsals, and performances move between five state-of-the-art studios and a black-box theater, supported by a staff of 30 and approximately 90 volunteers. (The fact that Alaska is an outpost for the oil industry has not hurt funding prospects.)

Artistic director and native Alaskan Alice Bassler Sullivan, who had helped to build preprofessional pre·pro·fes·sion·al  
Preparatory to the practice of a profession or to its specialized field of study.
 dance programs at the University of Minnesota (body, education) University of Minnesota - The home of Gopher.

Address: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
 and at the School of the Minnesota Ballet, returned to her home state in 1983 to lead ADT. She was determined to build a professional company from a solid student base.

Now in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
 of its 2008-09 season, the ADT company, with its 16 members (a mix of professional dancers and advanced students, including seven high school students), has an active schedule ahead: a winter repertory concert in February at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts The Alaska Center for the Performing Arts is a performance venue in downtown Anchorage in the U.S. state of Alaska. Opened in 1989, it entertains over 200,000 patrons annually, and consists of three theaters:
  • Evangeline Atwood Concert Hall
, where they're the only dance company to have resident status; an appearance in March in Juneau, to take part in the 50th-anniversary celebrations of Alaska's statehood; and in April, a shared concert at ACPA with James Sewell Ballet The James Sewell Ballet is a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based ballet company of eight dancers founded in 1990 by James Sewell and Sally Rousse.

Sewell has been described as a "relaxed humanist" working in the classical idiom whose dances range from more classically inspired
 of Minneapolis.

Company dancers work with a wide array of resident choreographers, such as Joan Woodbury, Robert Barnett, Toni Pimble, and KT Nelson. The company has hosted choreographers or regisseurs affiliated with the Paul Taylor Dance Company Paul Taylor Dance Company, is a contemporary dance company, formed by Paul Taylor, an American choreographers of the 20th century. One of the early touring companies of American modern dance, the Company has "performed in more than 500 cities in 62 countries"[1] , Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a modern dance company based in New York, New York. It was founded in 1958 by choreographer and dancer Alvin Ailey. It is made up of 30 dancers as well as artistic director Judith Jamison and associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya. , Eugene Ballet Company, Ballett Theater Augsburg, and Ballet West.

The ADT school comprises three divisions: the School Division, for students committed to year-round training; the Open Division, offering nearly 100 classes weekly from creative movement to hip hop; and the Pre-Professional Division, aimed at grooming dancers for the company, with classes in ballet, pointe, variations, pas de deux pas de deux

(French; “step for two”)

Dance for two performers. A characteristic part of classical ballet, it includes an adagio, or slow dance, by the ballerina and her partner; solo variations by the male dancer and then the ballerina; and a coda, or
, and modern. Former students include John Heginbotham of the Mark Morris Dance Group, Leyland Simmons, formerly of Complexions, and Blair Chenoweth, who toured with Movin' Out.

"I feel like this excitement with the new studio and growth of the school has been stirring since I started 25 years ago," says teacher and company member Sarah Grunwaldt, who started her ballet training in ADT's original studio. "It's a joy to teach here, and I still take Alice's classes. The only good excuse for missing class is a snowfall up to the roof!"

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Title Annotation:ACROSS THE FLOOR
Author:Berardi, Gigi
Publication:Dance Magazine
Geographic Code:1U9AK
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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