A look at the 2010-11 Season

September 2nd, 2010 by Rich Corsi

By Rich Corsi, Director of Programming

Well, here we are again—ready to kick off another CAPA season. The upcoming year is pretty exciting with a few Columbus debuts, some acts Columbus hasn’t seen in a while, and some dear friends that will be making their annual return to our great venues once again.

Hard to believe we were booking hotels and catering for Thanksgiving weekend’s presentation of A Christmas Carol and December’s Dave Koz show when its 90 degrees outside. It seems like summer just began, but it makes you realize that winter, unfortunately, is not too far away.

We had a couple of instances this year where we were one show short on both our Spectrum Series and Family Series. Then, out of nowhere, we received a call saying the Temptations happened to have an open date in November. It’s been years since they played Columbus and are always such a pleasure to work with, so we opened our doors and welcomed this legendary act once again. A couple days later, we received word that one of the hottest children’s shows around, Imagination Movers, wanted to stop in Columbus on their upcoming tour. Funny how things work out sometimes.

There are some exciting dance presentations this season too—Ailey II will return and perform “Revelations” for the first time in Columbus and the Complexions Contemporary Ballet will make their Columbus debut in the spring. Also, after almost 10 years, we were finally able to secure a date for the always-in-demand Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

Something I am always happy about is when we have the opportunity to engage our artists in educational components while in Columbus. Punch Brothers and Tiempo Libre will each hold a music master class, and Ailey II will conduct a dance master class. It means a lot to students to be able to interact with professional artists, so any time we can incorporate education elements, we definitely do.

Thanks again for all your interest in and attendance at our presentations. Without your support, none of it would be possible. It makes me think of a line from the film Field of Dreams—“If you build it, they will come.” Our season is built, and we now hope you will come—and enjoy.

– Rich

A Moment with Pilobolus

May 5th, 2010 by CAPASMM

by Joe Cortez, Web & Social Media Coordinator

When you see Pilobolus on our website, you may immediately think that it is nothing more than modern dance. What you probably don’t know about them, however, is that Pilobolus is more than dance. For instance, did you know that Pilobolus has produced short films for the past two seasons of NFL broadcasts? Or that they have performed in more than 64 countries around the world, including a performance for the Queen of England? And in addition, Pilobolus has made numerous television appearances, including CBS’ 60 Minutes, The Late Show with Conan O’Brien, Oprah, and have won an Emmy for their work in television? Sure, modern dance may be one aspect of Pilobolus’ work – but they span so much more than just what you’ll see at the Palace Theatre on Thursday night.

This week, I had the opportunity to catch up with some of the dancers of Pilobolus, and ask them about their motivations. Read from them how they got started, and their favorite performance pieces that you will see here in Columbus!

Q: When and why did you begin dancing?

Nile Russel, dancer: I began dancing when I was about 5 yrs old.  My mom put me into tap lessons after school with Ms. Jackie Flynn.  I went every day after school. I loved being able to move, feel rhythms, and bounce my body against the music, but it sucked being the only guy in class.  It wasn’t until high school and, more so, in college that dance became my passion, however, I think tap and Ms. Flynn have influenced my  approach to dance.

Erika Jimbo, dancer: I began dancing with my sister when I was about 5 years old.  My mother enrolled us both in a ballet program because she always wanted to learn when she was younger, but was never given the chance.  She thought it would be fun for us.

Chris Whitney, dancer: I started my formal dance training the summer following my senior year of high school.  Since the age of 11 I had been involved in theatre productions, musicals, Shakespeare, et cetera.  It was during a high school production in Cleveland that I met Bill Wade, then Director/Founder of the Y.A.R.D. (Youth At Risk Dancing) at Cleveland School for the Arts.  I spent the first six weeks of my summer taking classes at a summer intensive run by Mr. Wade and from then on was hooked.

Matt Del Rosario, dancer: It all started when I was attending the University of Hawaii.  I began as an inspired education major, but before long I started skipping class to surf.  My “Oh, I’ll go tomorrow” attitude led to me failing multiple classes.  So, I decided to take a dance class to boost my GPA.  I signed up for beginning ballet with Paul Maley, who happened to be an alumnus of North Carolina School of the Arts.  It was the hardest thing in the world, but I really enjoyed it and didn’t give up.  Paul got me in contact with NCSA and that year the dean of NCSA’s dance department flew to Hawaii to audition me at home.  After the audition she invited me to come to the school, and that’s how I got started.

Q: What’s your favorite piece to perform?

Annika Sheaff, dancer: “Rushes”, from 2007, is a piece that I was lucky enough to help create.  We collaborated on it with the Israeli choreographers Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollack, who I think are genius artists.  I was able to help create a world, and a  character within that world, that over the past three years I have become attached to.  I learn more and more about the character each time I perform the dance.  It is amazing to feel that even though I have performed Rushes hundreds of times, every performance is still new for me, and I can always dig deeper into it.

Matt Del Rosario: My favorite piece to perform would have to be “Gnomen.”  There is a sense of brotherhood and compassion that I really respect about this piece.

Our thanks goes to the dancers of Pilobolus for taking the time to talk to me about their experiences!

Its not too late to get tickets to see Pilobolus in concert! Use the password “DANCER” and you can get 50% off tickets! To order tickets, call 614-469-0939, visit the CAPA Ticket Office at the Ohio Theatre or the Palace Theatre Ticket Office 2 hours before the show begins, or click here to order from Ticketmaster!

And for all of our Facebook fans: we’ve got a special photo gallery up on Facebook right now! Click here to check it out!

Diavolo loves Columbus kids

March 18th, 2010 by Rich Corsi

By Rich Corsi, Director of Programming.

I woke up Wednesday morning not really knowing what the next couple of days would have in store for me.

We have an LA-based dance group called Diavolo in town for a performance this Friday, March 19. We added an education component to the booking, which means the group came in a couple of days early to visit some Columbus area schools and conduct Master Class activities.

Diavolo is also conducting a special student matinee performance on Friday morning, so all the students who participated in the Master Classes, along with an additional 1,000 students, will get to see the group in action. So not only do these kids get to meet and work with the dancers in a Master Class, but they also get to see them live on stage at the Palace Theatre.

Many, many hours go into putting something like this together, yet no matter how detailed the plan, there are still those nail-biter moments when you fear it won’t all come together. We had delayed flights and other flights which were almost missed. I woke up in the middle of the night wondering if I had told the school principals that we needed a sound tie-in for an iPod and a 6’ ladder.

But I can honestly say that no matter how much time invested in calls, texts, and emails or the number of nails chewed down to the nub, when you see the joy on the faces of these students who don’t get too many opportunities to participate in something like this, it’s all worth it. I have been involved with well over 1,000 shows in my 19 years with CAPA, and I must say, this week has been one of the most fulfilling experiences in my career.

I’m really excited to see the buses pulling up to the Palace Theatre Friday morning and unloading 1,300 students. It will be the perfect ending to an extraordinary week.

Special thanks to Renee and the Diavolo dancers for making this such a great week for us! And as always, thanks to all of the school principals and teachers for such great cooperation and communication!

Until next time…

(Ed. Note: Click on the video below for a preview of Diavolo - appearing Friday, March 19, at the Palace Theatre!)