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New England Academy Of Dance Bids Farewell To Senior In New Canaan

Thirty-three original pieces were featured, including one performance set to Corelli. Photo Credit: Contributed
Thirty-three original pieces were featured, including one performance set to Gershwin. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- A total of 350  ballerinas, ages 6 to 18, performed a series of modern dances at the New Canaan High School Auditorium on June 13 and 14.

The performance featured 33 different original pieces, set to music ranging from Gershwin to Corelli to Earth Wind & Fire and was the culmination of five months of effort by the entire New England Academy of Dance family.

Performances this year by “The Company,” comprising the school’s most advanced students, included two pieces composed by guest choreographers.

Eric Rivera, a veteran of 13 seasons with Ballet Hispanico of New York, choreographed “Momentos,” a moving interpretation of Bach’s "Cello Suites" for seven ballerinas. Dancers were accompanied by Melissa Gates on cello.

Amy Marshall, co-founder of the Amy Marshall Dance Company in New York, choreographed “Going for the Gold,” a finale for 14 dancers, set to Vivaldi. Co-director Ginna Ortiz values the opportunity for her young ballerinas to get exposure to outside artists.

“In addition to the professional instruction that our girls get at NEAD every day, we think it’s important that our most advanced students interact with working artists to see first-hand the skill and dedication necessary at the highest levels of the arts," said Ortiz.

Five guest professionals – William Gonzales, Philippe Obergon Osorio, Gustavo Ramirez, William Roberson and Miguel Solano – also danced with the Company. Co-director Frances Ortiz admitted the spring performance is ultimately bittersweet, as the school bids adieu to its senior class, performing for its final time with the school.

“This year, the Company graduates four accomplished young women, each of whom made their mark on our school and our hearts,” said Frances Ortiz.

Emily Meyer, of New Canaan, will attend The Boston Conservatory in the fall. Helena Silano, of Norwalk, will study dance at Rider College. New Canaan residents Kristin Davis and Alexa Orndahl will be attending Georgetown University and James Madison, respectively.

Registration is now open for the 2015-16 season, which begins in September. Further information can be found at or by calling (203)-972-3265.

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