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Posts tagged “dance

Channeling John Travolta

The Australian Bee Gees will be in Chandler on November 9, 2013. We are beyond excited. If you haven’t heard yet, prior to the show we are opening our doors early for a pre-show party. The pre-show will include delicious 70’s inspired drinks, a 70’s costume contest, and disco dancing with demonstrations by local dance studios. So gather your friends, dust off the go-go boots and get ready to boogie! It will be a night to remember.

In preparation for The Australian Bee Gees show we also decided we needed to channel our inner John Travolta. Naturally we have all been tapping our toes to Stayin’ Alive and trying to find out leisure suits. So we came up with our first episode of “channeling” John Travolta – check it out below!


2013-2014 Season On Sale!

      The time has finally come.  Chandler Center of the Arts 2013-2014 season is here! There are a variety of spectacular acts from The Moscow Festival Ballet, the classic bands like The Bee Gees and Queen, comedians like Yakov Smirnoff, fabulous singers like Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix and Debbie Reynolds, to the Zoppe Italian Family Circus. Come enjoy these shows and be apart of the fun and excitement of the Chandler community.

     Tickets are on sale now, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to see wonderful performances from all different genres, cultures, and backgrounds.

Jive Talkin’ Recreate & Present The Bee Gees
Saturday, November 9, 2013 | 7:30pm
Accompanied by a live String Section, the Bee Gees Greatest Hits are brought incredibly back to life!

Michael A. Pollack presents Blood, Sweat & Tears
Saturday, November 16, 2013 | 7:30pm
Major hit singles “You Made Me So Very Happy”, “Spinning Wheel”, “And When I Die”.

PRESENTED BY STEENA MURRAY
ZOPPE, An Italian Family Circus
December 26-Janaury 5, 2014
A one-ring circus featuring acrobatic feats, canine capers and equestrian showmanship.

Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix
Saturday, January 25, 2014 | 7:30pm
Dick Van Dyke will walk (and sing) us through his extraordinary 60 years in show business!

Mr. & Mrs. Wyatt Earp “The Sunset Years”
Starring Wyatt Earp and Terry Earp
Sunday, January 26, 2014 | 3pm
The play follows the sometimes turbulent times of the couple’s 47-year life together.

Moscow Festival Ballet presents Swan Lake
Friday, January 31, 2014 | 7:30pm
Odette yearns for freedom as she awaits Prince Siegfried’s declaration of love and her release from a swan’s body.

Jeanne Robertson, Humorist
Saturday, February 1, 2014 | 7:30pm
Jeanne is a master story teller! In her down-home Southern drawl, she turns her personal experiences into funny stories that leave her audiences in stitches!

The Texas Tenors
Saturday, February 15, 2014 | 7:30pm
A blend of Country, Classical, Gospel and Broadway filled with humor and cowboy charm!

River City Brass, “American Heroes”
Saturday, February 22, 2014 | 3pm
RCB has a powerful repertoire of music from classical, pops, jazz and marches.   

Pat Metheny Unity Group
Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams & Giulio Carmassi
Sunday, February 23, 2014 | 7pm
2013 Grammy Award Winners for Best Instrumental Jazz Album!

Debbie Reynolds
Saturday, March 1, 2014 | 7:30pm
An evening of nostalgic music and memories.

One Night Of Queen
Saturday, March 8, 2014 | 7:30pm
Gary Mullen brings Freddie Mercury back to life with “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and “We Are the Champions”.

Branson’s Two-Time Comedian of the Year!
Yakov Smirnoff
Saturday, March 15, 2014 | 7:30pm

The funny Russian-American philosopher brings us unique insights into life, family, and these United States.  “What A Country!”

SIRO-A
Friday, March 21, 2014 | 7:30pm
Often described as Japan’s answer to the Blue Man Group, Siro-A perfectly fuse modern technology with mime, breath-taking optical illusions, movement and comedy all set to a pulsating electro beat.

Bella Gaia
Friday, March 28, 2014 | 7:30pm
Combines high fidelity imagery of the Earth from space, data, and stirring live performances of music and dance from around the world.

Purchase Your Tickets Here!


Interview with Shaping Sound’s Alexa Anderson

Alexa_Anderson_096Today we had the great privilege to interview Alexa Anderson, a cast member of  Shaping Sound. Not only is she incredibly talented, but she is also incredibly sweet! Her bubbly personality drew us in as she shared insight into her dance journey.

Chandler Center for the Arts [CCA]: We first have to ask you, since you are a native to the Chandler area, where did you go to high school?

Alexa Anderson: I went to school at Arizona School for the Arts and then I went to Hamilton High.

CCA: How does it feel to return back to Chandler with a National Touring group?

Alexa: It feels really good. I have so many friends and family coming to see the show. Most haven’t seen me dance live in years.

CCA: How did you get your start in dance?

Alexa: I was born premature. I had a brain hemorrhage which caused a right side weakness. My mom put me in dance to balance out the weakness. The dance classes were not easy. I worked really hard to overcome this weakness.

CCA: How did you get your break in the business?

Alexa: I moved to LA when I was 18. I worked a couple of gigs, but pretty much just rolled with the punches. I continued to go to auditions.

CCA: So there wasn’t really a “big break” moment?

Alexa: Not really. It is always a work in progress.

CCA: Did you ever imagine dance would be your career?

Alexa: I really didn’t until I was 16, well more like 17. I wanted to go to college and get a degree. But, then at age 17, I stepped back and realized I was training so hard in dance. I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t given dance a shot.

CCA: Why did you want to be a part of Shaping Sound?

Alexa: Teddy (Forance) is my favorite dancer. At age 15 I started working with Travis (Wall) and Nick (Lazzarini). It was just a natural thing to dance along side them.

CCA: Rumor has it everyone had to audition for Shaping Sound, even the friends. Was this the case for you?

Alexa: Yes. Everybody had to audition, even me. They had to be fair in how they chose the cast.

CCA: What is the best advice you would give an aspiring dancer?

Alexa: Seize every opportunity. It is scary to be a dancer. So take in everything you can.

CCA: Is the business side of dance what you expected?

Alexa: Dancing is a difficult lifestyle. You make your own schedule every day. Some days there may be nothing to do, whereas other days you have worked so hard you don’t even know how you are still standing. The key is finding a balance.

CCA: How would your life be different without dance?

Alexa: I always get asked this question and I don’t even know. Being a dancer has helped me become aware of my body. Dance is hard work, but it is my passion. Dance is something I get excited about everyday.

CCA: Some of our reader’s tweeted in and want to know what choreographers influence you?

Alexa: Travis (Wall), Teddy (Forance), Nick (Lazzarini) and Kyle (Robinson). Wade Robson certainly has – he is brilliant.

CCA: Another reader tweeted in, what was the best part about So You Think You Can Dance?

Alexa: I made a lot of lifetime friends during the show. The show allowed me to see what I was made of.  It pushed me to my limits.

CCA: Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Alexa: No, I do think so. We are excited to be coming out to Phoenix. We can’t wait for the show.

It was such a pleasure to speak with Alexa. We were astonished at the trials she overcame and her determination. Alexa is proof  that dreams are achievable through hard work and persistence.

Come see Alexa and the rest of the Shaping Sound crew perform here at Chandler Center for the Arts on June 7. You will be swept away on a visually stunning showcase of movement, speed, physical strength, and pure passion.

To learn more about Shaping Sound or to purchase tickets click here.


Dance Stars Coming To Chandler

Imagine our excitement when we learned top choreographers, Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, and Kyle Robinson, are all coming to Chandler this June.  These top choreographers have joined forces to create “Shaping Sound.”  The performance combines music genres and dance styles resulting in a visually stunning showcase of movement, speed, physical strength, and pure passion. If you are not familiar with these names, not to worry. Today we are diving in to learn more about each of these choreographers and their dance history.

First, let’s meet Travis Wall. Right now Travis Wall is a hot name in the dance industry. Travis was the runner-up for the Fox reality show So You Think You Can Dance, and is currently a resident choreographer and judge for the national dance competition show. He has choreographed for Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. He has worked with Florence and the Machine, Chelsea Handler, Eminem, and Rihanna. Travis also choreographed the contemporary numbers for the feature film, Step Up Revolution.

Next, let us introduce to you Nick Lazzarini. His multifaceted dancing abilities have leveraged his career within the United States and abroad. Nick is the season one winner of the Fox reality show So You Think You Can Dance, and has been featured in countless publications. He has performed with music sensations such as Adele on Dancing with the Stars, Kelly Clarkson at this year’s American Music Awards and Florence and the Machine at The MTV Video Music Awards.

The next dance super star joining the Shaping Sound team is Teddy Forance. He grew up surrounded by dance as the fourth generation to live in his family’s studio, the Hackworth School of Performing Arts in Massachusetts.  By the age of 17 he took his career to a professional level. Teddy is well-known for his work on seasons two and three of the Fox reality show So You Think You Can Dance. He has also performed with award-winning artists including Lady Gaga on American Idol, Usher at the American Music Awards, Florence and the Machine at the MTV Video Music Awards, among others.

And lastly, but certainly not least, meet Kyle Robinson. Kyle began dancing when he was 11-years-old. By the time he was 18, he had already received the Gold Award in Modern Dance from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA). He went on to fine-tune his abilities by training at the Julliard School, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  His hard work paid off, and he landed the role of Diesel in West Side Story’s first national tour. Continuing with this success, Kyle performed a special ballet piece on Dancing with the Stars this past season.

As you can see this team brings dance expertise, strength and a guarantee to reshape your vision of dance.

The excitement of this show doesn’t stop there! Before the dancers hit the stage, you have the incredible opportunity to warm up and learn choreography straight from these top names.  Shaping Sound will take dancers on a two-hour journey of their rigorous warm up and show first-hand what it’s like to get your body ready for this physically demanding show. The cast will then teach a combination pulled directly from the show choreography. Register here!

To learn more about Shaping Sound and the workshop please visit their website here.


Transend Through Water – Interview with Lisa Starry

We had the lucky privilege to speak with Lisa Starry the Artistic Director for Scorpius Dance Theatre and creator of their upcoming show, Dreaming In Water. The performance showcases water in an all inclusive sensory experience. All we can say is forget everything you thought you knew about modern dance, this show takes everything to a new level of excitement.

Scorpius Dance-1CHANDLER CENTER FOR THE ARTS (CCA): Where did the idea for Dreaming In Water come from?

LISA STARRY: This is a remastered production of my first original water-themed production “Water Dreams.” 12 years ago I put on an outdoor water safety show to create awareness. However, the show was put on during the summer and it was just too hot to enjoy. This inspired me to take the show indoors, which lead to a more artistic message.

Today’s show is centered around a little boy with a big imagination. He dreams of water and the creatures that exist within (such as fish and jellyfish). During the performance there will be short video clips featuring his underwater adventure.

CCA: How many lights does it take to create the water effect on stage?

STARRY: We will use all of the lights Chandler Center for the Arts uses, plus a dozen of our own intelligent lights. The intelligent lights create the illusion of water moving. We also use fabric to create the water effect.

Dance5

Photo by Rose Tores

CCA: How long does it take for the dancer to be strapped into the aerial apparatus?

STARRY: The Bungee apparatus we will use for the Jellyfish scene (featured in side photo) takes multiple bungee straps and double point harnesses. This requires a ladder to strap each dancer in. This also takes rope hooks to maneuver each dancer around the stage. It is time consuming.  Immediately after the first act, the aerial crew goes to work. By the end of intermission the dancers are ready to perform.

CCA: Do you have a favorite scene?

STARRY: I am happy with everything. I am most excited about presenting the aerial pieces. I am also excited for the mini pool scene. There is some humor incorporated to make the piece more fun. We also have some athletic pieces. These are incredible scenes and are great to see.

CCA: What form of dance can we expect to see?

STARRY: There is some contemporary modern dance, which includes a lot of techniques and some ballet. There is also the athletic pieces. To finish off the performance there is some Broadway-ish dancing. We bring in a piece that features Singing in the Rain.

Scorpius Dance-2CCA: Anything else a viewer might be interested in knowing?

STARRY: A limited number of people have seen the underwater footage – this is the big secret of the show. The dancers haven’t even seen the footage. They actually won’t see the footage until we have our dress rehearsal at Chandler Center for the Arts. It is a beautiful water section.

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This is the public’s opportunity to taste in the magic of Dreaming In Water and all the hard work they have put forth.  Dreaming in Water will premiere at Chandler Center for Arts this Saturday, April 13 at 8pm with new choreography by Lisa Starry, original underwater filming by Josh Kasselman, Music Composition by Kristopher Hill and Ryan Breen and lighting design by Mike Eddy. Get your tickets here!


Travel From “Abbey Road” To Ireland At These Great Shows

Musical beats draw us closer, setting us in motion on a rhythmic journey. Chandler Center for the Arts is your weekend destination for a musical exploration this March. From the enchanting beats of Classic Albums Live to the riveting pulse of Rhythm of the Dance you will be swept away on a voyage of entertainment.

The musical journey begins March 9 transporting audiences to the emerging era of rock n’ roll.  The wildly successful Beatles’ is the focal point of the evening as Classic Albums Live recreates the Beatles’ rock masterpiece,  “Abbey Road.” Founded in 2003 by Craig Martin, Classic Albums Live has become the ultimate destination for music lovers without all the gimmicky and cheesy impersonations. Relying solely on the music, the band has defined itself as a mainstay in performing art centers across North America.

During the concert, experience feature hits from the Beatles’ final album Abbey Road including “Come Together,” “Something,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Octopus’s Garden,” and more. In addition to the note for note recreation of the album, Classic Albums Live will also highlight some of the Beatles’ greatest hits.  Come together for a great night to relive music that changed our history forever.

The following afternoon, March 10, the adventure continues as Rhythm of the Dance The Irish Dance Spectacular heralds a new era in Irish entertainment. The dance crew takes you on an epic journey through the ages, from ancient mythology to the travels of the Irish emigrants, from the rolling hills and stonewalls of Connemara all the way to the modern skyscrapers of New York. This two-hour dance and music extravaganza contains a wealth of Irish talent.

Using modern art forms of dance and music, this richly costumed show blends the contemporary and the ancient. Rhythm of the Dance aspires to preserving the traditions of Irish step dancing and yet, presents it in the most modern format. The show features a live band, three tenors and some 22 dancers. Dan Schmal, Director of Arts Programming at Wisconsin, Lutheran College stated “We have had Irish dance shows before, but this one ranks at the top. All the dancers in the troupe were fantastic!” Experience for yourself the magical odyssey of Rhythm of the Dance.

Whether you seek rock n’ roll or enthralling dance, this weekend adventure of musical beats will transport you to a world of pulsating music and entertainment.


Dream of Unity…Celebrate in Chandler

Each January, the City of Chandler holds a series of events to honor our community’s heritage and diversity, along with the spirit and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the civil rights movement.

To kick off the month long event, on Saturday, January 12, the screening of the critically acclaimed film Power of One will occur.  The film portrays the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Winton, now 102 years old, did not speak about these events with anyone for more than half a century. His exploits would have probably been forgotten if his wife, fifty years later, hadn’t found a suitcase in the attic, full of documents and transport plans. Today the story of this rescue is known all over the world.

The following weekend, on Friday, January 18,  New Directions Veteran’s Choir will grace our stage. The New Directions Veterans Choir is an award winning a cappella group that sings renditions of doo-wop, soul, traditional gospel and popular music. The Choir consists of current and former residents of New Directions’ transitional facility, a Veterans Administration (VA) drug rehabilitation program.  These men and women who have served proudly in the United States Military and following service to our country, became homeless. George Hill, choir founder and director, was homeless for 12 years. A graduate of New Directions, Hill is also an employee at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration.  “Through singing,” George says, “we hope to let veterans who may be suffering know that there is hope for them.”

The next day, Saturday, January 19,  Chandler’s 18th Annual Multicultural Festival will highlight the cultural diversity of our community through music, dance, art, storytelling children’s area and more.  This is a FREE event open to the public.

The celebration concludes, on Sunday, January 20, with riveting rhythms, bold beats and ear-grabbing energy, in the show DRUMLine Live. This  is an international tour based on the Historically Black College and University marching band tradition. The staged show will be a synchronized musical showcase of the HBCU experience. The group’s performances will range from colorful, choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences with the rousing sound of the great brass tradition.

Let’s all come together this month and celebrate unity. To learn more or to purchase tickets for any of these incredible events, please click here.


Monday Mashup: Dances of Sugar Plum Fairies

These past couple of weekends were full of incredibly talented dancers, holiday music, and holiday cheer. We welcomed Tempe Dance Academy’s Spirit of Christmas to our stage for four amazing shows. Here is a small glimpse of the magic we experienced.

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And don’t miss out on the upcoming Zoppé Italian Family Circus (December 26 – January 5).


Monday Mashup: Steve Wariner and Firefly and Street Beat, Oh My!

If you missed Steve Wariner and Firefly, then you missed a really awesome show. But, I got you covered with a sweet clip of Steve jamming out. Unfortunatly, we couldn’t get one with Firefly, but you can catch those ladies opening for Carolina Liars on April 16 in Scottsdale.

Sorry for the shaky video, we’re currently tripod-less, but I’m working on that!

This weekend we’re switching gears a bit with Street Beat. If you’ve ever seen Stop, Street Beat is similar, only better because they’re playing here this weekend. They combine drumming on everyday items with martial arts and parkour. Just watching their YouTube videos makes me want to get up and move, so can you image what they’re going to be like live? I dare anyone at the show not to get up and dance, because I know I’ll be around shakin’ what my mama gave me.