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Celebrating 15 years of dance

Brandon Albright will be performing Sunday in Concord. Brandon Albright will be performing Sunday in Concord. (Liza voll)
By Nancy Shohet West
March 22, 2012
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It has been 15 years since husband-and-wife team Amy Spencer and Richard Colton founded Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy, a training program dedicated to students and choreographers of contemporary dance.

And, naturally, the best way to celebrate 15 years of dance is with more dancing. So Summer Stages will commemorate the occasion Sunday with Dance Feast, a daylong extravaganza of workshops, performances, discussions, and general celebration. The event will culminate with an all-star finale at 5 p.m. featuring the Seán Curran Company, David Dorfman, David Parker & the Bang Group, Brandon Albright with Illstyle & Peace Productions, Darrah Carr Dance, Catherine Gallant Dance, and Nani Agbeli and Agbekor.

Spencer and Colton moved to Concord in 1989 to head up the private school’s dance program, but they quickly saw the potential for making use of the studio space during the summer months when it was empty of students.

“We were both coming from professional dance careers in New York City, and we started to bring up dancers from New York to work in the studio and teach at the Harvard Summer Dance program,’’ Spencer explained. “Concord in the summer is a fantastic place for artists to work, and so when Harvard discontinued its summer program after 20 years, we saw it as an opportunity to establish our own program for dancers in the MetroWest area. Our first year, we had 15 participants. Now we have three programs and 100 participants every summer.’’

On Sunday, the Student Health and Athletic Center on the Concord Academy campus at 166 Main St. will welcome the public from noon to 6 p.m. Master classes will be offered for experienced dancers in intermediate and advanced ballet, modern dance, contemporary dance, hip-hop, break dancing, and African dance from Ghana. Workshops in dance and choreography will be led by some of the region’s best-known names in dance, including Olivier Besson, Alissa Cardone, and Laurel Tennant, as well as Parker, Dorfman, and Curran.

Meanwhile, those who want a more low-key participatory experience can swing dance with the Lexington High School Jazz Combo; drum with Elaine Fong’s Trash Can Taiko & TaKeTiNa; cut loose with hip-hop master Albright, or try out some Isadora Duncan technique with Gallant. Presentations will be offered in South Indian classical dance, Brazilian dance, Irish step dance, and dance yoga. Participants can even take flight on aerial silks and ropes, discover hair art, and compose a tune on the Soundstair.

Tickets to the family-friendly, all-ages event are $25 in advance and $30 at the door for adults; ages 12 and younger are $10 in advance and $15 at the door; and $20 for groups of five or more. The entry fee includes all classes and activities, and admission to the closing presentation.

Get more information at www.summerstagesdance.org or by calling 978-402-2339; tickets can be purchased online at www.brownpapertickets.com.

ART ALL AROUND: Stephen Lewis, a longtime labor activist and a member of the Service Employees International Union Local 509, presents “Art in the Service of a Cause!’’ - taken from his collection of posters commemorating the international labor movement - at two venues this month: the Goodnow Library at 21 Concord Road in Sudbury through March 31, and the Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main St., through March 30. For hours and more information on the Sudbury exhibition, call 978-443-1035; for the Watertown display, call 617-972-6431.

The Ashland Public Library is hosting a show, “Form & Fiber,’’ featuring works by members of Women Unraveled, a group of fabric artisans based in Ashland and Hopkinton. The display, open through April 30, is exhibiting nearly 100 quilts, including themed challenges and individually motivated pieces inspired by the artisan’s singular vision, all created with an eye toward contemporary beauty. Also, Creative Insight Studio is exhibiting recent carved works by its members throughout the building. There is a public reception with the artists from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the library, 66 Front St. For hours and more information, call 508-881-0134.

MUSIC FOR THE AGES: In the first of two Lexington Symphony events this weekend, pianist Sergey Shepkin will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, or “Emperor,’’ and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 at 8 p.m. Saturday in Cary Hall, 1605 Massachusetts Ave. in Lexington.

Schepkin, who first played with the Lexington Symphony five years ago, is stepping in for David Deveau, who was forced to cancel his anticipated appearance due to illness. The concert will follow a conductor’s talk at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, the Lexington Symphony offers its biannual Kids’ Workshop and Concert. Designed for ages 4 and older, the event presents music in an up-close, hands-on way, with children able to try out the instruments of the orchestra and conduct their own group of players.

The concert will feature Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,’’ plus music by Nielsen and Dvorák. The workshop begins at 2 p.m., with the concert at 3 p.m.

Tickets for the Saturday night concert range from $30 to $50, or $20 for students. Tickets for the Kids’ Workshop and Concert on Sunday are $20 for adults and $10 for ages 4 to 12.

Tickets to both events are available online at www.lexingtonsymphony.org, by phone at 781-523-9009, or in person, by cash or check, at the Crafty Yankee Center, 1838 Mass. Ave. in Lexington.

CLASSICAL FOCUS: The Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra presents “Enigmas and Poems’’ at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the John F. Kennedy Middle School, 655 Lexington St. in Waltham.

The program includes Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante featuring Michael Korn on violin and Kenneth Stalberg on viola, as well as a piece by Cambridge composer Howard Frazin, “In the Forest of the Night,’’ and Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.’’

Tickets are $20, or $15 for seniors; children are free with a paying adult. To order tickets, call 857-919-1385 or go online to www.wphil.org.

BACK TO BALTIMORE: Dean College opens its production of the Broadway musical “Hairspray,’’ a campy homage to 1960s Baltimore based on the 1988 film by John Waters, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Campus Center’s Main Stage Theatre, 99 Main St. in Franklin.

Directed by faculty member Craig Handel, the production will involve more than 30 Dean students in all aspects of the production including stage managing, house managing, lighting and sound operations, costume and backstage help.

The run continues with shows through April 1; general admission tickets are $15, or $10 for Dean alumni, and $5 for seniors and children ages 10 and younger.

For tickets, show times or additional details, e-mail boxoffice@dean.edu, call 508-541-1605, or visit www.dean.edu/ hairspray.

Send ideas to westarts@ globe.com.

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