International Dance Week, April 22-29


April 22 , 7:15pm
Shades Valley Community Church, Homewood
Sanspointe performance, Nature of Nurture. FREE. 20 min.
Experience the dance up close or far away. You decide while you watch. Audience members are invited to move around the space during the dance to get a view from all angles. This collaborative work performed by 7 dancers was created by Sanspointe choreographers Shellie Chambers and Michelle Hamff with support from a grant awarded by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham. All ages are welcome.

April 23, NOON
Birmingham Public Library Atrium, Downtown

Interactive Performance with artists of Fuzion, CDF and Sanspointe. FREE.
All ages are welcome.

April 24, 11:10am
YMCA, Bham (Downtown)
Adult Exercise Class including pilates, yoga and ballet. For all levels. FREE.

April 25, 6pm
Von Braun Center, Huntsville

Panoply Arts Festival Choreography Competition Finals. General Admission: $5.
Since 2004, Sanspointe has taken modern dance works to the adjudicated choreography showing held each April at Panoply Arts Festival in Huntsville. More than 50 artists from around the Southeast submit original choreography to this competition each year. Finalists are chosen to perform on Saturday evening, and cash awards are given following the performance. Sanspointe choreographer Michelle Hamff has received three awards for best modern choreography since 2004.

April 26, 12-12:30pm
Linn Park, Downtown Birmingham

Improvisation Performance, FREE. At Magic City Arts Connection.
Sanspointe artist Rhea Speights will perform an improvisation on the Main Stage at Magic City Arts Connection’s Imagination Festival. Speights completed 24 hours of non-stop improvisation dancing December 31, 2008 as part of the Freedom of Information Project organized throughout the United States by choreographer Miguel Gutierrez.

April 27, 5-8pm
Children’s Dance Foundation, Downtown Homewood
Open Student Ensemble Rehearsal, 7-8pm, FREE.

CDF’s Ensemble program is comprised of intermediate to advanced level students, providing an opportunity for them to rehearse, create and perform in our community. They are currently rehearsing for a free public performance at the Alabama Theatre May 2. The public is invited to this rehearsal to observe and learn about the choreographic process. All ages are welcome.
Open Rehearsal, Nashville Irish Step Dancers of Birmingham, 5-8pm, FREE.
5-6 8-Hand Team (8 people, traditional Irish dance)
6-7 4-Hand Teams (3 teams of 4 people each, traditional Irish dance—“The Humours of Bandon”)
7-8 Soloists (8 dancers, modern Irish choreography)
All 3 classes are preparing teams and soloists to compete at the 2009 World Qualifying Championships in December in Dallas, TX. This will be our school’s 2nd year to compete at the event, last year we brought home a 1st place in teams and an 8th in soloists.

April 28, 7-8:30pm
Children’s Dance Foundation, Downtown Homewood

Adult Yoga/Ballet Fusion Class, FREE.
No experience required. Bringing together the grace, fluidity and cardio workout of ballet with the flexibility and inner peace of yoga. A new type of mind/body conditioning. Come workout, have fun and relax wit hus. All in 1 ½ hours. Class will be taught by Melissa Turnage (ballet) and Sue Webb (yoga). What to wear: workout clothes, ballet shoes are optional.

April 29, Noon
Birmingham Museum of Art, Downtown Birmingham

Site Specific Performance with artists of Fuzion, CDF and Sanspointe, FREE.


International Day of Dance
Bringing Dance Awareness to our Community

March 24, 2009 / Birmingham, AL – Fuzión Dance Artists, Children’s Dance Foundation (CDF) and Sanspointe Dance Company have organized dance events in and around Birmingham open to the public to take place April 22nd through the 29th to celebrate the International Day of Dance on April 29th, bringing dance awareness to the community at large.

Prof. Alkis Raftis, President of the International Dance Council said,

“The future of dance lies where there are persons who do not dance. These belong to two categories: those who simply did not learn, and those who think that they are not able to dance. They represent the greatest challenge for the dance teacher’s profession.In line with UNESCO’s struggle against prejudice and discrimination, we are trying to expand the boundaries of dance and to change the current perception of what a dancer is. Dance performances are not necessarily exhibitions of extreme physicality, accurate precision, or bursting emotion – they can be celebrations of interaction between performers. We can enrich dance concerts with dancers, singers, actors, narrators, mimes, acrobats etc., of all ages and all degrees of ability.CID holds to the philosophy that everyone can dance. Dance Day 2009 is dedicated to inclusive dance. Let us include all members of society into our classes and our performances.”

Fuzion, Sanspointe and CDF are doing just that – inviting people in and around Birmingham to experience the art of dance through free classes, performances in unlikely venues and open rehearsals.

International Dance Day (a.k.a. World Dance Day) has been celebrated on April 29, through promotion by the International Dance Council (CID), an umbrella organization within United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for all kinds of dance. The holiday was introduced in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute. The date was suggested by Pyotr Gusev to commemorate the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre.

Artistic Directors, Shellie Chambers (CDF and Sanspointe) and Rachael Inman (Fuzion) will place dancers in various locations throughout Birmingham including the Downtown Public Library, Birmingham Museum of Art and Shades Valley Community Church to perform “dance vignettes,” some of which will be created on the spot. In conjunction with educating observers and encouraging them to think outside of the box, the directors feel the best way to heighten dance awareness is to bring “dance” to the people through unlikely, inspiring venues. In addition, the three organizations will also provide a couple of free classes open to the public. This is the first time that these three not-for-profit organizations have teamed up to organize events in celebration of International Dance Day.

Children’s Dance Foundation
was founded in 1975 based on the belief that dance is a foundation for life and for learning. The Foundation serves more than 1,500 students of all ages and abilities throughout Birmingham each week, year ‘round.

Fuzion Dance Artists has been hailed as Sarasota’s 1st Contemporary Dance Company, and was founded by Directors Leymis Bolaños Wilmott and Rachael Inman. The two collaborate with professionals and other artists to create art that expresses the desires and struggles of the human spirit. Working in community settings, Wilmott and Inman aim to provide a safe environment for expression of ideas.

was founded by Michelle Hamff in 2003 to provide choreographers and dancers with an opportunity to create new work, collaborate artistically and present high-quality modern dance performances for the community. Sanspointe presents at least one concert of original and inventive choreography each year for audiences in its hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, and performs at events during the year around the Southeast. Under the artistic direction of Shellie Chambers, Sanspointe has been recognized as a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization, with 18 company artists and a board of directors. Sanspointe’s members bring a diversity of interests, experiences and talents to the company. This unique fusion of artistic ideas and inspirations allows Sanspointe to constantly evolve and challenges its members and the audience’s expectations of what modern dance is.