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Shall We Dance?

Feb 28, 2019
Presidio of Monterey / Flickr

Why do we dance? The answer is more complicated than you might think. Dancing has served a multitude of functions for various cultures throughout history, and there is even evidence to suggest we, as a species, are biologically hard-wired to dance.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Breakdancing Shakespeare showcased its summer production this weekend at Hartford Stage with three performances of Twelfth Night.

Chion Wolf / CT Public Radio

This hour, we talk about two Connecticut dance halls, each springing from the vision of two very different men who took their respective dance halls down very different paths. One's dream soared, bringing thousands of concert-goers to over 3,000 acts over an eleven-year history. The other's dream stalled, his elaborate dance hall sitting idle for decades.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The tango you see in glitzy television dance competitions is not what you'd see in Buenos Aires.

And that’s why Gem Duras put together The Connecticut Tango Festival -- to promote the sense of community one would feel doing the dance in Argentina.

Shall We Dance?

Jul 5, 2018
Presidio of Monterey / Flickr

Why do we dance? The answer is more complicated than you might think. Dancing has served a multitude of functions for various cultures throughout history, and there is even evidence to suggest we, as a species, are biologically hard-wired to dance.

Presidio of Monterey / Flickr

Whether it's a fond memory of ballet class as a kid, or that first, awkward slow dance at prom, or even drunkenly stumbling into a mosh pit on a dare, chances are you've got a dance related story to tell.

And we want to hear it: The good, the bad, and yes, the ugly! On Thursday, July 5th The Colin McEnroe Show will slip on its shoes and shimmy out over the airwaves to talk all things dance. But we'll need a partner for this one and that's where you come in.

Mary Ellen Mark

It's just a dance, right?

Actually, maybe that's the last thing the prom is. Maybe the photo is even more important, because it freezes you. It's your chance, as high school trickles away, to say "This is who I am. This will be who I was."

We've been looking at prom photos by Mary Ellen Mark, who will be on our show today, and they're striking in the range of emotional states they convey. We see joy, hesitation, confidence, detachment and some flat-out haunted looks.

Melanie Barocas

Back in the days of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, ballroom dancing was all the rage. Then came the 1960s, when partner-dancing moved off to the sidelines. But ballroom is back on the dance floor – both socially, and increasingly as a competitive sport.

James Monteiro

To Sokeo Ros, dance is more than an art form. It’s a catalyst for change; a means of self-discovery. 

Colin McEnroe / WNPR

"What do festivals do?"

Whether it's a film festival or Edinburgh or the Venice Biennale or New Haven, we wonder what happens when you get a lot of creative stuff in one place.

Shana Sureck / WNPR

Tributes and condolences keep pouring in on social media for dancer, teacher, and choreographer Lee "Aca" Thompson, who died earlier this month at the age of 82.

Eastern Connecticut Ballet

Five-foot, ten-inch dancer Gloria Govrin reached unprecedented heights when she joined the New York City Ballet nearly six decades ago. This hour, we take an in-depth look at her groundbreaking career -- including her work under choreographer George Balanchine ("Mr. B") -- and learn about the unique opportunity that brought her to Connecticut. 

Eastern Connecticut Ballet

In the dance world, the body is the instrument. For decades, the ideal height for an aspiring female dancer was about five feet, five inches tall -- notably shorter than all the male dancers onstage. But today, more dance companies are breaking with that tradition, and Gloria Govrin is one of the reasons why. 

Eastern Connecticut Ballet

Five-foot, ten-inch dancer Gloria Govrin reached unprecedented heights when she joined the New York City Ballet nearly six decades ago. This hour, we take an in-depth look at her groundbreaking career -- including her work under choreographer George Balanchine ("Mr. B") -- and learn about the unique opportunity that brought her to Connecticut. 

Stuart Chalmers / flickr creative commons

Colin's out today. He got vocal nodes while moonlighting as Mariah Carey’s backup singer, and he's seeing his otolaryngologist. Or he sprained an ankle during a performance with The Rockettes, and now he's in traction.

Justin O' Brien

"Black Boy Jungle" is a performance piece that incorporates multiple styles of dance, including modern, ballet and break dancing, along with narration and live music. It's a high-energy, interactive work with twists and surprises. 

David DesRoches / WNPR

In the summer of 1877 there was a battle in the mountains of Montana. The Nez Perce people fought the U.S. Army over two days. Dozens of women and children were killed, along with U.S. and Nez Perce fighters. 

Erin Baiano

New Haven’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas comes to a close this weekend. One of the finales is the world premiere of a commissioned dance piece called Some of a Thousand Words. It’s two nights only — Thursday and Friday. The work features two celebrated performers from vastly different dance backgrounds.

International Festival of Arts and Ideas

The New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas is well underway. It’s two weeks filled with an eclectic mix of programs and includes artists from around the world. 

UConn

When Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart asked the University of Connecticut to provide a guest narrator to read "A Visit From St. Nicholas" during a 2014 holiday concert at the school, he was expecting to get UConn's president or perhaps a distinguished professor.

Shana Sureck / WNPR

The Artists Collective is one of the most recognized landmarks on Albany Avenue. Community activist Denise Best describes it as much more than a well-maintained property.

"It’s pristine because there’s a mind-set that says we protect this building," Best said. "Through all of the dance classes, they set the stage for behavior, for appreciation, for respect for each other. It’s fantastic."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Jacob’s Pillow has selected Wesleyan University’s top arts administrator to lead the world-renowned dance festival in the Berkshires. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Sculpture gardens bring together art, human creativity, and nature. There are several in Connecticut, including a private one nestled in a residential neighborhood in North Haven that winds in and around the home of artist David Millen.

dtstuff9 flickr.com/photos/dtstuff9 / Creative Commons

Ben Vereen was plucked from the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn to go to the prestigious Performing Arts High School because somebody thought he had talent. Influenced by song and dance men like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr., Ben Vereen garnered accolades for groundbreaking roles in "Pippin," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Roots," in which he challenged us to think about race, religion and who can make art.

A. Vincent Scarano

New London's Hygienic Art opens a new multimedia exhibit Friday night. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When Jules Bashkin was in his mid-80s, he saw a sign at the Wallingford Senior Center looking for people interested in playing music.

The former mattress salesman dug his son's old saxophone out of the closet, dusted it off, and joined the group. He'd played as a teen, but 60 years later, he had a bit to catch up on.

sybarite5.org

This may seem like flagrant nepotism, but in fact it’s only mild and forgivable nepotism:

There will be remarkable musical event next Sunday, May 24, at the new downtown Infinity Music Hall and Bistro in Hartford.

Zbigniew Warzynski

"Song of the Goat" is the literal meaning of the ancient Greek word for tragedy. It's also the name of the  theater company from Wroclaw, Poland bringing a new adaptation of "King Lear" to New Haven this weekend.

In Polish, that's "Piesn Kozla."

Grzegorz Bral, the artistic director of the theater company, said he doesn't see "King Lear" so much as a story about a father and his three daughters, but rather a "tragedy without a mother."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we talk about two Connecticut dance halls, each springing from the vision of two very different men who took their respective dance halls down very different paths. One's dream soared, bringing thousands of concert-goers to over 3,000 acts over an eleven-year history. The other's dream stalled, his elaborate dance hall sitting idle for decades.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

"Molly" is the nickname for MDMA, or Ecstasy, and it's short for "Molecule", meaning you're getting the "real thing", chemically speaking. Except you almost never do. On this show, we'll talk about the dangers of Molly, the medical uses of MDMA, and the curious romance between the drug and the form of music known as EDM, Electronic Dance Music.

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