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Atherton resident Shiveley says, “There’s a trajectory in the life of an artist. There’s the young student who makes the 20- to 25-hour commitment a week to dancing, then progressing, hopefully, to a professional career. And then there is an evolution to becoming a choreographer. We wanted a chance to show that lifespan.”. The blooming is represented by promising students from the Menlo Park Academy of Dance who will participate in the spring program. Menlowe Ballet’s Founding Artistic Director Michael Lowe teaches at the Academy, whose director/owner is his wife, Sarah-Jane Measor.
Shively says this is an enormous opportunity for the students, “Michael has done a great job at integrating the students in the program throughout our six-year history, always salsa dance shoes mens in a tasteful way, It never feels gratuitous or slapped on, One of the core values of the company is to pass the art form down from generation to generation, The way you do that is to have these kids be exposed to professionals, be in the theater with them, see how they behave, the commitment that’s required, It’s a wonderful learning experience for the kids.”..
The company’s professional dancers, Shiveley says, “have a lot of appreciation for the talent that the students bring and that sponge-like quality that they walk into the studio with. The kids really inspire the company. So it’s a very cohesive, warm relationship between the two entities.”. Lowe and his wife collaborated on a new piece for the program, utilizing 11 students. The dance is set to the complex music of composer Philip Glass. “It’s an abstract, exciting, contemporary work,” Lowe says. “It is on point. It’s very physical and kind of fierce at times. It’s challenging for the dancers, both those on the student level and the professional level.”.
The company is also bringing back Measor’s “Portraits.” The piece depicts heroic women from history, several from Measor’s native England, women whose sacrifices and achievements continue to inspire, Among those represented are the Bronte sisters, American Olympian Gertrude Ederle — the first woman to swim across the English Channel — and Emily Wilding Davison, a tragic figure in the suffragette movement, Measor drew on the music of two composers, Sir Edward Elgar and Carl Czerny, Shively says, “When we premiered that last fall, I knew it would resonate with people, I welled up with tears every time I watched it in the studio, On salsa dance shoes mens the stage, under the lights, it was something that just blew the audience away, I’ve never before seen a standing ovation in the middle of a program, People said, ‘It’s incredible, so empowering to women.’”..
With the spring program, two company members, Stefanie Maughan and Ali McKeon, are blossoming into professional choreographers. Shiveley and Lowe viewed their choreographic work at a showcase and were impressed. Lowe says, “We felt that there were really resonating moments that would be a good fit for our company.”. Shiveley says, “Michael has a long history of looking for opportunities to give women a chance to have their voices heard through their choreography. So this was a way of telling them, ‘This is your time.’”.
Shiveley worked in management at Oracle Corporation for a decade and has served on several nonprofit boards, But earlier, she had extensive ballet training, Growing up in Berkeley, she admired Lowe’s work as principal dancer and choreographer with Oakland Ballet, Lowe has worked with numerous prestigious dance companies and with such legendary choreographers as Agnes de Mille, Shiveley says, “I didn’t meet Michael until seven years ago, but he had always been in my head as a local dance legend, He has such authenticity in his work, He’s sort of the sensei in the room, But he’s also the greatest student of dance I’ve ever seen, He goes out and sees absolutely every thing that’s being performed in the Bay Area, What he’s presenting is fresh and original, salsa dance shoes mens but also taking a temperature of what people seem to be interested in, what entertains them, without adding a lot of fluff.”..
Lowe, who resides in Alameda, says he relishes his work with Menlowe Ballet. “These young artists are so open and tenacious. They’re willing to go on the edge, emotionally and technically. That’s what’s really exciting about our company. It’s very fulfilling to see it while it’s taking shape.”. Shiveley and Lowe agree that the excitement of dance can’t be fully appreciated by streaming it online. Shiveley says, “When that curtain is rising, it’s going to be a unique moment in time, a unique performance that you’re going to see. There’s something so inspiring and so exciting about bearing witness to it. Being there is so different from watching it on screen. We’re creating powerful art and we want our community to come and experience it.
Lowe says, “Live ballet is enriching and we should embrace it.”, Ballet has a universality, as Shiveley points out, “It extends beyond boundaries, religions, sexual orientation, It’s just about the dance, We are all connected by this movement and we’re all equal in this art form.”, Menlowe’s goal is to become a three-season-per-year company, rather than two, The troupe is contemplating touring to cities that don’t have their own professional companies, Shiveley says, “We’re the little company that has great salsa dance shoes mens aspirations.”..