By David Li, bostonese.com
When Chip Morris graduated from University of Wisconsin at Madison with a Pd.D. in mathematics, he might not have imagined that running a youth ballet school would be in his future. “I came to Boston in 1985. I taught math and computer science during weekdays and danced in a theater in Cambridge,” Mr. Morris, artistic director of Commonwealth Ballet, told me during an interview on March 2 at Acton School of Ballet. Students were busy preparing their dance routines for A Little Night Dancing on that evening.
Picture from A Little Night Dancing at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School (ABRHS) by Mike Nyman Photography.
||“Tonight’s show is very unique. Started 27 years ago, A Little Night Dancing is consisted of different dance styles, such as Jazz, ballet, Irish step and Chinese folk dance. By hosting A Little Night Dancing, we try to bring together different styles of dances on the same stage,” said Chip Morris. Over 100 dancers from six dance groups performed in A Little Night Dancing, including Angel Performance Art, Commonwealth Ballet, Heavey-Quinn Academy of Irish Step, Lexington School of Ballet, West Concord Dance Academy, Youth Ballet of Worcester.|
Currently, there are 14 girls and one boy students at Commonwealth Ballet. Eva MacArthur, president of Commonwealth Ballet, was especially impressed by how hard they worked on their dance routines. “They spend up to 20 hours a week learning and rehearsing. They have to learn how to manage their time, and this can be an edge for their college applications. They become good friends and are very supportive of each other,” said Ms. MacArthur.
Joy Zhong, a 9th grader at ABRHS, had a big smile on her face when posting for a group picture after the rehearsal. “Joy also dances with Angel Dance Company and enjoyed the different dance styles,” said Yang Liu, mother of Joy Zhong. Emily Neale, a former dancer at Commonwealth Ballet, is now studying dance at a professional dance school in New York state. Sonia Xu was admitted to Duke University last year. Both of them emphasized their experiences at Commonwealth Ballet in their college applications.
||For the upcoming Intrigue, Chip Morris mentioned it’s a performance featuring four works: a world premier by award-winning Choreographer Betsi Graves of Boston’s Urbanity Dance, a world premier choreographed by Vitali Krauchenka of American Ballet Theater, Lunar Tides set to a modern orchestration of George Frederic Handel’s famous water music and Aaron Copland’s first ballet, Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Guest Artists: Joe Gonzalez, Co-Director of Jo-Me Dance and Charles Patterson, Boston Conservatory.|
Ticket Price for Intrigue is $20-$28. For Ticket information, please call Kelly Benkert at 978-263-6533 or visit commonwealthballet.org.