Featured Dancer, Abbie Lessaris talks about what The Violin Under the Bed means to her personally – and, speaks of her personal relationship with Florence Marie Hancock, the inspiration for the creation of the work. Earlier in the year, Abbie faced several surgeries that kept her from dancing and eventually postponed this premiere performance.
The Violin Under the Bed & Scarlet Letter, the season opening performances for Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre ‘s 2016-17 season are October 7 & 8, 2016, 7:00PM – at The Tarkington, Center for the Performing Arts.
GHDT Season Tickets for The Tarkington performances are now on sale through September 19thONLY! Call the Box Office Today at 317-843-3800 and save when purchasing Season Tickets.
Season Tickets for the three Tarkington Performances are $115.50 for adults and $100.50 for students/seniors. This is SAVING you money compared to the single ticket pricing of $42.50 for adults and $37.50 for students/seniors.
The Season Ticket package includes tickets for the World Premiere of The Violin Under the Bed and Scarlet Letter on October 7 & 8, Superhero – The story of a man called Jesus on Easter weekend , April 14 & 15, 2017 and A Night in India on June 9 & 10, 2017 at The Tarkington.
Thanks to a generous donation, Studio A received a makeover! This donation allowed us to purchase a brand new Marley floor. Our old floor was about 25 years old. The old floor had been moved to and from many spaces and had multiple generations of dancers rehearse on it. This old floor also traveled to The Tarkington Theatre in July 2015 for the premiere of La Casa Azul. The floor made the trip a second time as well for the encore performance of La Casa Azul in October 2015.
The process of taking out the old floor and bringing in the new, took lots of helping hands. Company dancers, board members, academy families, and other guests volunteered their night to get the job done. In about two hours, the group rolled up each piece of old flooring, and laid down the new.
Did you know that underneath GHDT’s Marley floor are handwritten quotes? We call it our Holy
Floor. Inspirational quotes lie underneath our feet as we dance all day. Some of the quotes included were said by Frida Kahlo, Mahatma Ghandi, Marilyn Monroe, and many more icons. Every single quote was handwritten onto the floor by our director, Gregory Hancock.
The Final Product
The final product came out beautifully. Our new Marley floor was left overnight to settle, and then was taped down to be completed. The company and academy students cannot wait to start rehearsing and taking classes on the brand new floor. Cheers to the next 25 years on our new Marley floor!
Due to unforeseeable circumstances, there will be a program change to GHDT’s performance next weekend, METAMORPHOSIS. Here is a note from artistic director, Gregory Hancock:
Today I had to make a very difficult decision as an Artistic Director. I am sad to announce that the World Premiere of THE VIOLIN UNDER THE BED, my new work in honor of my mother, will be postponed until GHDT’s concert in October. Abbie Lessaris, who is dancing the spirit and essence of my mother in this piece, is having unexpected eye surgery today and her recovery time will not allow her to perform in METAMORPHOSIS. Please send Abbie your thoughts, prayers and positive energy as she faces this challenging time. My mother had a special relationship with Abbie, and I desire Abbie to premiere this very personal work. METAMORPHOSIS will still be presented on July 1 & 2 at The Tarkington, but with altered programming. The dancers of GHDT are working hard today to cover Abbie’s roles in UNTIL THERE IS NO MORE… and THE RIVER’S EDGE. The program will now also include the GHDT classic repertoire piece, OUT OF DARKNESS, which the dancers are learning today. I hope you will still support Abbie and the dancers of GHDT by attending this special concert and then by returning in the fall for the premiere of THE VIOLIN UNDER THE BED. Life hangs precariously on a thread and
changes in instants. Be kind.
As stated above, the company will still perform UNTIL THERE IS NO MORE… and THE RIVER’S EDGE. However, to replace THE VIOLIN UNDER THE BED, the company quickly learned and staged classic GHDT pieces, OUT OF DARKNESS and BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH. METAMORPHOSIS will be a beautiful and spiritual show.
Please join us on July 1st and 2nd at 7pm for METAMORPHOSIS, as well as in October for the premiere of THE VIOLIN UNDER THE BED.
In light of recent events in the world, GHDT realizes how lucky we are to have a job creates beauty. As a director and choreographer, Gregory Hancock creates beautiful movement everyday. As a company of dancers, we bring to life Mr. Hancock’s beautiful movement every single day. As artists, we are so lucky to be surrounded by beauty every day.
Words by Gregory Hancock:
HATE WILL NEVER WIN, but LOVE, COMPASSION and RESPECT must be taught and practiced all the time, not just during times of tragedy, not just when it is personal, not just when it is convenient, but all the time. HUMANITY; all human beings collectively. Kindness and benevolence.
GHDT is keeping everyone affected by the tragedy in Orlando in our hearts and on our minds. It is truly heartbreaking and horrendous how one man could end so many lives because of such hate. The world is a beautiful place, full of beautiful things and beautiful people. Unfortunately, the world is also contaminated by hatred and misfortune. It’s up to us to create a better world for the future. Keep an open mind and an open heart, always. We are with you Orlando.
Gregory Hancock has been creating and choreographing a new piece for his company to perform. Below is some background information about the piece and the meaning behind the name.
When my mother was a young child she cleaned houses to help make money for her family. She was one of eight children from a poor family in Kansas. She dreamed of dancing, playing the piano and playing the violin, but her family could not afford any type of lessons for any of the children. At one home where she would clean, the lady of the house played the violin and kept it under her bed. My mother would pull the case out from under the bed, open it and look at the violin and imagine she was playing it. She never took it out of the case, but she simply became lost in the idea of becoming music. Many years later, when I was an adult child, I gave her a violin for a gift one Christmas. She never learned to play it, but that did not matter. Her life had moved to a point where she could
have a violin under her bed. The violin is still under her bed. This is the story that inspired the title of my new dance piece that I am creating for my mother. THE VIOLIN UNDER THE BED will premiere on July 1 & 2 at The Tarkington. Please support my art in this very personal concert. Thank you to all the friends of my mother who attended a special event at my home last evening to help support this new work.
Within this new piece, company dancer Abigail Lessaris will be portraying the beautiful human and spirit that was Florence Hancock. THE VIOLIN UNDER THE BED brings to life some of Mr. Hancock’s favorite memories of his mother, along with some of Florence’s favorite things including a softball warm-up and game.
Congratulations to the students of the Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and the members of G2! The talented young students put on a beautiful and energetic performance this past weekend. The Academy Showcase and G2 In Concert took place June 4th at the Tarkington. Different from past years, where the show was held at AGHDT, the students got to perform on a proscenium stage. It was exciting for both parents and teachers to see all of the students showcase their hard work over the past year on stage.
The Hard Work Continues
The end of the year show may have already happened, but the students at AGHDT are hard-working and continue to train throughout the summer. Registration for Summer Intensives is open now through July 4. Information on intensives, including dates, can be found here.
(Photos by Lydia Moody)
G2 In Concert
G2, the pre-professional company, put on their annual show this past weekend. Usually, G2 In Concert is performed for two weekends at AGHDT, but this year they performed their show for one night only at the Tarkington. Students, age 13-18, performed company repertoire such as Birth of the Gods, along with pieces made for G2 including Repurposed and The Lonely Goatherd.
Interested in G2?
Auditions for the pre-professional company for the 2016-2017 season are being held Tuesday July, 26, 4pm-5pm. Please inquire at email@example.com for audition requirements, forms, and information.
We have three levels of intensive classes. The Elementary level is 1 week, while the Intermediate and Advanced levels are both 2 weeks.
Elementary Level – July 11-15, 2016 – (9:00 AM – 4:00 PM daily)
Intermediate Level – July 11-15, 2016 AND July 18-22, 2016 – (9:00 AM – 4:00 PM daily)
Advanced Level – July 18-22, 2016 AND July 25-29, 2016 – (9:00 AM – 4:00 PM daily)
Students will have ballet and modern classes daily, along with other classes including Jazz, Acting, Yoga, Tap, Dance etiquette, and more!
The Academy enforces an attire policy for our summer intensives:
Girls: Black leotard, pink tights, pink ballet slippers, hair in bun, footless tights for modern class.
Boys: Black tights, white tee-shirt, black or white ballet shoes, footless tights for modern.
Please send registration form and a $50 deposit (or you may send entire fee) to:
GHDT Summer Dance Academy
329 Gradle Drive
Carmel, Indiana 46032
Class Date Registration and Balance Due Deadline:
Elementary and Intermediate — July 4
Advanced — July 11