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GHDT DANCERS SPENDING TIME AT HOME

March 13, 2020 was the last day of rehearsal for the dancers of GHDT before the STAY-AT-HOME order was issued due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Over the last three months during their time away from rehearsals, performances and the company, they have had an opportunity to reflect on their art, explore new projects and adapt to a new normal.  They have shared some fun and introspective thoughts about this crazy and challenging time.  They look forward to returning to rehearsals in September for the October GHDT performance at The Tarkington.  They cannot wait to see all of you back in the theatre! 

Thank you Abbie, Hannah, Chloe, Zoe, Camden, Thomas, Olivia and Adrian for your candid responses.

What have you learned during this STAY-AT-HOME time?

Zoe Maish: One thing I became aware of is how much dance is intertwined into my life. Without dance in my life something inside me felt incomplete. This great pause has made me grateful for my craft. The time and ability to dance in life is brief. I will be sure to live in these moments instead of speeding through them and always looking to what is next. 

Chloe Holzman: I have always known how much I love dance, but quarantine has magnified just how much the arts as a whole define my life and my identity.  Given the time to do anything I wished, I still chose to spend my time finding ways to surround myself with creativity and exploration.  I have actually been able to reconnect with my interest in choreography, which had taken a back seat as I entered into a professional career over the past few years.

Olivia Payton: There can be something special in the unknown. Yes, I wish we knew exactly when this time would be over and yes I wish all of the wonderful things we planned for would be a guarantee. But there’s something beautiful in waking up unsure and ready to discover whatever you’re meant to discover that day, even when you’re confined to your own homes.  I’ve learned that, as long as you’re ready to adapt, you’ll be able to see the good in a situation. 

What do you think performances will be like when we return to the theatre after reopening?

Abigail Lessaris: I think audiences will have to be smaller for some time. I think going to the theatre might become less of a social gathering for some time, but I think that could actually be really wonderful. Instead of coming to a show for a night out with family and friends it becomes a night of art and reflection. A beautiful, personal experience for each audience member.

Camden Lancaster: It will be a new experience as an audience member and as a dancer. In my opinion performances for anyone in the future will allow for new creative processes for choreographers and dancers.  

Hannah Brown: I think it will be a while before we can perform any of our existing story ballets due to the new rules about social distancing. But I know that the new pieces created during this time will be beautiful and moving as well.

Olivia Payton: Our performances will still continue to captivate audiences. This is a universal time, everyone is feeling something during this, so I have no doubt that Mr. Hancock will, as he always does, create work that brings people together. 

How do you see yourself developing as an artist through this time?

Abbie Lessaris: Mr. Hancock always tells us that our world can change in an instant. Of course as humans we all know this is true, and we’ve all seen it in different facets of our lives. However, the day of March 13 when we all went home from work not knowing when we would return, will of course make me appreciate my job and my art more than ever. 

Zoe Maish: I believe an artist’s greatest strength is the ability to adapt and to keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Moving forward in this time of uncertainty will be a great challenge for myself and fellow artists all around the globe in that regard.

Camden Lancaster: I have developed as an artist by creating movement in spaces that I normally wouldn’t. I also have been able to teach online which was a new experience.

Chloe Holzman: Quarantine has been a long journey, but a journey always has a destination.  My destination is a place of life and vibrancy. I feel that my capacity for emotion and energy in my work has expanded to a new realm of possibilities.  I am a braver and more empathetic artist now, and I hope that will be reflected in my dancing, choreography, and teaching.

What do you think artists will gain from this time of shelter-in-place?

Zoe Maish: I think artists will gain a greater appreciation for time spent with their fellow performers. It is very easy to fall into routines when you see the same set of people each day. And I hope to see people take better care of each other.

Camden Lancaster: I think we have gained an appreciation for being able to dance with others in person. To have the ability to perform in front of a live audience. To teach in person. But I also think we have gained a new way to dance and share the gift of dance. 

Chloe Holzman: There has always been a closely-knit community of artists in the world, but quarantine has shown us just how strong that net of support is.  I think that moving forward artists will learn how to lean on each other more and offer knowledge in collaboration rather than find ways to be competitive. My hope for our community here in Indianapolis is that all the smaller groups of artists can band together and form a true artistic community.

Hannah Brown: I think artists will gain an appreciation for the fragility of what we do. How quickly our world was stripped from us when public gatherings were cancelled, and how slowly those things will return. It made me think a lot about how non-essential what we do is. But despite that fact, I think what we do is still very important. I think we can provide so many things to different people. Whether that’s truth, or beauty, or even simply a couple of hours of escape from reality. We may be non-essential, but we’re not unimportant. 

Thomas Mason: We need life experiences to inform and inspire our creations and this time has definitely been a time in my life I will never forget.

How have you kept music and dance in your life?

Abbie Lessaris: I’ve never had more time in my life to sit on my balcony, enjoy the weather, and listen to music all over the board. 

Zoe Maish: I have listened to music almost every day in quarantine. I have discovered a lot of new music and artists that I am looking forward to choreographing to in the future. I have kept dance in my life by watching many streams online, YouTube videos, and a few DVD’s of performances I have at home. 

Camden Lancaster: I was able to teach online. So every week I would create a class for my students. I would also improv a little bit on my own. 

Hannah Brown: I’ve taught a ballet class through zoom once a week for the academy. I’ve also watched some dance performances through Youtube. A lot of dancers from around the world have been holding live ballet classes on Instagram, so I’ve taken part in a few of those. 

Olivia Payton: Music has always been a part of my life regardless of dance, I adore finding new music and making playlists. I’ve tried to give myself class at home, follow along to instagram live classes, and take zoom classes, but in reality nothing compares to being in the studio. 

Where is your practice space for dance at home?

Abbie Lessaris: Honestly, I have taken a lot of this time to rest my body. I think COVID-19 was a sign from the universe that we all needed to slow down. I can’t say I’ve danced at home… besides there definitely isn’t ANY room in my home. 

Thomas Mason: Any spot that doesn’t have a dog or furniture.

Chloe Holzman: My dining area is the only spot in my apartment with decent space and hardwood floor, so I give myself class there.  To teach class, I turn my kitchen table on its side and push it into my galley kitchen, then balance my computer on top!  If I wake up early enough, I go to my apartment’s basketball court and do some larger movements, but I have to get there before anyone who wants to actually play basketball!

Hannah Brown: I move my living room furniture out of the way to make an open space in my living room. It’s small, but it’s been enough space to teach zoom classes and give myself class. 

What have you used for a barre?

Thomas Mason: The railing on my balcony. 

Zoe Maish: I have been using one of my wooden dining chairs with a high back on it. It’s the perfect height for a barre!

Chloe Holzman: At first I was using a windowsill for a barre, but then I was given a portable barre made out of PVC pipe.

Hannah Brown: A dining room chair.

What do you miss most about daily rehearsals at GHDT?

Abbie Lessaris: I miss my GHDT family more than anything else. I miss being in the same space with my friends. The human contact, The hugs and the laughs.

Zoe Maish: I miss being able to move to beautiful music in an open space. I also miss seeing my colleagues smiling faces every day.

Camden Lancaster: I miss being with the company, dancing together, and the conversations we have throughout the day.

Chloe Holzman: I miss being athletic.  I still have some aspect of artistry in my life because any kind of movement can be art.  But because of limited space and safety concerns, I don’t get the chance to really be an athletic dancer anymore.

Olivia Payton: Although yes I miss being in shape and dancing every day, I think I miss the other dancers the most. I have something to learn from everyone in this company and I miss working with them daily. They’ve all helped me grow in different ways, and I can’t wait to get back to dancing with them. 


What GHDT repertoire pieces keep coming to mind?

Abbie Lessaris: There’s No Place Like Home. 

It hasn’t been created yet and I think that has definitely kept it in my mind. Plus, the title, it’s so appropriate right now!

Zoe Maish: One GHDT repertoire piece that has kept coming up in my mind during quarantine is “Every Moment, Every Day.” It is one of my favorite rep pieces I have had the opportunity to perform. It has a beautiful message of how everyone in life carries something with them. And it may not always be something visible on the outside. I hope people have become more compassionate during quarantine and will consider this message in their everyday interactions.

Chloe Holzman: Obviously Exodus is a big piece of rep that I think about, since we had already begun rehearsals and attempted to reschedule the performance.  I’m also reminded a lot of Until There is No More because that piece is about illness and survival (and we wear face masks!).

Hannah Brown: I’ve been thinking about River’s Edge a lot. It’s always been one of my favorites and the joy in that piece is something I’ve been thinking about frequently. 

How have you kept art in your life?

Abbie Lessaris: I’ve been painting A LOT. Wine and Canvas follow along videos on YouTube have been a real lifesaver during this time.

Zoe Maish: I have kept art in my life by watching some of the live streamed performances that have been made available. Some of these include The Cellist by the Royal Ballet and Anastasia by the Royal Ballet.

Camden Lancaster:I have kept art in my life by teaching and dancing myself. I have also been watching dance online, some have been performances others have been short combos posted.

Chloe Holzman:  I enjoy watching how other people have been creative with their time and unique locations.  One silver lining about quarantine is that it has forced artists to share and connect more via social media, so I can follow new work and explorations a lot more closely.

Olivia Payton: I’ve found that art is almost everywhere, music, dance, paintings, makeup, there’s endless forms of art. Fortunately, art is very accessible during this time and watching videos and supporting other artists online has been so wonderful. I hope that people realize that art cannot be free because artists have rent and bills to pay also, when this is over we have to support each other. Free performances were nice for a bit, but it’s unfair to ask a local restaurant owner to give you a free meal, likewise it’s unfair to ask an artist to give you a free performance or piece of their work. 

What does your pet think of you being home more?

Abbie Lessaris: My sweet baby Apollo doesn’t know why we go on 10 walks a day now but he’s definitely loving it. 

Thomas Mason: My dog is tired of all the walks he gets now. 

Camden Lancaster: I have a cat, and honestly I think she’s enjoyed us being home for the most part. But definitely has her moments when she wants to be left alone!

Hannah Brown: My dog, Barkley, has pretty bad separation anxiety, so he has loved having us home all the time.

Olivia Payton: I think my sweet dog Grace is enjoying all of the extra cuddles, she hasn’t told me otherwise. 

What movies/shows have you been binging?

Thoma Mason: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Zoe Maish: I watched all of Cheer on Netflix and all of Insatiable on Netflix. Both are very good shows that I would recommend!

Camden Lancaster:Outer Banks, All American, and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist have been the shows we binged. They are very good! 

Hannah Brown: The Great (Hulu), Dexter (Netflix), The Big Flower Fight (Netflix), Victoria (Prime), and a bunch of Disney movies on Disney+. 

Adrian Dominguez: I love watching The Office and The Star Wars movies. I also enjoy watching the Rocky movies along with Creed. Definitely a lot of Marvel and DC superhero movies along with ESPN talk shows.  

Have you created any new gourmet food dishes?  Please share.

Zoe Maish: I have not created any one dish in particular, but I started cooking and experimenting with seafood much more while in quarantine.

Chloe Holzman: I have become an expert at making chocolate chip pancakes.

Olivia Payton: I can’t cook. I thought during this time I’d become a master chef, but unfortunately the most advanced thing I can make is Mac & Cheese (from a box)

Adrian Dominguez: I make killer tilapia tacos and eggs with chorizo! Also I have been using vanilla almond milk and bananas in my protein shakes and they are amazing. 


What new technology have you learned?

 Zoe Maish: I have been learning more about video and photo editing programs!

Chloe Holzman:  I learned every single possible thing about Zoom, which is the platform I use to teach dance lessons.  I have always felt very comfortable with technology, but this shift to online learning was overwhelming at first!

Adrian Dominguez: I learned how to make video reels and have been playing with videography. 

What would you tell our patrons about GHDT, the arts, what you miss and “getting back to the theatre?”

Abbie Lessaris: This company is important for an infinite number of reasons. Art is important. Live theatre is important. I know the idea of returning to the theatre can be daunting. We can’t return too soon. However, I hope when the time is right everyone is ready to come watch us dance. 

Thomas Mason: Time away from the arts is hard but creates inspiration to keep creating because art is essential.

Zoe Maish: The arts are an integral part of our society and culture. It is how we as humans express concepts greater than us and not always tangible. I hope to see all of patrons again soon. I know this next phase moving forward will be a major adjustment period for everyone. But we will stay strong and will have learned so much on this new venture together.

Camden Lancaster: This coming season will be one you don’t want to miss. I know for myself I’m very eager to get back to the studio and dance. I have missed dancing in a space that I can move to my fullest ability. Getting back on the stage will be an amazing feeling and I think the dancers will have an added passion when being on stage again. I believe upcoming performances will be created in new ways due to what social distancing looks like at that time. I’m very excited to get back! 

Hannah Brown: The company will have to be creative as we get back to performing, but the arts aren’t going anywhere, and I know that the company will present beautiful, moving works when we return to the theatre.

What are you looking forward to in the upcoming season?

Zoe Maish: I am looking forward to creating new works. Every day I get to dance is a gift moving forward. I am excited to bond with my colleagues through all of this moving forward. 

Camden Lancaster: Being able to dance on stage again and in front of a live audience. I also believe this season will be different with what social distancing will allow for choreography and performances. I’m excited for what Mr. Hancock will create.

Chloe Holzman: I’m most excited to see the new works that are being born of a situation that forces us to think outside the box.  I have always been drawn to art that is unusual and overcomes obstacles, so I can’t wait to see how we take what may be a more traditional choreographic concept and twist it to fit the times in which we live.

Hannah Brown: Just getting back in the studio and moving again. We’ll figure out how to work with the new regulations, I’m just looking forward to dancing.

Adrien Dominguez: I’m looking forward to learn from Mr. Hancock and the GHDT family. I’m excited for the challenges we will have to face as we will be adapting to new guidelines to keep everyone safe.  I am super excited to perform and be part of a great team.

GHDT’S EXODUS Cancelled for August- Season Opening Performance in October Announced

Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre,  the resident professional dance company at The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, has made the difficult decision to CANCEL the rescheduled production of EXODUS which was to take place August 21 & 22, 2020

Due to the on-going COVID – 19 health situation and to protect the health and safety of employees, performers and audience members, The Center has issued guidelines as they reopen their venues based on industry best practices and government guidelines that include limited audience size, required social distancing of audience members and performers, and the use of PPE.  GHDT’s EXODUS is a production that is vast and powerful with a large cast and is not conducive for the restraints of the theatre at this time.  We look forward to bringing this amazing performance to the stage again in the future when the time is right.

Ticket purchasers may convert their EXODUS ticket purchases into a tax-deductible contribution to support Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre.  Please contact The Center’s Box Office over the next 10 days by email at [email protected] and please indicate EXODUS- donation of tickets.  If you elect not to convert your EXODUS ticket purchase into a donation, your ticket order will be refunded by the box office.  It is through your generosity that GHDT will continue to weather this crisis and bring service to the community through the arts again.

 

We are happy to announce, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre will open its 23rd Performance Season on October 23 & 24, 2020 at The Tarkington at The Center for the Performing Arts with GHDT RE-IMAGINED

This opening performance will feature the talented artists of GHDT in new works as well as re-imagined repertoire pieces created by Executive Artistic Director Gregory Hancock keenly accommodating our new world of live arts.  “The arts always find a way to survive, evolve, and flourish, so I must now find new ways to tell my stories and this change will afford my creativity to work in new ways,” says Mr. Hancock.  “I must rethink my visions in order to re-imagine my past reality, and move forward creating art in the present environment.  I enter this time of uncertainty with an open mind, because as a story-teller, I am inspired by the world around me and my experiences.  Instead of focusing on what I cannot do, I have shifted my focus to celebrate what I can do.  I look forward to seeing you in the theatre again and sharing my re-imagined world of dance with you!” he adds.  For more updates on GHDT’s 2020-2021 Season please visit our website and LIKE US on Facebook.

Current GHDT Audition Information

GHDT is currently accepting video submissions from male and female dancers for the 2020-2021 season. 

Please submit recent video footage the best demonstrates your technical and performance abilities, along with a resume, head shot, and full body shot in first arabesque. Please include an introductory video telling us about your personality, work ethic, goals, and why you are interested in GHDT. Please email all submissions and questions to [email protected]

GHDT Relief Fund will be matched up to $10,000

During this time of closure due to the Covid-19 health crisis, we have all paused our normal lives. At GHDT, our dancers are now holding class remotely, our rehearsal space is empty and the theatre is dark. We will get through this together and we send our thoughts and prayers to those who are sick and directly impacted by the virus.

We have started a GIVING CAMPAIGN to support our GHDT Operating Expense and Dancer Relief Fund during this pause.

A super fan and supporter will generously match dollar for dollar any donations to GHDT up to $10,000 before May 11. The monies raised will help our organization continue on the mission of bringing great art to the communities we serve.

Please consider a donation, if you can, as funding is needed to help us push through.
You may donate on line at www.gregoryhancockdancetheatre.org and click on the donate button OR our preferred method by mailing a check to: Relief Fund, GHDT, 329 Gradle Drive, Carmel, IN 46032. Amounts from $25 to $1,000 will go a long way especially with the generous matching donation. Your $25 donation will instantly turn into $50 and your $1,000 donation will turn into $2,000! Your employer matching donations are also welcome!

Thank you to our loyal fans and donors for your support!

“GHDT and AGHDT have been in our family for close to 20 years. We don’t have words to describe what Gregory, his mom, the professional dancers, the instructors, the volunteers and the performances have done for us, but we do know all of it has enhanced our lives enormously. To that end, we would like to help GHDT close the gap that is widening every day. We are respectfully asking you to donate during this period to see if we can all help.”

–Scott and Joanie Zigmond

“It is so crucial to support the arts at this unprecedented time. A body can fully function only if all the components are alive. While food is necessary to physically function, ART feeds the soul and the spirit and must go on.”

–Nur Ungan

April 11th Audition Postponed

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in our country, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre has made the decision to postpone our April 11th audition. Because the situation is always changing, we have not yet set a date for the audition. We will continue to monitor the situation and will update our website and social media accordingly. If you wish to receive email updates or have any questions, please send an email to [email protected]

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Our priority during this time is to ensure the safety and health of our dancers and staff, as well as all dancers who audition.

Letter to Our Patrons – COVID-19

Dear Patrons and Supporters of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre,

As part of The Center for the Performing Arts resident company community, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre will follow all guidelines issued by The Center, local, state and federal governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  All performances and other events on The Center’s campus have been suspended through May 11, 2020 which includes GHDT’s EXODUS, April 3-5.  We hope to reschedule this performance for this summer if feasible.

The health and safety of our dancers, staff and patrons are of utmost importance and we understand the magnitude of this situation.  We are saddened that the theatre has temporarily gone dark, but look forward to a heightened appreciation for the arts, and the part we play, when the lights come back on.

In times like these, many of us want to step up and make a difference. You can convert your EXODUS ticket purchase to a tax-deductible contribution to support Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre.  It is through your generosity that GHDT will weather this crisis and continue its powerful service to the community through the arts.

And if you find yourself in a position to make a charitable contribution beyond converting your ticket to a donation, please click here to make a one-time or recurring donation to support GHDT.

If you elect not to convert your EXODUS ticket purchase into a donation, your ticket order will be refunded. Refunds will be processed starting March 30. Due to the volume of refunds, delays are possible.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact The Center’s Patron Services office at (317) 843-3800.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Ivy Heazeltine
President, Board of Directors

Gregory Hancock
Executive Artistic Director

Exodus Suspended

A Message from GHDT Executive Artistic Director, Gregory Hancock:

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share this news with the patrons of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre (GHDT). Due to the ongoing global health crisis, the Center for the Performing Arts has suspended all events for the next 30 days. This means the company’s production of EXODUS, scheduled for April 3-5 at The Tarkington will not take place. We will work with the Center to reschedule the performance if at all possible, but due to the ever-evolving nature of the crisis, we do not have a new date at this time. This is a devastating loss to the company. Patrons who have purchased tickets will be contacted by the Center to offer refunds, but we sincerely hope the patrons of GHDT may consider donating the ticket price to GHDT to help the company through this crisis. Please see the below press release from The Center.

March 13, 2020
Center suspends all events for 30 days
CARMEL, IN – Following the coronavirus recommendations issued this week by Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana State Department of Health, the Center for the Performing Arts is suspending all performances and other events on its campus through April 12.
The affected venues include the Palladium, the Tarkington and the Studio Theater. The cancellations include performances by the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Central Indiana Dance Ensemble, Civic Theatre, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and Indiana Wind Symphony, as well as education events, rental events and eight Center Presents performances:
• Peking Acrobats, March 15
• Kurt Elling Quintet, March 21
• Doolin’, March 27
• Treasure Island, March 28 (two shows)
• Piaf! The Show, March 28
• Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, March 29
• 800 lb. Gorilla, April 4
All ticketholders will be contacted and provided refunds or the option to donate the purchase amount to the presenting organization to help defray costs associated with the cancellations. The Center will work to reschedule the canceled events as feasible.
The move is prompted by state recommendations to cancel or postpone for the next 30 days any nonessential gatherings of 250 or more people, as well as smaller gatherings in venues where people cannot maintain a distance sufficient to avoid the potential spread of the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness.
The Center will continue to follow the guidance of public safety officials and will reassess the policy in April to determine if the suspension needs to be extended.
The Center’s offices will remain in operation during standard business hours. The Box Office and the Great American Songbook Exhibit Gallery at the Palladium will be closed to the public through April 12, but ticket sales for events not affected by the suspension will continue online at TheCenterPresents.org or by phone at (317) 843-3800.
Patrons with questions or concerns may contact the Patron Services department at (317) 843-3800 or [email protected]

EXODUS 2020

Back by popular demand, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, the resident, professional dance company at The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, will present EXODUS, this April 3-5, 2020.

Inspired by the Book of Exodus, but adapted to our modern world, EXODUS is a cautionary tale of hatred and ignorance presenting ten modern plagues. Set to a score of epic symphonic and choral music and enhanced with complex visual artistry, EXODUS will transport the audience into an emotional story of love and sacrifice. The talented cast will lead the audience through thematic stories of oppression, emigration and freedom, and will speak to human rights and equality that resonates globally even today.

Join us for the newest of the GHDT masterpieces!

We are thrilled to have former GHDT company dancer,
Taylar Green MacQueenette,
returning to reprise her role as The Chosen.

For tickets, click here!

Extra Show Added!

Thank you!

Thanks to our patrons, we have SOLD OUT all 6 performances of Once Upon A Time! We had an amazing opening weekend!

We have added an extra performance on Friday, February 21st at 7pm. In case you missed your chance to buy tickets, this is for you! But don’t wait, tickets are going fast!

Once Upon A Time

Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre will be performing ONCE UPON A TIME at The Academy of GHDT weekends February 8-23, 2020 for their annual fund raising concert and silent auction.

Travel through a world of fractured fairy tales and be entertained by Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre’s delightful and whimsical montage of favorite characters this February! In a black box theatrical setting, audiences will be seated in cabaret style experiencing this up-close and personal dramatic adventure. ONCE UPON A TIME presents an enchanting classical musical score which sets the scene for several well-known tales but with many unexpected and humorous twists and turns. Light refreshments are available. Seating is limited.

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