I wish I could say it was a totally original idea, but it was not. After seeing what a dear friend of mine, Arlene Shuler, accomplished in New York City with Fall for Dance, I thought, why couldn’t we develop something similar but with a different slant? Our goal became to promote the wealth of talent that our region has to offer and to augment it with attractions that would enhance the viewing pleasure of the audience and create awareness for our local artists as to what exists out there.
Three years since we started, much of that is being achieved. Artists are talking to each other after viewing each other’s work and are exchanging ideas. Local dance companies have, consciously or unconsciously, raised their level of performances. The excitement amongst our audience members is palpable.
People are embracing the concept and adoring that they get to know so many artists that otherwise would not be possible for them to see and enjoy. The $10 ticket price for each night is a bonanza, of course, and it is not possible without Dance St. Louis’ board support and corporations and foundations that see the enormous impact SPRING TO DANCE has in our community.
Each day I spent at the Touhill during SPRING TO DANCE discovering new ideas brought forth by a talented new generation of dancers and choreographers enriches me tenfold. What pleasure it is to foster their growth and visibility.
And it makes me feel proud to learn that all of the artists we have brought to the Touhill have rated it one of the best if not the best venue for dance they have ever performed at, but even more compelling have been their comments about how they felt about the crew backstage and all the attentions bestowed on them.
All of us in St. Louis should be very proud of this endeavor. People are beginning to travel hundreds of miles to see the event, and we hope it can be a destination point every Memorial Day Weekend when people can spend beautiful days with us and enjoy the other assets of our fair city.
Please find the time to share this treasure with all of us. From 5:30 to about 9:30 on each of the three evenings May 27-29 you will be taken through a journey as magical as any of Alice’s trips. We start in our lobby with young performers from some of our own local troupes. At 6 p.m., four companies perform in the Lee Theater. Plan to be there early as they fill up fast since only 375 people can fit in that theater! At 7:30 p.m., six companies dance in the Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall.
Come and join me in the discoveries that make us better people.