Apparently we’re on to something here!
Like so many things, DITA (Dance In The Annex) began with a conversation. Angie Yetzke and I were hungry for something absent in Grand Rapids: classes to challenge us, collaborations to evolve us, and new dance experiences to enrich the art/performance landscape in Grand Rapids. See a need, fill a need.
With lots of phone calls, emails and excitement we launched our first class at the Wealthy Theatre Annex in February, 2009. Almost immediately we realized: we were not alone. There were others longing for the contemporary dance opportunities they enjoyed in larger metro areas, or at university. And another segment of dancers – trained, working and eager for something different. And the most pleasant surprise: a community of people willing to attend performances without much prior context for contemporary dance in Grand Rapids – people who were engaged in exploring new things, and open to experiencing this most engaging art form.
Our Monthly Master Class Series featured artists like, Sherrie Barr, Linda Graham, Steven Innacone, Sharon Wong and Dorrell Martin. Our ArtPrize 2009 entry was choreographed by the brilliant Catherine Herrman. “Trip The Light” (4/14/10) brought a capacity crowd to Wealthy Theatre, as a benefit for our friends at ArtPeers – we transformed into something more than we have ever imagined, with that groundbreaking, original and all-local event. More than just classes, we officially became a community of dancers, in a community that embraced this new thing.
DITA has filled a void in the region, and brought something “new and old” to the City of Grand Rapids. Our role is this: to support and nurture dancers – whether professional, teaching and choreographing, or a dancer who wants to be inspired by others, we provide these opportunities. In the tradition of Modern dance itself, we explore (and welcome) new ideas, new ways of thinking. This summer we added bi-weekly classes in Ballet for Modern Dancers, and soon we will explore site-specific dance improvisation. This fall, we’ll proudly present the original “Salmagundi 2010″ event at Wealthy Theatre and an original piece for ArtPrize 2010 at UICA (with choreographer and DITA friend Carolina Pava.) And we’ll continue to explore the partnerships with local musicians and performers that have thrilled and moved the community we’re honored to serve.
This journey is one we’re excited to share with everyone – each in their own way. Contemporary dance is a vibrant, dynamic and always-evolving art form. DITA exists in this proud tradition, as a reflection of the art form, continuously evolving and learning.
DITA, Artistic Director