Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A web of compassion

Dancers demonstrate random acts of kindness

Express Staff Writer

Footlight Dance Centre performers, Malila Freeman, Lauren Robideaux, Cassidy Simpson, Annie Ashfield, Lynnlea Strickland, Liza Buell, Kendall Piggins, Olivia Stimac.
Photo by Aubrey Stephens

    Known for her evocative themes—remember last year when students wore those red Stop Bullying Now! wrist bands—Hilarie Neely and her dancers are giving movement to another emotional topic—compassion.
    The Footlight Dance Centre will be blanketing Blaine County schools in a performance called “Compassion/Weaving Community 2014,” this year’s free educational dance tour.
    “This year, our performances will integrate the art of dance as we look at compassion in the Wood River Valley that brings us together with generosity, kindness and understanding our differences,” Neely said. “This show is a follow-up from our anti-bullying project.”
    The idea extends from a partnership with the, Flourish Foundation and the Blaine County School District and their efforts to encourage compassion.
    Each show will open with a slide show of schools’ WOW-students’ work locally and Flourish Foundation’s work abroad.
    The art teachers in each school have been providing the backdrop for the performance by collecting work from students to be used as compassion flags and creating maps illustrating their Sun Valley vision.
    As students enter the show, they are invited to submit a “kindness/reflection card,” and will receive another on the way out with a compassion message from a peer.
    “The program is about student generosity, compassion and kindness to oneself, family, our schools and local community,” Neely said. “By viewing this show with an integration of ideas from community organizations that have the same goals, students learn that we are all working together.
    “We want to leave the audience with the message that they can make a difference by understanding you can find joy in giving and acceptance in receiving through kindness.”
    The dancers will interpret the subject through ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap and hip-hop dance forms.
    The tour of schools begins Monday, Jan. 27.

Tour of schools
- Hailey Elementary School, Monday, Jan. 27, 9 a.m.
- Carey School, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 9:45 a.m.
- Woodside Elementary School, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 1:15 p.m.
- Community School, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 12:30 p.m.
- Hemingway Elementary School, Friday, Jan. 31, 8:15 a.m.
- Bellevue Elementary School, Friday, Jan. 31, 1:15 p.m.
- Wood River Middle School, Monday, Feb. 3, 2:20 p.m.
- Wood River High School, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 10:45 a.m.


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