Robin Gilbert and Carlos Fittante in "Tigerlily and the Dragonfly". Photo: Julie Lemberger

More Arts in Education

Upstate New York High School Students Perform BALAM’s Baroque Inspired Choreographies

BALAM has had a busy season working on several arts in education projects throughout the United States.  In the spring, BALAM’s principal ballerina, Robin Gilbert, joined Carlos Fittante to perform a demonstration of his Baroque dance piece, “Folia-A Baroque Pageant”, for the Monticello High School student body in Monticello, New York.  The work was so well received Fittante was asked to create Baroque inspired choreographies for the “Steps and Sounds of Different Cultures” program at the high school, culminating in a spectacular student performance in June.

Kenneth Hamrick, artistic director of American Virtuosi and guest harpsichordist at Monticello High School, praised the choreographed pieces’ impact on the audience at the annual performance.
 “Last night's performance to a capacity crowd in Monticello's Nesin Theatre was a tremendous success…there was a great standing ovation at the end of the performance.  THANK YOU,” said Hamrick.

Arts Week at St Thomas's Day School in New Haven
A special treat of our Arts Week celebration was "Folia", the Spanish Baroque dance performed by Carlos and BALAM's principal ballerina, Robin Gilbert. Everyone was awestruck by the choreography embellished with period costumes, masks and haunting music. The audience responded with a thunderous applause for several minutes – definitely an unforgettable experience.

Thanks again for your impressive presentations at our Arts Week.

-Roxanne Turekian

Assistant Head of School
St. Thomas's Day School
830 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

Students Inspired by Workshops at Washington University in St Louis

Students from the dance and music departments at Washington University in St Louis (Wash U) in Missouri got a rare opportunity to learn and experience first hand Balinese and Baroque music and dance styles.  Choreographer Carlos Fittante, a specialist in Balinese and Baroque dances, taught excerpts from the Balinese dance, Legong Kraton, during his guest residency at Wash U in the spring.  Under his expert tutelage, the students danced in time to the complex rhythms of this traditional dance.  His Balinese mask workshop, an integration of Balinese dance and elements from the acting system, The Method, inspired students in the Intercultural Mask Making class to create their own works masks.

Fittante introduced the Baroque style of music and dance to ballet and vocal students.  He performed in costume the classic Baroque choreography, “Chaconne de Phaeton”, and taught a Baroque master-class to the ballet program students.  A Baroque gesture workshop presented to selected vocalists of the music department was very well received.  

“I really appreciate how much you focused on principles of movement and posture rather than specific gestures.  It gave me a different perspective and a lot to work on.  It was so refreshing to work with movement and singing, and to work on the Baroque style.  I hope we get to work together again sometime soon," said soprano Christine Johnson.

It’s amazing how one hour with someone can kickstart the process, and in a very positive way.  Thanks.”  –Elisa LaBarge, soprano