Two dancers from New York City, Wes Chapman and Jason Macdonald, will join this year’s faculty when Santa Fe College again hosts hundreds of dancers from throughout Florida at the 11th annual Young Dancers Workshop, Oct. 30-31. Macdonald is an alumnus of the SF College Dance Department who is now a member of Parsons Dance and recently appeared on stage as a featured dancer with Beyoncé at the Made in America Festival and the 2015 Global Citizen’s Festival. Chapman is the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company.
Showcase performances are open to the public and will be held at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. Tickets are $10, available through the Fine Arts Hall Box Office, 352-395-4181, or online at www.sfcollege.edu/finearts.
The event’s festival atmosphere offers opportunities for middle- and high-school age students to learn from guest instructors who offer classes in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip hop, yoga/Pilates and musical theatre. The Florida Dance Association, the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance, and Santa Fe College organize the event in partnership.
A native of Union Springs, Alabama, Chapman joined American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 1984 as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to soloist in 1987 and to principal dancer in 1989. With ABT, Chapman performed leading roles in works by many of the 20th century’s master choreographers including George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp and Antony Tudor. In 1996, Chapman was named artistic director of Alabama Ballet where he founded the Alabama Ballet School, an apprentice pre-professional training program. Chapman returned to ABT as ballet master in 2006 before being named artistic director of the Studio Company in 2007.
An Orlando native, Macdonald trained with Alberto Alonso, Sonia Calero-Alonso and Alora Haynes at Santa Fe College. He graduated with a B.F.A. in dance from Florida State University and joined Parsons Dance in August 2010. He has performed with the New York City Opera, with Alabama Ballet Company under Artistic Director Wes Chapman, and in “Queen of the Night” at the Diamond Horseshoe in New York City (http://queenofthenightnyc.com). Macdonald’s repertoire includes “Cinderella,” “Don Quixote,” “Firebird” and George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” and “Serenade.”
Macdonald will perform in the Young Dancer Workshop Showcase. The Showcase will also include a dance co-choreographed by Melissa Brenner of SF College and Trent Williams of the University of Florida. Dancers from both schools will perform in the piece.
The Florida Dance Association (FDA) helps dance artists to network, collaborate and support each other to advance dance arts throughout the state. One of only a few remaining organizations of its kind in the country, FDA has for 37 years given scholarships, presented dance groups, provided workshops, employed dancers, teachers and choreographers and helped to spread awareness of up-and-coming dance artists from all over the country.
The Young Dancers Workshop is sponsored by the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Department, the Florida Dance Association, the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance, Spring Hill Suites and Best Western Gateway Grand, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and Visit Gainesville, a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council.
For more information, call Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes at 352-395-5296.