Upper Montclair, NJ - Freespace Dance, a professional modern dance company that has appeared throughout the state, in New York City, and internationally, is performing at it’s Summer Season home at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center on Friday August 23 at 8pm. This performance is a culminating concert with students from the Freespace Dance Summer Festival which has been taking place at Montclair State Univeritsy from August 5 – 22. The 15 students will be performing 2 repertory pieces taught by Artisitc Director Donna Scro and Dancer/Choreographer Omni Kitts- Ferrara.
The professional company will be performing signature works “Butt Rock”, “Brethren”, “One Constant Change”, and new works premiered earlier this summer “Home” and “Remember US” Tickets are $15.00 for the performance.
OSPAC is a beautiful outdoor theater with lawn seating. We encourage our audience to bring Lawn Chairs, and or Blankets and to picnic under the stars for a beautiful evening of Dance.
If inclement weather occurs, the concert will be moved to Montclair State University Life Hall Dance Theater. Freespace Dance is a contemporary modern dance company renowned for creating emotionally driven work a bold athletic signature style. Comprised of eight exceptionally strong performers, this vibrant company uses controlled abandonment in pushing the limits of inventive partnering.
Artistic Director, Donna Scro, a former principal dancer with the Nikolais/Louis Dance Company and a founding member of Sean Curran Company, has been described by Robert Johnson of the Star Ledger as “as a dancemaker that seizes an audience’s attention and pulls viewers into her space with works that can be gentle or physically aggressive, but are always profoundly sexy”.
Whether bodies fly through the air in full company works or women move around each other slowly in duet, critics have noted that, ” in all of Donna Scro’s pieces a recognizable human element surface wordlessly and goes straight to the heart.” The company’s annual New York seasons at major venues such as Dancespace/St. Marks Church, Ailey Citigroup Theatre and Dance Theatre Workshop never fail to sell out. Each season brings the premiere of new works, such as Brethren which looks at masculinity and strength performed by an all male cast to live music (2011), From this and Before, where Ms. Scro mines the emotions of various phases of romantic relationships (2010) and her signature piece Butt Rock, where she plays wildly with prolific technique to the sounds of hard rocking music by Dream Theatre (2009). Collaborations with other artists are highlights of Freespace seasons, including the use of live music and guest performers such as Brian Sanders of JUNK and Gaspard Louis of Pilobolus Dance Theatre. Freespace company members have been recognized consistently as being among the most talented dancers in the area. Upon making its European debut in the summer of 2010 the Edinburgh Press declared the company’s choreography as “The Pinnacle of Technique in Partnering” and The Edinburgh Spotlight recognized the company’s “prowess in technique and welcome feel of connected emotion and dancing from the heart.” Freespace has appeared at venues throughout the nation and region including The Ailey Citigroup Theater, Dance Theater Workshop Joyce SoHo, and regular performances at NYC festivals such as Dancenow Festival, Downtown Dance Festival, Dancers Responding to AIDS: The Remember Project, International Dance Festival, DNA’s Raw Material, DUMBO Dance Festival, and Cool New York Festival.National touring includes performances at Jacob’s Pillow, San Diego State University in a joint concert with the PKG Project, SUNY Purchase, Wells College, Southern Utah State University, The American College Dance Festival University of Maine, The Kaplan Theater in Houston, Texas, Dance Saves the Day at the Kasser Theater and annual seasons at Montclair State University. Freespace Dance has also been presented at the Oskar Schindler Center for the Performing Arts for the past 5 years. Freespace Dance has been a guest company for Soulphonic Soundscape by Daniel Bernard Roumain featuring DBR & The Mission, choreographers for Playhouse Disney’s “Choo Choo Soul” video, and featured on Professor Predicts series for mtv U.
Freespace is home to The Dance Program of weekly classes for children of all ages at the Montclair Cooperative School Annex. The company conducts lecture demonstrations and residencies throughout NJ through its own efforts and as members of the rosters of Young Audiences New Jersey, Arts Council for the Morris Area and The Montclair Arts Council. Freespace regularly sets repertory pieces and is commissioned to create original works for high school and college aged dance ensembles. Freespace has been in residence at the Sawtelle School for students with Autism in Montclair since 2009. In addition, the company hosts a popular annual three week Summer Festival for high school and college dancers featuring classes in modern, jazz, pilates, yoga, ballet, and repertory. Freespace Dance 2 is a pre-professional component of the company comprised of some of the most talented high school and college dancers in New Jersey. Freespace Dance 2 made its major venue premiere performing with the company in 2011 at St. Mark’s Church to much acclaim.
Freespace Dance has received grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The New Jersey Cultural Trust and The American Music Center. Artistic Director, Donna Scro is the recipient of a 2008 Fellowship from New Jersey State Council on the Arts, for excellence in choreography.
Donna Scro, Artistic Director of Freespace Dance has toured professionally as a dance artist for the past twenty years and is renowned for mesmerizing audiences worldwide with her extraordinary stage presence and captivating choreography. Donna’s choreographic style is bold and fearless, and connects to human emotion and experience. Combining her athletic nature and her humanistic connection, the work is accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. Donna received a 2008 Fellowship from New Jersey State Council on the Arts, for excellence in choreography. She has performed at some of the most internationally prestigious venues, including The Paris Opera House, Theatre de la Ville, the American Dance Festival (Korea and North Carolina), Spoleto Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, The Egg, and in New York City at the Joyce Theater, The New Victory Theater, Central Park Summer Stage, Symphony Space, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. She has been applauded by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Star-Ledger, The Houston Chronicle, Dance Insider, Backstage, and The Boston Globe for her compelling signature style. Prior to establishing Freespace Dance, Donna was a principal dancer with the Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance Company and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia with the company. She was also a founding member of Sean Curran Company and continued her affiliation with Sean by setting his works on university dance departments. Additionally, Donna has been a member of Peter Pucci Plus Dancers and a guest artist with Heidi Latsky Dance, Neta Pulvermacher, Risa Jarsalow, Michael Mao and many other established New York choreographers. In addition to her performing experience, Donna was on the dance faculty at Montclair State University for over ten years where she graduated Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. In Spring 2011 she was the guest artist at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Donna is committed to bringing dance to local communities and has created choreography to inspire young artists. Regionally her work has been commissioned by Morris County Vocational High School, Montclair State University, Montclair High School, Ridgewood High School, and Steffi Nossen School of Dance in White Plains, NY. She has been a guest teacher several times for the American College Dance Festivals and the Ashland Dance Festival in Oregon, as well as many private and public schools throughout the tri state area. Donna is also an Anusara-Inspired yoga teacher and is registered through the yoga alliance as a 500-ERYT. Her fascination of yoga and dance inspires her to create work with real fire and true heart.