*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2006
CAL PERFORMANCES PRESENTS "PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE"
A PERFORMANCE BY THE STUDENTS OF THE
2006 BERKELEY/OAKLAND AILEYCAMP
THURSDAY, AUGUST 3 AT 7:00 P.M. IN ZELLERBACH HALL*
*Students of the Tuition-Free Summer Arts Program Exhibit Their Work
After Six Weeks of Training in Multiple Dance Disciplines and Coursework
on the UC Berkeley Campus*
BERKELEY, July 1, 2006--Celebrating its fifth summer in Berkeley,
AileyCamp culminates in the 90-camper strong performance "Past, Present,
Future" Thursday, August 3 at 7:00 p.m in Zellerbach Hall. The
nationally acclaimed youth program, conceived by Alvin Ailey American
Dance Theater and locally administrated by Cal Performances, combines
ballet, jazz, modern, and African dance instruction with personal
development and creative communication classes and field trips for
middle-school students, ages 11-14, from the Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond
and Albany Unified School districts. The performance of "Past, Present,
Future" is designed to showcase the students' training in all of these
areas. Admission is free. Admission tickets may be obtained in person at
the Cal Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley
campus in advance and on the night of show. Like past grand finale
productions, this year's performance promises to be a sell-out.
This year's camp of 90 campers, including the largest group of
young men ever (22), is the fifth AileyCamp presented by Cal
Performances. AileyCamp is not a training ground for professional
dancers but, instead, uses dance as a vehicle for developing
self-esteem, self-discipline and critical thinking skills in underserved
6th, 7th and 8th grade students. AileyCamp Director David McCauley
welcomes back three returning dance instructors including: Willie
Anderson (ballet), currently a principal dancer at Ballet San Jose
Silicon Valley; Naomi Johnson Diouf (African), West African dance and
culture teacher at Berkeley High School and Artistic Director of Diamano
Coura West African Dance Company in Oakland; and Derrick Minter
(modern), Rehearsal Director of Ailey II and long-time AileyCamp
teacher. Joining the staff this year are Rosario Lionudakis (jazz), a
faculty member at Mills College and founder and creative director of
Zari Le'on Dance Theater and Alicia Zakon (creative communications), a
student in her final year at UC Berkeley who has worked with Youthspeaks
and June Jordan's Poetry for the People. "Past, Present, Future" will
include dance in each of the four disciplines, set to a combination of
recorded and live music performed by camp accompanists I-Fei Chen
(piano), Madiou Diouf (percussion) and Josh Jacobs (percussion). The
performance will also include AileyCampers' work from creative
communications class plus Tina Banchero's personal development class
that covers hygiene, drug prevention and interpersonal communication
skills. Banchero has taught life skills and directed a teen pregnancy
prevention theater troupe for Planned Parenthood in New York in addition
to having danced professionally.
The Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances is the first
West Coast site of the highly respected program, which has operated
successfully in New York, the Kansas Cities (Missouri & Kansas), Boston,
Chicago and Bridgeport, Connecticut in previous years. Founded by Alvin
Ailey and the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey in 1989, the AileyCamp
curriculum includes daily technique classes in ballet, Horton-based
modern dance, jazz and West African dance. Classes in performance
techniques and creative communications deepen the students' awareness of
their potential for self-expression; personal development classes
provide counseling in nutrition, conflict resolution, drug abuse
prevention, decision-making and goal-setting. "Since being at camp I've
become more confident. I used to be really shy, but when I messed up in
my steps, I'd be called on to do it again in front of everybody---I just
got used to it," claimed former AileyCamper Amanda Stevens.
Following recruitment presentations in schools, individual
applicants were interviewed by AileyCamp staffers and volunteer
community leaders. All campers receive full tuition scholarships,
breakfast and lunch, camp uniforms and dance clothing, and, in many
cases, transportation to and from their neighborhoods. The camp is
supplemented with weekly educational and recreational field trips.
AileyCamp targets students with academic, social or domestic
challenges---criteria that often determine a child's risk of dropping
out of school---but also welcomes students not necessarily at risk but
who have little opportunity to develop their artistic interests. An
important aspect of the program's success is in providing positive adult
and peer role models for underserved youths. When the camp is finished,
students leave with valuable life skills and a sense of accomplishment
that will help them navigate through the challenging years ahead. "The
change is in my attitude...in me believing in myself so I can go to
school, get my homework done, turn it in and get a good grade,"
explained former AileyCamper Charles Guess.
The Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp is held in Zellerbach Hall and
adjacent buildings on the UC Berkeley campus, providing a positive
experience in a university setting to encourage youths to consider
pursuing higher education. The 2006 group of campers includes a number
of second-generation campers following in the footsteps of older siblings.
David McCauley returns as director of the Berkeley/Oakland
AileyCamp. He trained in ballet, modern, jazz and ethnic dance and, in
New York City, was part of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
foundation for 15 years as a student, performer and instructor. Mr.
McCauley has also appeared with the Pearl Primus Dance Company and Omega
Liturgical Dance Company. Since 1990, he has performed with Wing It!
Performance Ensemble and Omega West Dance Company and was nominated this
year for a coveted Isadora Duncan Dance Award for his work with the AXIS
Dance Company, a troupe that creates groundbreaking works for dancers
with and without disabilities. Rounding out the staff are Rachel
Davidman and Cheryl Olinsky. Davidman is the Education and Programs
Administrator for Cal Performances and the AileyCamp Camp Administrator
and Spanish interpreter; prior to Cal Performances, she worked in the
education department at the Oakland Museum and taught Spanish in East
Bay public schools for six years. Olinksy, a licensed Marriage and
Family Therapist, is the camp guidance counselor offering support to
campers, teachers and parents.
*FUNDING AND SUPPORT *
2006 Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp is supported by Berkeley Community
Fund, California Savings Bank, Citigroup Foundation, Stephanie Clark,
Francis and Ruth Cushing, East Bay Community Foundation, The Robert J.
and Helen H. Glaser Family Foundation, Beth Hurwich, Tobey Roland, Carol
and Duff Kurland, Ruth MacNaughton, Precious Cargo, The San Francisco
Foundation, Michelle Shiota, Patty and Lawrence Siskind, Valerie Stewart
and The Zellerbach Family Foundation.
Additional support for the AileyCamp program is provided by
The Lehman Brothers AileyCamp Endowment Fund.
The Audience Development Committee of Cal Performances'
Board of Trustees and the Oakland/Bay Area chapter of the Links, Inc.
serve as community leaders and volunteers for recruitment, interviews
and other general support of AileyCampers throughout the program.
# # #
CALENDAR EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
CAL PERFORMANCES PRESENTS
Thursday, August 3 at 7:00 p.m.
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley
Bancroft Way at Telegraph Avenue
2006 Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp Final Performance
"Past, Present, Future"
The students of the 2006 Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp at Cal Performances
exhibit their work in "Past, Present, Future" in Zellerbach Hall.
Tickets: Admission is free. Advance admission tickets are subject to
availability and can be obtained at the Cal Performances Ticket Office
at Zellerbach Hall. Limit four per person. Call (510) 642-9988 for
Christina Kellogg 510.643.6714
Joe Yang 510.642.9121