BALAM Dance Theatre
A New Vision of Contemporary Dance
Islene Pinder-Founding Director, Carlos Fittante-Artistic Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joyce Luhrs, Publicist, 201-592-9126, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carlos Fittante, Artistic Director, 646-361-9183
BALAM Dance Theatre to Perform Wayang Blues, A Bride & Groom's Descent
into 'Happily Ever After', at The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers --Dance
Benefit for MillionTreesNYC
(October 27, 2008--New York, NY) -- BALAM Dance Theatre's (BALAM) Carlos
Fittante, Artistic Director, and Robin Gilbert, company ballerina, will
perform an excerpt from the entertaining piece Wayang Blues, on Monday,
November 10, 2008 in Dance Benefit 3 at The Sports Center at Chelsea
Piers (Chelsea Piers) to support MillionTreesNYC.
The event, which features Chelsea Piers' instructors and members and
local artists, will be held at the Chelsea Piers' Studio A from
7:00-8:00 P.M. A $20 suggested donation admits one to the benefit and
allows full access to the gym's facilities. Contributions will be
accepted at the front desk and on the day of the event. The Sports
Center at Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex is located at
Pier 60, with the entrance to the Chelsea Piers Sports Complex located
at Hudson River and West 23rd Street.
The MillionTreesNYC is a 127PalNYC initiative. This city wide,
public-private program has a goal to plant and care for one million new
trees across New York City's five boroughs over the next decade. For
further information, go to www.MillionTreesNYC.org
or contact John Boyd,
Program Manager at Chelsea Piers at 212-336-6052.
BALAM is a unique New York dance ensemble that creates a new vision
of contemporary dance by fusing ballet and modern dance styles with
Balinese theatre and diverse cultural movement styles from around the
world. The company's participation in the dance benefit is a part of
its Out and About program, an effort to inspire, entertain, educate and
rejuvenate the community through dance and the arts.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for me to assist a city that I love
through dance. Trees are the lungs of the earth and planting one
millions trees will help to provide a greener environment in the Big
Apple," explained Carlos Fittante.
"I am so pleased and excited to be able to participate in an event
that will add beauty and life not only to our wonderful city, but to our
planet as well!" said Robin Gilbert.
Wayang Blues, which premiered in New York in Baris
Off-Broadway/Blues Meets Bali in March, 2007 and on the West coast in
Ballet Santa Barbara's 2007 fall season in Les Petits Ballets Santa
Barbara, follows a bride and groom's descent into "happily ever after"
set to recorded hits by jazz legend Etta James. Mr. Fittante, who also
choreographed the piece, will perform Movement 1 of the humorous duet
with Ms. Gilbert. This witty dance-theatre piece incorporates shadow
puppets made by Agung Bagus from Ubud, Bali.
In 2007, several reviewers praised the premiere piece and the
'Wayang Blues' was the latest offering from BSB artistic associate
Carlos Fittante, whose expertise in mask work always yields surprises.
This time, a couple of Balinese puppets did battle with the gods while
dancers presented parallel stories of love and its attendant conflicts -
each vignette a new take on the pleasures and pitfalls of partnering.
-- Elizabeth Schwyzer, Santa Barbara Independent
Wayang Blues by Carlos Fittante was very entertaining with a couple
in love doing their comic dance in masks.
- -Paul Foster Froeming, Santa Barbara Daily Sound
About Carlos Fittante
Carlos Fittante, a choreographer and dancer specializing in
contemporary fusion choreography, has performed throughout the United
States and internationally. He has studied and performed in Bali,
Indonesia with the Semara Ratih Gamelan.
He is an eminent guest teacher and is presently on the faculty of the
Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute of New York, where he teaches
Mask & Gesture/Movement for Actors. Mr. Fittante is a graduate of the
School of American Ballet and holds a Bachelors of Arts in dance from
Empire State College.
He has an eclectic movement background in Ballet, Baroque and
Balinese dance and is a member of The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers,
where he studies yoga with guru Paulo Hudson. He has performed as a
guest artist with the New York City Opera, Boston Early Music Festival,
Academy of Ancient Music, and was also a principal dancer and the New
York Baroque Dance Company.
Mr. Fittante's choreographic work has been presented at numerous
festivals and venues, including First Night New York, the DUMBO Dance
Festival, La MaMa ETC, Ballet Builders, Washington University in St.
Louis, and Apollo's Fire in Cleveland, Ohio. He teaches and performs
with other companies such as Ballet Santa Barbara, where he is artistic
About Robin Gilbert
Robin Gilbert has helped define BALAM's Balinese/ballet fusion by
combining the earthiness of Balinese dance with the etherealness of
ballet's point work. In 1991, she debuted in the role, Raka Froggy from
"Animal Wedding", dancing on point while wearing a wooden Balinese
mask. As principal female dancer with the company, Ms. Gilbert brings
her seamless dance technique, musicality and dramatic ability to all her
roles, and is featured as the heroine, Sita, in Ramayana-Abduction of
Sita, a story ballet inspired by the Hindu epic. She has studied and
performed in Bali with the renowned Semara Ratih Gamelan.
Ms. Gilbert began her dance training in Cleveland, Ohio and later
graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her performance
career includes performing with New American Ballet Ensemble,
Connecticut Ballet Theatre, Dallas Ballet, and Anglo-American Ballet.
Ms. Gilbert, whose performances have been seen in musical theatre,
industrial shows, opera, commercials, and videos, has also worked with
prominent choreographers such as Ann Reinking.
The BALAM History
BALAM offers a new vision of contemporary dance that emanates from a
cutting-edge fusion of diverse cultural dance styles and movement
techniques. The company's fusion repertoire presents an opulent dance
theatre that blends contemporary choreography, eclectic music, striking
masks, imaginative props, and vibrant costumes to create a performance
that appeals to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
In 1979, Islene Pinder, a Lehman College dance educator, founded the
company and brought the mesmerizing Balinese dance theatre style to New
York audiences. Under the directorship of Spanish-American
choreographer Carlos Fittante, BALAM's fusion repertoire blends boldly
divergent dance styles and movements genres, including ballet, Spanish,
Lester Horton, Baroque, Latin, Hip-Hop, drag, Noh, and karate, as well
BALAM has been featured at several distinguished festivals and
venues, such as First Night New York; Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors; La
Mama Experimental Theatre, New York, New York; Jacob's Pillow Dance
Festival, Lee, Massachusetts, and many others. The company has also
appeared internationally at the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar, Bali and
the 2nd Encuentro Internacíonal de Danza Contemporánea in Cancún, Mexico.
The company's work has received critical recognition from the New
York Times and Village Voice. The Governor and people of Bali and the
Indonesian Consulate of New York have highly commended its performances.
For further information, please call 212-563-9111 or visit BALAM
Dance Theatre on the web at www.balamdance.org
Cutline: Dancers Robin Gilbert and Carlos Fittante appear in Wayang
Photographer - Yi-Chun Wu