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Buffalo doesn’t get too many star-studded ballet productions gracing its stages, so Thursday evening’s second annual “Dancing To Live” presented by Neglia Ballet artists at Nichols School’s Flickinger Performing Arts Center was something special.The gala-style mixed repertory evening to benefit TargetCancer Foundation and Neglia’s CityDance public schools program, was jam-…

Dance

Looking to embrace spring? Here’s your chance. “Spring Awakening,” the six-time Tony Award-winning musical, opens Thursday in the Drama Theatre in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts. Presented by the University at Buffalo Theatre and Dance Department, “Spring Awakening” is a dramatic dance musical set in Germany at the end of the 19th century. Based on Frank Wed…

Dance

Marty Merkley, the Chautauqua Institution’s vice president and director of programming, is retiring after 25 years on the job. Merkley, who is credited with helping Chautauqua grow and thrive even in financially challenging times, will be stepping down at the end of September.“Chautauqua has afforded me many opportunities that I would have never imagined poss…

Dance

By Tim O’SheiNEWS CONTRIBUTING REVIEWERIt was the fast-food version of “Dancing with the Stars”: tasty in small bites, served up to a crowd that swallowed every last morsel, and one that especially liked the most prominent packaging: a shirtless Val Chmerkovskiy.It was a happy meal, but not necessarily a substantive one.The “Dancing with the Sta…

I first saw “The Nutcracker” performed live more than 30 years ago, and my hazy recollection of that elementary school auditorium performance could be summarized in two words – creepy mice. Suffice it to say, a lot has changed in three decades, chiefly my appreciation for one of the greatest holiday tales of all time. The American Academy of Ballet bri…

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When Jon Lehrer moved his eponymous dance troupe to Buffalo in 2008, he was determined to build the company into an internationally recognized touring outfit with a diverse global audience.What he never envisioned was that he and his tight-knit group of young dancers would become powerful instruments of American foreign policy.But over the past two years, on trips to teach…

Dance

“Dancing with the Stars” is packing up its ballroom and hitting the road. And the first stop is in Niagara Falls. The long-running ABC competition show, which pairs celebrities with professional dancers, is launching a 33-city tour called “Dancing with the Stars: Live!” The show opens Dec. 27 in the Seneca Niagara Casino’s Events Center. Tickets are $40 to $80 and are on…

Dance

An amalgamation of rock opera and dance recital electricity filled venerable Shea’s Performing Arts Center Saturday night, when Shaping Sound jolted onto the stage with acts of athleticism and eroticism. The troupe, led by its four male founders, followed a program with a thin – but gorgeous – narrative thread.The nearly sold-out Shea’s was pack…

Dance

When is dance more than dance?When it is Shaping Sound. That’s the name of a group of dancers who are going beyond the basics to give shape and sound to the form as “visual musicians.”Emmy-nominated choreographers Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson – all seen on such shows as “So You Think You Can Dance” a…

Dance

“Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” means “The Middle-Class Gentleman.” The playwright Moliere wrote the broad comedy in 1670 as a private entertainment at the court of the Sun King, Louis XIV. It was performed with music by the French Baroque master Jean-Baptiste Lully.The farce, a bonbon for the French nobility, skewered a doltish nouveau-riche merchan…

Dance

Neglia Ballet Artists opened its 15th anniversary season Saturday afternoon in Shea’s Performing Arts Center with the often-performed Halloween favorite, “Baba Yaga.” The kid-friendly ballet – based on a Russian folktale and adapted for the stage by Neglia Ballet artistic director/choreographer Sergio Neglia – delighted the audience, many…

Dance

Saturday is the day all the little ghosts, goblins and munchkins in Buffalo have been awaiting. It is the darkest and spookiest day of their pre-Halloween calendar, the day when they learn for certain that there are things out there that can go bump in the night and those things are not always benign.It is the day when the Neglia Ballet Company dances “Baba Yaga.&#x…

Dance

If you shy away from seeing live dance events, but will watch the popular televised shows, then Buffalo’s newest dance company is looking for you. ConvergeDance is on a mission to demonstrate that concert dance can be fun and entertaining, as well as artistic. “Our company is a contemporary jazz company, but my main goal is to give the audience a little taste of everythin…

For the third year running, Buffalo’s LehrerDance opened the M&T Bank Dance Series in University at Buffalo Center for the Arts. The internationally touring professional dance company presented six works by artistic director/choreographer Jon Lehrer, including two world premieres Saturday night on the Mainstage Theatre. The vibrant program opened with “Fused by 8” (20…