Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Need Something To Do Wednesday?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Ballet dancers move their bodies in ways most people can't even control a video game character. They leap and land gracefully across stages in seamless motions. Behind all of this are the directors. 

Jenny Weaver, Ballet Idaho's new executive director, will be at Bonefish Grill for a meet and greet this afternoon. If you happen to slip and fall over your entree plate, don't worry, it happens to all of us. But you probably won't land a spot on the ballet team roster.

4 p.m. FREE. Bonefish Grill, 855 W. Broad St., Boise, 208-433-1234, 
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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Need Something To Do Thursday?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Dancing recklessly in public spaces is only in the movies. You can't just, say, let loose in a Latin fury in front of a government building, right? Wrong. 

Whether you're a novice or a seasoned pro, you can get your salsa on in front of the Capitol building with Boise Casino Rueda tonight. It's always good to come with a partner, but if not, perhaps you'll dance with destiny. 

6 p.m. FREE. Idaho State Capitol Building, 700 W. Jefferson St., Boise, 208-433-9705.
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Need Something To Do Saturday?

Posted By on Sat, May 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM

The semester is coming to an end, which means performances by all the talented Boise State students will also come to a close for the next few months. Take the opportunity to enrich yourself with the art of dance.

The Totems Dance Concert features performances by Boise State University theater and dance students to the music of the Kronos quartet. It's more riveting than what you had planned for the evening and cheaper than the cost of a movie ticket. Inspiring as it may be, leave the dancing to the dancers—no need to tear your ACL while leaping around your living room while listening to your favorite album. 

2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. $5-$7. Danny Peterson Theatre, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise, 208-426-3980,
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ballet Idaho Delivers Uneven Performance

Posted By on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Some reveals have the power to utterly undermine a performance. At Ballet Idaho’s Russian Program—Friday, Feb. 14, at the Morrison Center—that reveal was watching Raymonda’s Wedding as Jean de Brienne (Andrew Taft) mechanically held aloft a frailly shaking Raymonda (Lauren Menger). Ballet isn’t a bloodless activity, but its virtues of polish and discipline were missing from the Russian Program’s first act.

Ramonda’s Wedding was as narratologically challenged as it was technically beleaguered. The ballet, with choreography by Peter Anastos riffing off of Marius Petipa and Rudolf Nureyev, dispensed with its story about a woman who falls for Crusader Jean de Brienne and a Saracen knight, reducing the dance to a series of group scenes and duets connected only by a recurring cast of characters.

Meanwhile, knees wobbled, chests puffed and cheeks flushed. Menger’s limbs shook and creaked: In the final scene, she looked as if she were held together by willpower alone. Chorus dancer James Brougham’s face glistened with sweat. This was the look of a dance company that was out of shape, under-rehearsed and had spent all night watching Season 2 of House of Cards instead of getting a good night’s sleep.

After Raymonda’s Wedding, it was shocking to see the evening’s second act, Scheherazade, performed with such elan. Based on One Thousand and One Nights and with choreography by Alex Ossadnik, this ballet told Scheherazade’s stories, as told to a jealous sultan, with modernist flair, lavish props and beautiful costumes by Megan Richardson. The titular character, performed by Phyllis Affrunti with shockingly red hair, oozed charisma as she glided in and out of the action on stage.

A frame tale in the mold of The Decameron, Scheherazade didn’t lend itself to straightforward storytelling; instead it persuaded, implied and beckoned the viewer into its world. Ossadnik’s choreography, executed with precision and personality by Nathan Powell (the Sultan) and Graham Gobeille, made its complex and nonlinear story compelling.

The Russian Program concluded with a selection of Tchaikovsky waltzes, ending with the "Eugene Onegin Waltz." This final and most lavish dance recalled the great ballets of the Russian golden age—indeed, it’s based on Alexander Pushkin’s poetic masterpiece Eugene Onegin—with sumptuous costumes, emotional tension and a hint of danger. For a program that began on such unsure footing, it ended confidently and with unanticipated emotional richness.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

TMP Announces Significant Change in Direction

Posted By on Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Trey McIntyre Project is entering a new phase.

According to a press release, the globe-trotting dance troupe will no longer be a full-time dance company, as artistic director and company namesake Trey McIntyre will explore other avenues of artistic expression.

So far, no cancellations of dance performances have been announced, though some specific changes are in store for 2014-2015, including increased artistic emphasis on photography, publishing, lecturing and film, like TMP's Ma Maison film project.

The press release indicated that this "next phase" will begin July 1, 2014.


Starting Tuesday, July 1, Trey McIntyre Project will take a turn in a “bold new creative direction”—one that involves less dancing.
One of the City of Trees’ cultural ambassadors, TMP has called Boise home since 2008, three years after it was founded. It’s known for its accessible contemporary dance works, notably “The Sun Road,” “Arrantza,” “The Unkindness of Ravens” and, most recently, “Mercury Half-Life.”

But beginning in mid-2014, the company will no longer be a full-time dance company, as Artistic Director Trey McIntyre pursues adventures in other media, including film, photography and lecturing. McIntyre will continue to work in dance, though current company dancers will be contracted for work on a freelance basis.

“The dance portion of it moves to a model a lot like what it was when we were a summer touring company. It was more of an incubation period,” McIntyre said of TMP’s dance arm.

In a statement, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter expressed his optimism for TMP’s new direction.

“I’m sure TMP’s future will be as thrilling as its past,” he wrote.

Expanding McIntyre’s vision will come at a cost to TMP as an organization, however. Hiring dancers for one-off performances means that TMP will cut jobs, though representatives of TMP declined to indicate how many staff positions would be lost—or when.

“Production staff is becoming a little bit unnecessary. We won’t be bringing shows weekly around the country,” said TMP Chief Strategy Officer Caty Solace.

Solace said that TMP is coordinating with other similar organizations to place laid-off staff members.

With TMP’s dance obligations scaled back, McIntyre said the 2014-15 season will include work on two documentaries, including Ma Maison, which chronicles TMP’s longtime collaboration with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans, La., and an as-yet untitled documentary about TMP’s first decade of activity.

Beyond documentary filmmaking, McIntyre will also delve into multimedia presentations, beginning with an engagement at the Artosphere in Fayetteville, Ark., which will include a screening of McIntyre-produced films, lectures and an exhibition of his photographs.

Here in Boise, McIntyre will continue to work with the Boise School District to bring dance presentations and education to area classrooms.

“We’re … making sure the engagement work we’ve done here in Boise is continued. Our partnership with Boise School District is something we’ll continue to fulfill,” said Solace.
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Need Something To Do Wednesday?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 25, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Ah yes, the post-Christmas blahs. You've opened your presents, watched your loved ones open theirs, and the wassail is dry. The once beautiful tree is now a nuisance to be removed and the thrilling anticipation is over. Don't fret, there's still something cool to do.

Dance the night away at the Neurolux with tunes provided by DJ Verstal and Coco Louie. Christmas is over—use this time to get nice and limber for New Year's Eve. 

10 p.m. FREE. Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., Boise, 208-343-0886,

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Need Something To Do Saturday?

Posted By on Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 7:00 AM

  • Courtesy Ophidia Studio

December is the month of football games aplenty, but there are vastly different kinds of athleticism and skill to observe. 

Join Ophidia Studio for the Winter Showcase Performance, featuring pole dancing, fire hoop dances and more. Attendees can participate in a raffle and an open bar will be available. The event may be inspiring, but as they say, do not try this at home. 

8 p.m. $10-$15. Ophidia Studio, 2615 W. Kootenai St., Boise, 208-409-2403,
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Friday, December 13, 2013

Mr. Cope's Cave: So You Think You Can Dance?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 10:30 AM

No, no, no, I don’t mean that teevee show. I don’t mean do you think you can dance if you’re some sort of third-string celebrity involved in some sort of silly competition. I don’t mean you have a dancing coach for a partner and you have to memorize some floppy choreographed routine set to some flashy neo-disco music and your mission, should you chose to accept it—which you undoubtedly will because your celebrity star has been fading like the Bates Motel and you would do any damn thing it takes to get your face back on television for a few weeks, no matter how silly your assignment is—is to get through three minutes a week without tripping over your own feet and falling on your ass.

No, I don’t mean that kind of dancing.

I mean the kind of dancing that breaks out spontaneously on the street outside the home—and the death bed—of someone you adore and spreads throughout your country like a fire along with the news that he is gone. I mean the kind of dancing where you make your own music with your own voice and you cannot help but move to it, any more than you can help but sing it. Where all the people around you join in, singing the one song and swinging in unison as though a wind is blowing through the gathering crowd and the only response to such grief, or joy, or whatever makes that wind blow, is to dance it off. To dance together like your nation has been doing since before time was counted. To dance together as naturally and as synchronized as leaves in a baobab tree or spears of grass on an open veldt.

Does your dance even have a name? Did someone say, “Let’s do the Madiba’s Dead dance, like we rehearsed it?” And if so, how did the 90,000 who crammed into that memorial all get so good at it in so short a time. Five measly days into the mourning and tens of thousands of people—not counting the throngs out on the street—were as tight as the Rockets. The fat people looked as good as the skinny people. The kids are as good as the old pros. How in the hell can they do that?

And what must it be like to live in a place where the people let their bodies speak so eloquently for what is in their hearts?


I have been trying to imagine what America would be like if our people danced more, rather than sitting in the barcalounger watching others dance. That’s what we are, you know... dance voyeurs. A few of us actually do the moves, and the rest stand on the sidelines and watch. I suspect that was why American Bandstand and Soul Train were on the air for so long. It wasn’t the music we tuned into so much as it was the opportunity to watch better dancers than we knew we could ever be, and dream about how cool it would be to be as good as them.

Saturday Night Fever, Urban Cowboy, Pulp Fiction and Grease... You probably don’t know this, but John Travolta was our national Dancer Laureate for a good two decades. You should also know that a side effect of having a Dancer Laureate is to convince schlubbs such as myself that we can never look as good as the guy in the white suit, so why try?

Bob Fosse didn’t help. And the cast of Cats. All of Broadway, in fact, from West Side Story on, conspired to keep people like me off the dance floors. And the directions dance music has taken have made matters even worse. The dance floors have turned into reserved seating and mosh pits.

No, I don’t suppose we could ever become a nation of dancers. It’s either just not in us—one of the many things the Pilgrims did not bring with them from Europe—or we have sluffed it off, embarrassed that we ever tried even when we were younger. It probably would have never become so obvious what a non-dancing people Americans have become, had not all those cameras been focused on South Africa for a week. And didn’t it look good and healthy and healing, to watch a whole nation of people come to grips with something so fundamentally tragic with the help of something so fundamentally joyous?

But it could never work here, I guess. Could we have danced away the pain of 9/11? Might we have let our arms and feet and hips pull us out the blues of Katrina? Columbine and Sandy Hook? We’ll never know.

Still, don’t you have to wonder how it might have been had Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris and Adam Lanza been out collecting groovy moves instead of assault guns? Or if we would have millions of Americans rotting away in prisons if the streets of America were a stage for spontaneous conga lines rather than hot beds for despair and gangs?

And would there even be a Tea Party if those same, stiff, repressed, frantic people—instead of marching in lock-step to the sound of their own shrieking—were out boogalooing to the rhythm of their own hearts?
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Need Something To Do Monday?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 7:00 AM

  • Courtesy Fox Entertainment

Reality television, especially competitions, gained a foothold in the entertainment industry well over a decade ago and there is no sign it will relent. Dancing shows are especially popular. If you sit two inches away from your screen wishing you could be splashed with dancer sweat, this just might be the ticket for you. 

Check out the So You Think You Can Dance tour, featuring the top 10 finalists showing all of their best moves. Remember—do not try this at home. If you do, at least stretch first. 

6:30 p.m. $30-$55. Taco Bell Arena, Boise State Campus, 1910 University Drive, Boise, 208-426-1900,

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Need Something To Do Friday?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Halloween is a time for candy, creepy decorations and dressing up in costume. Latin parties are a time for dancing, food and more dancing. If you've always dreamed of combining the two, read on. 

Head over to Mardi Gras and check out the Latin Halloween Bash featuring DJ Giovanni, Rosa Dos Ventos, costume contest dance lessons and more. The Thrill the World zombies will be there if you wish to honor the King of Pop via costumed fight-dancing. 18 and up, full bar with ID. 

8 p.m. $7. Mardi Gras Ballroom, 615 S. 9th St., Boise, 208-342-5553.
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