Alexander Graham Bell said when a door closes, another opens, so don't cry about the closed door or you'll miss the one opening (something along those lines, anyway). Fortunately, when doors opened at Ballet Idaho</b>, the right people were paying attention.
BI has four new dancers (including former Trey McIntyre Project dancer Elizabeth Keller) slated for the 2014-2015 season and has new faces on the admin side, as well: marketing director Meredith Stead, development manager KC Driscoll and executive director Jenny Weaver.
Weaver grew up in Council and received a B.A. in Business Administration from Boise State University, neither of which seems a natural fit with dance. However, the willowy redhead has a wealth of experience dealing with budgets and grants, and she's excited to be part of BI as it begins to incorporate more contemporary dance.
Speaking of Keller, when TMP closed its doors as a full-time dance company, many of the dancers and staff moved out of state. Keller chose to stay in Boise. Working for TMP had given her a strong desire to continue the outreach work that was a big part of TMP's business model.
"I want to get more involved in the community," said Keller. "I love Boise and I want to give back to Boise."
So along with joining BI, she initiated the TMP for Parkinson's program. While the dance leg of TMP was still in full swing, the company received a grant from the Northwest Parkinson's Foundation, and in April, Keller undertook specialized training in Dance for PD, a trademarked program that teaches professional dancers how to work with Parkinson's sufferers. Keller is now offering an 11-week session based on the Dance for PD method, in which students will learn jazz, tap, modern, hip-hop and more in ways tailored to help with balance, gait and flexibility, as well as depression and isolation.
"It not only helps with movement, it improves state of mind," Keller said.
The classes are free and open to sufferers of Parkinson's at any level of mobility--including those who use wheelchairs and walkers--as well as to caregivers, friends and family. Read more from Keller and McIntyre about the Dance for PD program here and visit TMP for PD to register.
Last but not least, rapper/producer/poet/probable Mensa member K. Flay returns to Boise on Friday, Sept. 26, at The Crux, touring behind new release Life as a Dog (Bummer Picnic Records, June 2014). Life is quintessential Flay: a smart mix of clever pop, hip-hop, electronica, addictively danceable beats and utter honesty.
Night Riots and locals The Earthlings open, 8 p.m., $10 adv. $12 door.