By Jerica Pender

The Koresh Dance Company, an internationally renowned dance troupe, will dance its way into Olympia at the end of March. In a multi-day experience and learning opportunity is made possible by a $10,000 Challenge America grant recently awarded to the Washington Center for the Performing Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” says NEA chairperson Mary Anne Carter. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like the Washington Center’s.”

Washington Center for the Performing Arts’ development director Jocelyn Wood welcomed the support from the NEA. “We’re incredibly grateful for funding from the National Endowment for the Arts,” Wood says. “We have received this grant several times over the last few years, and the funding makes a big difference in being able to bring a world-class group like Koresh Dance Company to a city of our size.”



The Koresh Dance Company is known for its engaging performances and technically superb dancers. The company was founded in 1991 by Israeli-born Ronen (Roni) Koresh, who’s movements range from explosive and passionate to intimate and restrained. When creating his vast repertoire of more than 60 works, Koresh draws on his experience of both Israeli and American cultures.

Koresh learned folk dance at a young age, in the Yemenite tradition, from his mother. After serving in the Israeli army, he came to the eastern coast of the United States to continue training and dancing.

Some have described Koresh as a “movement chameleon.” He simply calls his style “dance.” He explains, “If a movement fits, I use it.” He will present a performance — accompanied by a post-performance discussion — and a masterclass for local dancers Johansen Olympia Dance Center. Additionally, Temple Beth Hatfiloh will offer a Shabbat Salon, featuring Rabbi Seth Goldstein.


Koresh Dance Company Masterclass

Ken and Josie Johnson, directors of Ballet Northwest and Johansen Olympia Dance Center say everyone at their studio is excited for the Koresh Dance Company to come to Olympia.



“The opportunity for local dancers to take a master class with the company and see a performance is incredibly special,” Josie Johnson says. “[This] grant is a huge stamp of approval for the Washington Center, and great for our arts community in general.”

According to a statement from the Washington Center, dancers can expect that the material “will be adapted for students to provide an inspiring and challenging experience with the dual goal of building self-esteem and providing a direct connection with members of the Koresh Dance Company.”

Attendance to the masterclass will cost $15, no registration will be necessary. The class is designed for emerging dancers, ages 12 and up, and the class is limited to 40 students.

WHAT

Koresh Dance Masterclass

WHEN

4:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, 2020

WHERE

Johansen Olympia Dance Center,

412 Jefferson St SE, Olympia

HOW MUCH

$15

LEARN MORE

washingtoncenter.org

360-753-8586


Shabbat Salon: Roni Koresh

A Shabbat Salon is a regular series held at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, and true to tradition is a gathering which often focuses on art, writers, or ideas.

Following Shabbat service and dinner, Rabbi Goldstein will offer a presentation on Roni Koresh that will examine Koresh’s use of gesture, movement patterns, and musical choice that are often drawn from his early training in Yemenite folk dance, as well as his on-going connection to the life and people of Israel.

The salon is tailored to highlight the Jewish and Israeli aspects that appear in Koresh’s choreography, and although this informative salon is free to attend, reservations are required.

WHAT

Shabbat Salon

WHEN

8 p.m. Friday, March 27, 2020

WHERE

Temple Beth Hatfiloh,

201 8th Ave SE, Olympia

HOW MUCH

Free

LEARN MORE

360-754-8519

tbh@bethhatfiloh.org


La Danse

“The arts bring new ideas and ways to understand life to any community,” says Wood. “We have a very active local arts community, and wonderful consumers of the arts. The arts often rely on philanthropy, including grant funding.”

Wood goes on to say that this funding helps the Washington Center take financial risks in bringing artists to the region. It helps to lower ticket fees, and offers unique educational opportunities that include youth, such as the masterclass.

“These types of opportunities — with professional modern dance companies — are rarely offered here in Olympia,” Wood explains, “and to be able to offer this to local dancers is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn directly with these [international, professional] dancers.

WHAT

La Danse

WHEN

7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, 2020

WHERE

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts,

512 Washington St SE, Olympia

HOW MUCH

$25 – $57

LEARN MORE

washingtoncenter.org

360-753-8586