Tag Archives: Motion Pacific Studio

Motion at the Mill: A New Center for Dance

There is a New Dance Movement in Santa Cruz

As 2010 draws to a close, the hammers began to swing and the renovation of the old
Mill Gallery at 131 Front St., has officially commenced.  After a year of preparation,
Motion Pacific Studio and Santa Cruz Dance have come together, exploring intimate
dance performance rooted in Motion Pacific’s strong commitment to dance education.
The renovated space will provide a unique experience for audience members and artists
and will include two new studios for classes and rehearsal space, as well as a visual
arts gallery.

Highlights of the project include:
· 120-seat performance space, high ceilings, good ventilation, and a  technological
upgrade  to enhance production values;
·  two new classroom/rehearsal studios;
·  lobby and a new visual arts gallery.

The Space
This new 3600 square foot space will support a program strong in Dance education,
administration and presentation.. The large studio (1800 sq FT) provides an ideal
setting for Motion Pacific’s wide range of Dance classes, while also serving as
an intimate performance space, curated by Santa Cruz Dance. A smaller studio (1200
sq FT) will be committed to a second teaching studio, hosting classes specific to
lyrical, jazz, contemporary and ballet.

Santa Cruz Dance
Dedicated to supporting a culture where integrity, discipline, and imagination are
central to dance as art, Santa Cruz dance (SCD) is a Dance presenting organization
operating with 501(c)3 fiscal sponsorship under Dancers Group San Francisco. Having
established a reputation for large community festival events including National
Dance Week Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Ethnic Dance Festival, SCD is excited to
be part of an intimate venue designed specifically for the presentation of Dance

Motion Pacific Studio
For 12 years Motion Pacific has been committed to dance education and performance.
Motion Pacific seeks to strengthen community across dance genres, bringing traditional,
street, folk and contemporary dance to the theatre and streets. Encouraging the growth and artistic expression of dancers and choreographers, Motion Pacific, provides a strong center of discipline and community for dancers of all ages and levels.

The Ronn Reinberg Dance Theater
Anyone  who has had any involvement with Dance performance in Santa Cruz over  the
last 30 years will understand why it is such an honor to dedicate  the naming of
our performance space to someone who gave so much to the  community and supported
Dance in Santa Cruz in so many ways. Whether  serving as a consultant, a designer,
a technician or a fan, Ronn was  always an advocate for the beauty of dance and
the power of performance.

Building a Strong Dance Community
Santa Cruz enjoys a long and rich history as a community with a deep and unwavering
support for Dance. Today we are excited to be launching a fundraising campaign to
raise the final funds needed to complete this project. By joining us a s a contributor,
you will be part of fulfilling our goal of creating a dynamic and sustaining home
for dance in Santa Cruz.

You can help create this dynamic new center for Dance by becoming a Founding Dance
Partner.  What ever your comfort or capacity, we Will find a contribution opportunity
for you. Because of this extraordinary partnership only $30,000 is needed to complete
this facility and open the doors this winter. Donate Now at Dancers’ Group under Santa Cruz Dance.

Levels of Contribution for the Building

$5000+ – Dance Floor Angels
Our new Space will feature 1800 square feet of ash sprung floors in the performance
space as well as an additional 1200 square feet in the Loft studio. Your tax-deductible
donation of *$5000 or more will greatly help with the cost of these floors. Your contribution
will be acknowledged with a permanent plaque, prominently displayed in the studio.

$2500+ – Steps
A set of stairs will be installed leading from the Performance Studio to the Loft
studio.  Your $2500 contribution will pay for your name on the face of one step.

$50-$2000 – Dance Partners
Your Contribution of $50-$2000 will help with specific equipment needs for the space.
Your name will be etched, embroidered or stamped on your piece of equipment as appropriate
and displayed in the lobby among the Founding Dance Partners.

$2000 – Light Board or Sound Board

$1000 – Risers

$1000 – Curtains

$750 – Doors

$500 – Speakers

$250 – Lighting Dimmers

$200 – Lighting instruments

$125 – Seats

$50-$124 – Hardware helpers

When we ask you to support Santa Cruz Dance, we are asking you to be an integral part of nourishing inspiration and creation in our community.  Please, join me in contributing to Santa Cruz Dance and make your tax-deductible donation today.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Abra Allan
Founder/Director, Santa Cruz Dance


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First Friday Art and Dance Tour Caps off NDWSC

Capping off National Dance Week, NDWSC joined the six-year-old First Friday Art Tours by arranging dance performances at participating galleries. There were ten venues and my friend Marlene and I managed to stop in at five of them.

But first we dropped in at Café Namaste on Squid Row Alley across from Motion Pacific. We ordered chai and chrysanthemum-rose tea in the very small entryway and then proceeded through a door. Suddenly, like stepping into Dr. Who’s Tardis, the room seemed bigger on the inside than it did on the outside. A cavernous lounge with rugs and comfy chairs leads out to a small outdoor patio. Great spot to write, have a tryst, or relax over some of the best chai in town.

Sarah Day

After stopping into Motion Pacific to watch a rehearsal of Flex, we made our way to Felix Kulpa gallery behind Streetlight Records. The garden leading into the gallery is filled with re-purposed metal sculptures. Inside are a collection of prints and a table full of wine and lovely nibblies. (All of the galleries had these reception tables and, merely out of courtesy mind you, we felt we should imbibe at each.) Contemporary dancer, Sarah Day, barefooted and wearing a simple blue shift, accompanied by one small accordian, improvised a slow, gliding dance while interacting with one of the sculpture’s in the garden. This open-door telephone-booth fountain made for a delightful prop as Day played in the cascading water like a shy but curious animal. This was the only occasion when a dancer incorporated the space and art into her dance, and it befitted this gallery perfectly.

Flex dancer

We drove over to The Mill Gallery where we saw Flex Dance Company from the Motion Pacific Dance studios. On the walls, paintings of chickens (I didn’t really get that); on the concrete floor dancers. The movements were abstract, driving, and daring. Marlene and I, both veteran modern dancers from the East Coast, reflected fondly on our own early years dancing in unconventional dance spaces. (Back in the 80s I choreographed a piece called “Strange Rooms” after my company found itself rehearsing in an old chemistry lab.) Flex performs a full evening concert at The 418 Project on May 21 and 22.

Next stop, Santa Cruz Art League to explore their collection of local high school art. Much of it was quite impressive, though I almost always disagreed with the awards assignments. Zari Le’on performed in an Afro-modern style with a live duet singing “Down to the River and Pray.” I felt that this performance did not fit well in its environment. Surrounded by walls of student art, I’d like to have seen something youthful and contemporary, like street dancers. Look for Zari Le’on Dance Theater’s full evening production at The 418 Project on May 14 and 15. The 55th Annual High School Art Show at the Art League runs until May 16.

Natasha, Tamara, Misty

We decided to make one last swing by the Tannery to visit the Dead Cow Gallery slated for closure later this month. We were happily surprised to find that Tamara Nelson Bellydance was just preparing to dance. Tamara, joined by Misty and Natasha, performed a series of solo and group choreographies. Being close enough to really see Tamara’s clever and articulate belly rolls was truly delightful. Too bad this nice little space is closing. Look for the Tannery Arts Center’s First Anniversary Open House on June 5th.

All the galleries were well packed for these performances. I don’t know if the First Friday Art Tour is always this popular or if the dancers brot out new visitors. The dance certainly got me into town for the first time, but maybe not for the last. Marlene and I had a blast touring galleries we’d never been to before and hope FFAT will include dancers and musicians in their future events.

It was a great finish to an exciting week of dance thanks to the hard work Abra, Ch!p, and Hana, and the sponsors at SC Cultural Council, Downtown Association, City of SC and Motion Pacific. For details of the events I included above go to santacruzdance.com

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