Local women’s choir and dance company team up for holiday shows

December 11, 2012 Editorial Staff
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A women’s choir in Brooklyn called Bella Voce Singers, and Artichoke Dance Company, known for its humorous athleticism and intricate partnering, will be offering a joint performance which they have named the Poetry in Motion project.

On Saturday, December 8 and on the following Saturday, December 15, the groups will present two original choral works by Minnesota composer Abbie Betinis, recently named on of NPR Music’s “Top 100 Composers Under Forty.”

“[The audience] will never have seen anything like this before; the coming together of two art forms,” said Jessica Corbin, director of Bella Voce Singers (BVS). “[It will be] such a unique experience; they will walk away with being blown away.

“I hope so. At least that’s the plan,” Corbin laughed.

Her group will do singing between the audience and the dancers. “It’s important for the audience to see singers convey the meaning of songs through facial expressions,” Corbin explained. Audiences aren’t going to know where to look; [there will be] a lot going on; [the] choir is going to be more intimately close to the audience. It’s something new to both of us.”

Director of Artichoke Company, Lynn Neuman, said that, “Historically, there is a strong connection between vocal music and churches,” adding, “Through Poetry in Motion, we’re honoring and furthering this tradition while bringing arts to new diverse audiences in underutilized spaces.”

Both performances will take place in churches; the December 8 concert will begin at 3 p.m. at Greenwood Baptist Church, 461 Sixth Street in Park Slope, with tickets costing $15; and, the Saturday, December 15 performance will be held at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 7420 Fourth Avenue, with tickets costing of $10 (suggested donation).

The companies are based in Brooklyn, and having shared similar missions of performing new works (tending to do contemporary composers in most of their concerts), the directors knew they needed to combine their talents and work together.

In advance of the second performance, a free workshop will be given on Sunday, December 9, at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, with members of the public invited to “come and learn one of the pieces called ‘Tomorrow shall be my dancing day’” by the composer John Rutter.

Out of those who participate in the workshops, 20 singers and 20 dancers will be selected to participate in the December 15 concert, performing what they have learned.

Workshop participants will have the chance to choose either dance or singing. From 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., participants will work with the director of either Artichoke Dance Company or Bella Voice Singers; and, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., the groups will work jointly. If you’re interested, RSVP to [email protected].

To purchase tickets, visit: http://www.bellavocesingers.com/concert/poetry-motion.

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