Supported by almost half a century of history in the Pioneer Valley, Amherst Ballet, a 501(c)(3) organization, renewed its vigor this last fall with a new artistic director Madeleine Bonn, a former Principal Dancer at the José Mateo Ballet Theatre. Along with other new faculty members including world class choreographer and dancer, Junichi Fukuda and Deerfield Academy dance instructor, Stephany Shumway, Bonn created a comprehensive dance curriculum which excited and benefited students immediately. The exhilaration was palpable and radial as AB presented a December performance, "On Winter's Wing," performed at “First Night” in Northampton, and hosted various world dance workshops.
When COVID-19 hit Massachusetts, Amherst Ballet did not halt. Classes were transitioned to remote teaching in no time and students persevered. To provide them with an artistic outlet to express their feelings in this unusual situation, Bonn launched the Social Dis-Dance Project, to which not only the students but professionals all over the world contributed their beautiful and moving creations. Moreover, the school just recently premiered its online spring performance, “The Butterfly Effect.”
Amherst Ballet will stay strong and continue its effort to advance its mission of building a diverse and inclusive dance community this coming academic year. To do so, however, the school needs to raise $15,000 . This money will allow the school to purchase air purifiers for the studios, set up regular thorough disinfection by professionals, install cameras and microphones for remote teaching, and keep offering a rich, well-rounded dance education despite the need to significantly limit the in-studio enrollment to ensure safe distance between dancers. Please help Amherst Ballet by making a donation and telling your friends about this campaign. It is only with your support that the school can overcome the challenges of the time and maintain its valuable artistic contribution to our Pioneer Valley community.