Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Students Dance To Help Stop Local Hunger

Local food banks, food pantries, and volunteer organizations are not the only ones dedicating their time and energy to alleviate hunger here in Western Massachusetts. For the past eight years, students of MABETA (the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet Educational Training Association) have demonstrated their commitment to this local cause by dancing to benefit Kate’s Soup Kitchen of Providence Ministries in Holyoke. At Kate’s Soup Kitchen (51 Hamilton Street, Holyoke; 413/532-0233), a free hot lunch is served seven days a week, no questions asked. “Our MABETA students have contributed nearly $2,000 to Providence Ministries over the last eight years — by sharing their creative passion with others and for others,” comments Artistic Director Rose Flachs.

The 9th annual Dance to Stop Hunger takes place Saturday, April 9 at 2pm at the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet studio (4 Open Square Way, Studio 403, Holyoke; 413/536-6200). This event is free and open to the public. Checks and cash donations will be accepted at the door for Kate’s Soup Kitchen.

This year MABETA students will perform variations from the classical ballet Paquita, show a work in progress by Charles Flachs plus excerpts of jazz and contemporary choreography by Debra Vega and Laurel Boyd. They will also perform ‘Etudes,' showcasing the combined rigor and artistry that is involved with classical ballet training. Between ballets, a string quartet featuring students from the Academy will perform a light interlude. Refreshments will follow the performance.

Community engagement and sharing a love of dance with others are two main goals of MABETA, the non-profit entity of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet. MABETA is comprised of Academy students who attend classes at least four times a week and have the desire to become professional dancers. The mission of MABETA is to educate surrounding communities about the art of classical ballet through performance and lecture demonstrations, and to contribute to the revitalization of Holyoke by forming collaborative partnerships with local organizations like PassportHolyoke, Discover Holyoke, and the Holyoke Children’s Museum. Last year, MABETA dancers have performed at Barnes and Noble and the South Hadley and Belchertown Public Libraries, as well as the Wistariahurst Museum where they join with MAB students each year to perform a historical adaptation of The Nutcracker to sold-out audiences.

More information about the 2016 Dance To Stop Hunger:

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