City Slang: Tap and ballet - which to choose

Aug 3, 2012 at 8:17 am

Fans of dance have a tough choice to make on August 18.

On one hand, there’s the Stars of Russian Ballet Gala at the Power Center for Performing Arts in Ann Arbor from 7 p.m. However, on that same day and around the same time there’s the Masters of Tap at Orchestra Hall in Detroit.

Let’s start with the ballet: “This gala performance is part of our annual Russian Ballet Festival, which also includes a special intensive ballet training program (August 6 – 18) for students ages 8 and older.  The intensive program organized by Academy of Russian Classical Ballet, and is held during the two weeks leading up to the gala. Classes are taught daily by the professional ballet artists who also perform in the gala.  The students have the unique opportunity to not only learn from the Russian ballet stars, but also perform with them as the opening number in the gala.  This program is the only program of its kind in North America.  As such, the program draws attendees from throughout the US and Canada.”

Dancers include stars from the top international ballet companies:  American Ballet Theatre (NYC), Mariinsky Theatre (Saint Petersburg, Russia), National Ballet of Ukraine (Kiev), San Francisco Ballet, Berlin Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders and more.  Dancers include Maria Kochetkova, Guennadi Nedvigin,  Anton Korsakov, Patricia Zhou (of Michigan), and many more.

As for the tap, “The 5th Motor City Tap Fest is produced by Denise Caston, founder of Motor City Dance Productions and a Radio City Rockette who grew up in Clarkston, MI. This event brings in some of the top tap dancers from around the country. Among the faculty is Emmy-nominated Gregg Russell, featured on Paula Abdul's Live To Dance, and Sarah Reich from So You Think You Can Dance?

Performers include Gregg Russell, Avi Miller & Ofer Ben, and the gloriously named Dr. Harold “Stumpy” Cromer.

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