The Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (AXCBT), part of the Axelrod
Performing Arts Center of Deal Park, New Jersey, has been meeting a desired community need by providing a syllabus of multi-faceted, free-of-charge virtual dance and theater-arts workshops in response to the national “Stay at Home order” beginning in March.
Since that time, AXCBT
has enjoyed an impressive attendance and garnered thankful, rave reviews from students and
parents. For the program’s launch, Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater’s director and
choreographer, Gabriel Chajnik, presented his first Advanced Ballet Workshop online (March
27th) with students not only from New Jersey but all over the nation—and they have been
‘tuning in’ and dancing along ever since.
Renowned dance professionals joining Chajnik in the company’s mission to offer ‘dancing
through distancing’ include Michael Trusnovec of famed Paul Taylor Dance Company—hailed
by The New York Times as “one of the world’s most luminous dancers,” Dylan Pearce, assistant
choreographer of Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, Gabriela Soto who is featured
as a ‘Shark Girl’ in Stephen Spielberg's highly anticipated WEST SIDE ST ORY, and Jessica
Sgambelluri of Martha Graham and José Limón Dance Companies. Perhaps even more
impressive than the credentials of these heralded instructors is the fact that they have donated
their time and talents as a way for the Axelrod Performing Arts Center and AXCBT to give back
during these difficult times.
AXCBT ’s staff also enjoys a wide range of talented featured performers and instructors,
including Tuyana Balzhieva of the Moscow and Roxey Ballet companies; Lindsay Jorgensen
and Olivia Miranda, both recent graduates of the Ailey/Fordham’s dance program; Wendy
Roman, who teaches a range of classes from preschool movement for beginners to triple threat
musical theater for intermediate students; and Thomas Ryan Ward (also Fordham University
educated) who has been inspiring students to explore poetry creation and combine it with
dance, as well as teaching acting for dancers.
Axelrod Performing Arts Center’s board members and staff said, “The positive feedback and glowing reviews regarding our virtual workshops these past weeks ha ve been exciting and rewarding. Seeing the faces of our talented students beam as they ‘dance through distancing’ is completely heartwarming. It is our pleasure to continue providing high-quality instruction and impeccable guest artists for students and adults hungry for arts-based education.”