The theme for the 2015 final performance is American Roots Music; the celebration of music developed in America that has become the basis for all American music today, including blues, bluegrass, gospel and even hip-hop.
Founded by New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise in 1976, the National Dance Institute has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of New York City public school children in low-income communities through weekly classes, short-term residencies and public performances.
During an intensive two-week dance program, 32 local children will learn life skills through the art of dance. The high-energy final performance will showcase their newly acquired skills such as working with live musicians, stage direction, theatre etiquette and team work. During the final performance the students will wear special, colorful NDI t-shirts and perform a mixture of modern dance and hip-hop.
“Kids and parents love, love, love this program! They were all so pleased to work with Dufftin, Kristen, Seiko, and Matt — they are an amazing team. The connections they make and impressions they leave on the children of our community is priceless. The NDI experience stays with our kids for a very long time,” said Jody Nicholls, a mountaintop resident who helps coordinate the program.
Each year the students design and paint a large banner used as the centerpiece of the backdrop during the final performance. Through this process, the children learn the steps to creating artwork from its concept to completion. These individual banners match the theme of the year’s performance – American Roots Music in 2015.
For more information on the Catskill Mountain Foundation and its upcoming events, please visit: http://www.catskillmtn.org/.