BalaSole Dance with Guest Soloist Miki Orihara Comes to BAM Fisher, 6/2-6/3

BalaSole Dance with Guest Soloist Miki Orihara Comes to BAM Fisher, 6/2-6/3ROBERTO VILLANUEVA, Executive & Artistic Director and Founder of BalaSole Dance Company, presents the 18th NYC concert season of BalaSole in "MOLTI," a new program of solos in a broad range of dance styles, music choices and artistic voices, joined by special guest artist Miki Orihara, former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, June 2 & 3, 8PM, at BAM Fisher (Fishman Space), 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY. This program is part of a split bill concert with the Marie-Christine Giordano Dance. BalaSole's program will be presented in the second half of the concert (at approximately 9 PM).

Miki Orihara will perform her solo "Broken Memory" to the evocative music of Chilean composer and pianist David Rosenmann-Taub. "Broken Memory" is also a film by Japanese filmmaker Tomoko Mikanagi, commissioned by the Corda Foundation and selected by the Film Society of Lincoln Center for its 45th Dance on Camera Festival last February. Ms. Orihara joins a program of eight soloists presenting works on varying themes, artistic voices and dance genres.

Roberto Villanueva explains: "I created BalaSole because I believed it was time for a multi-ethnic organization that would open its doors to dance artists of all genres, styles, artistic expressions, shapes, sizes, ages, and background." BalaSole, described by Tim Martin (Dance Europe Magazine) as a "hybrid creature"--"part Dance Company and part showcase," is the only Dance Company of its kind in the U.S. with a mission to address the gaps in the field of concert dance. The company's artists are provided artistic freedom and most are mentored to find and hone their own voices. Diversity and individuality are the keywords of the organization, which has mentored and given performance opportunities to over 170 dancer/choreographers since 2010.

The June program will feature eight soloists--Kristine Butler, MeganAnna Griffin, Kennedy Hill, Elijah Laurant, Jacob Regan, Camille Schmoeker, Roberto VIllanueva, and guest artist Miki Orihara.  The program will also include ensemble pieces featuring emerging/re-emerging artists Claire Babilonia, Haley Lindquist, Brigitte Manga, Lauren Settembrino, and Mayu Shirai.

Past BalaSole participants include artists from other prominent companies such as the Limón Dance Company, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Martha Graham Dance Company, Parsons Dance, Lucinda Childs Dance, Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, Philadanco, The Isadora Duncan Dance Company, and Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago.

The Company has presented seasons at Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater, Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York Live Arts, and Tribeca Performing Arts Center. BalaSole is the resident company of Mount Saint Vincent College in Riverdale, NY.



PIECE TITLE: Broken Memory

INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: A memory that crosses over past, present and future.

Miki Orihara is best known for her work as a principal dancer in the Martha Graham Dance Company, which she joined in 1987. In 2010, she earned the prestigious Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement in Dance. In addition to performing the Graham repertory, she has worked closely with the renowned Japanese-American dancer, choreographer and director, Yuriko, preserving her unique approach to Graham Technique. Orihara has performed in the Broadway production of The King and I, with the Elisa Monte, Dance Troupe, PierGroupDance, Lotuslotus, Twyla Tharp, Martha Clarke, Anne Bogart and Robert Wilson. She has presented her own choreography in New York and in Tokyo as a guest artist for Japan's New National Theater. She is a sought-after teacher and coach working with the Kirov Ballet, Japan's New National Theater Ballet School, the Ailey School, New York University, The Hartt School, L'ete de la Danse (Paris) and is Dance Director for Mishmash*Miki Orihara. She is on a faculty at the Graham School, The Hartt School (University of Hartford) and Barnard College (Columbia University). Mishmash*Miki Orihara launched in 2013. As a dance director, Miki created two music videos which released in June 2014. She produced a benefit concert "Dancing for JAPAN 2014" as a curator, and produced her first solo concert "Resonance" at the La MaMa theater in New York in May 2014.



PIECE TITLE: Untrapped

INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: Freeing oneself from an undesirable position or situation

Roberto Villanueva, born in the Philippines, is the Executive & Artistic Director and Founder of BalaSole Dance Company. He trained at The Ailey School, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance and University at Buffalo where he received his BA in Dance Performance.

Acclaimed nationally and internationally for his abilities as a dance artist, Roberto has been hailed "for the deftness and technical control of his dancing" (The New York Times). He has been described as a "small powerhouse" (The Village Voice), "breathtaking" (Swiss Newspaper La Liberté), "an extraordinarily gifted dancer" (Attitude Magazine), and "memorable" (Art Times). Roberto has performed, judged dance competitions, and taught master classes in U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has worked with renowned choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden, Kevin Wynn, Milton Myers, and Eleo Pomare. He has performed with dance companies such as Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, Steeledance, Marie-Christine Giordano Dance, Pick of the Crop Dance, and Buffalo City Ballet.

Roberto has worked with artists from renowned companies such as the Limón Dance Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, Elisa Monte Dance, Lucinda Childs Dance, Parsons Dance, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Joffrey Ballet, Donald Byrd/The Group, Ballet Frankfurt, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Twyla Tharp Dance. He has been commissioned to teach/choreograph for various institutions including the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, University at Buffalo, East Carolina University, Glendale Community College, University of the Philippines and Ballet Philippines. He has performed his works at prominent NYC venues including the Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater, The Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, and Dance Theater Workshop. He received the title of "Mr. Dance of America 1993" from Dance Masters of America, where he also served on the faculty of its Teachers Training School.

Roberto was the recipient of the 2011-2012 Harlem Stage Fund for New Work Award for the creation and development of his one-man show titled "Pieces of Me: An inside look at a dance artist's journey." Additionally, he was nominated for The Outstanding Filipino American (TOFA) 2012 Award under the Arts & Culture category. In November 2013, Roberto received a "Distinguished Alumni Award" from the University at Buffalo's Department of Theatre & Dance for his contribution to the field of dance. He also served as the Arts Education & Outreach Administrator for the world-renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem, and as a grant panelist for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Roberto also currently serves as the Director of Dance at the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

(This event is presented by Marie-Christine Giordano Dance and BalaSole Dance Company. Regular BAM house, ticketing, and membership policies may not apply.) Photo of Roberto Villanueva by Eric Bandiero


A New Program of Varying Artistic Expressions - 2017 NYC Season

Guest Soloist: Miki Orihara, former Martha Graham Principal Dancer

Friday & Saturday, June 2 & 3, 2017 at 8PM

BAM Fisher (Fishman Space), 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217
$25 General Admission, $22 Students/Seniors, $20 Early Bird (before 5/19) & Groups
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