East Bay & SF Host More Than Dance Season from Ross Dance Co, Begins 5/22

It's so much "More Than" your typical jazz choreography. Oakland's acclaimed Ross Dance Company (www.rossdance.com) lives up to its season's catch phrase with its 2010 season with four performances spanning the Bay: May 22 at San Francisco's ODC, June 13 at Laney College in Oakland ad on June 27 at the Julia Morgan Theater in Berkeley.

"In the midst of a recession (lost of jobs) and a war (lost of loved ones) I wanted to use these pivotal experiences and all the emotions that arise from these events as inspiration for this season which we call ‘More Than,'" said company founder Tecsia Evans. "This program attempts to speak to the heart of things we as one kind all experience: grief, anger, resentment, abuse, and guilt. These struggles in of itself do not define who we are; instead, it is what we do with these experiences. It is the empowerment that comes from conquering, rising above, and being more than; this is at the core of what we are and who God has destined us to be."

The 2010 "More Than" series is an invigorating program featuring contemporary jazz dance set to song and spoken word, including a world premiere, "Conquer," choreographed by Evans. Additionally, the season will include the return of audience favorite ‘Alicia,' and ‘Indifferent" by renowned choreographer Helen Estrella. There's a little something for everyone this year."

The Ross Dance Company is a professional touring contemporary jazz company founded by Tecsia and Dwight Evans in August 2005. The Company has presented full evenings of soulful modern jazz choreography at Merce Cunningham and Joyce SoHo in New York City, CounterPulse, Laney College, Madrid in Los Angeles and UC Berkeley. Ross repertory (Evening of Soulful Modern Jazz {2005}, Testimony {2006}), Speak {2007}, To Evolve and Stay Young {2009} and More Than {2010} has explored the challenges and empowerment of spirituality, women gender roles, strength of sisterhood, domestic abuse and the power of freedom. The intent behind Ross' work is to highlight and comment on the social discourse that individuals face in their relationships, spirituality, and society. Ross strides to invite the audience into the stories of social discourse by connecting with their mind, emotions and soul. It is Ross' vision to give dancers who have a dream and a passion to dance to share their story. Ross Dance has received funding awards from City of Oakland Cultural Arts Program, Zellerbach Foundation, and Clorox.

"As the ups and downs of life continue, as the recession deepens, as the war moves forward, as we stride to fight through our own issues it is important to be reminded that we are not alone in the natural or spiritual," Evans continues. "To be reminded that others feel what we feel. To be reminded that we are more than conquers. It is my hope that this program will inspire that reminder through the mediums of contemporary dance, storytelling, and spoken word."

Tickets for the Ross Dance "More Than" season can be reserved by emailing tickets@rossdance.com or calling (510) 434-1006. Groups of 10 or more will receive 20% group discount off the General Admission price. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.rossdance.com or at the door prior to every performance.

Below is the full schedule for the Ross Dance 2010 "More Than" Series:
Get the Most for your Money:
Saturday May 22, 2010 at 8pm
Come experience a 60 minute program with two premiers, and a post-show
reception with complimentary appetizers. Take advantage of our "San Francisco
Special" by purchasing two tickets and getting the third one for free. This evening
will be a budget friendly way to enjoy the arts in the city while eating and socializing
with great company!
Location: ODC Dance Commons in Studio B at 351 Shotwell Street, San Francisco
Tickets: $15

Get the Most from the Arts
Saturday June 12, 2010 at 7:30pm
Join us for our fifth home season. Following the show mingle with the dancers,
family, and friends during our post show reception where we will feature local artists,
live music, and complimentary appetizers.
Sunday June 13, 2010 at 2pm
Take class with the company at noon on the stage they will be performing on and
personally meet the dancers and artistic director; afterwards, join us for our last
matinee show and receive 15% off of ticket price.
Location: Laney College Theater at 900 Fallon Street, Oakland
Tickets for performance: $20 for June 12th and $15 for June 13th
Tickets for company class: $12

Artists for "More Than"
*Company Biographies can be found at http://www.rossdance.com/Biography.html
*Helen Estrella (Guest Choreographer who created Indifferent)
Helen was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Much of her youth was spent in the rigors of competitive artistic and rhythmic gymnastics through which she found her love of dance. Helen eventually moved to Los Angeles to dance with some of the industry's top choreographers. In 2002 she found her way back to Sonoma County where she directed local competitive companies until the birth of her own, Estrella Dance Company. Helen is known for her cutting edge, contemporary style and is currently a faculty member of "Winterfest & Summerfest the Convention". She is a nationally recognized instructor and choreographer who travels extensively teaching master classes and setting choreography on various dance companies. She can also be seen on tour with "Talent on Parade" as an adjudicator and Dance Directive faculty member. She currently directs her own company out of her studio, The Dance Room in Northern California.
About Bay Area Praise Dance Festival

The 2nd annual Bay Area Praise Dance Festival is sponsored by Ross Dance Company. The festival provides a platform for praise dancers, choirs and other artists to celebrate the Gospel and to provide a spiritual experience outside the church and in the community. The weekend of the festival Ross Dance also will host the 2nd annual Bay Area Praise Dance Conference which is a one day workshop cater to teaching leadership classes, dance technique, and choreography workshops to praise dancers and leaders. With its first year BAPDFC had a full house at Julia Morgan Theater and is anticipated to sell out this year. We will be featuring 10 praise dance ministries from all over the country, the well-recognized Covenant Worship Center's choir, guest performance by Ross Dance, and musical performance by gospel rap artist K2.

Get the Most from Dance:
Sunday June 27, 2010 at 7pm
Come together as a community to celebrate the Gospel through praise dance in the
Bay Area. We will be featuring praise dancers from all over the nation, guest
appearance by Ross Dance and special performances by Covenant Worship
Center's Choir and K2.
Location: Julia Morgan Theater at 2640 College Avenue, Berkeley
Tickets: $15-20.

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