RahDanceTravels: Hidden Groves in Viterbo, Italy

I love the feeling of FEELING a moment.

Luckily, it happens to me a lot as I travel! I see many beautiful spaces and even better, hidden locations that have stories waiting to be told. Manmade or nature made, every place has a flow and a story. Sometimes when you look it takes your breath away – and you want to stay in that moment forever.

The nook I found in the small town of Viterbo, Italy is like that. The sun was setting, and time stood still for a moment. When I looked down at it, I thought it was very romantic in its solitude. It’s a sweet little getaway in the center of town.  And I was right – it is a romantic spot! Because what you can’t see in the video are the various teenage couples in hidden groves stealing kisses from one another.

I was kind of embarrassed to start moving in front of such an intimate audience, so I’m more restricted than I want to be in this video. I love it anyway because it’s all part of my movement journey and #RahDanceTravels. We’re all a work in progress, amiright?

The extra special bit about this vignette is the music. Last week I had a wonderful dinner with an older Italian couple, Silvano and Lucia. It took me about two minutes to basically fall in love with them. Both around 80 years old, Silvano played his harmonica for an hour while Lucia cooked up an incredible Italian Sunday dinner like it was the Last Supper. It was pure joy. What you hear in the video is a live-recording of Silvano playing.

Enjoy!

And keep movin’,
Sarah

KitchenDanceFloor: The Drama of Java

Happy New Year, if you haven’t already heard it from me!

Someone recently told me, “It’s impossible to feel negative feelings when you dance”. I totally agree and I think if you’re reading this, you probably do too.

So, I’m kicking off a #kitchendancefloor series with a video I did a few months back. I’m a big advocate for dancing anywhere and at any time because it’s movement that makes us feel better and feel more present. That’s why I’m starting this little #kitchendancefloor series – to celebrate that movement can (and should) happen anywhere YOU feel good.

Here’s to more dancing in random places this year (and especially in one my favorite place – the kitchen!). Feel free to share your videos and make sure to hashtag #kitchendancefloor or #rahdanceworks.

Keep movin’,
Sarah

 

 

What Moves You? @ Sarah Pilger

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Sarah Pilger: Dancer
San Francisco, CA

What Moves You? 
“Humans. Our grand varieties, the things we make, the emotions we feel, and our ever-changing identities.”

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I grew up just outside of San Francisco, in a small town called San Anselmo. I just graduated from the University and Pennsylvania and decided very last minute to move to New York and pursue my passion for dance. Penn has a very pre-professional culture that seems inescapable and unavoidable. I was set on applying to grad schools, but decided I couldn’t live in regret if I didn’t step outside of my comfort zone and try to dance professionally.

Photo Credits: (black and white): Jason Lau; (arabesque): Araba Ankuma; (overall white with blue fabric): Jason Lau; (blue smoke): Kevin Wang; (pink background): Carson Kahoe; (red background): Christian Hopkins

What Moves You? @ Javier Padilla

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Javier Padilla: Dancer/Choreographer
San Juan, Puerto Rico

What Moves You?
“The stories that unfold right in front of us each and every day!”

Javier Padilla is a movement based artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Starting his training at School for the Performing Arts under Waldo Gonzalez and Olaya Muentes in Puerto Rico, he then continued his studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts pursuing a BFA in Dance. During his time at Mason Gross, Javi had the opportunity of working with artists such as Jessica Lang, Keith Thompson, Netta Yerushalmy, Joe Goode Performance Group, Meghan Frederick, Randy James and Bereishit Dance Company. His choreographic work has been presented at venues such as Dixon Place, Open Source Gallery, The Secret Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Triskelion Arts, The Salvatore Capezio Theater, Battery Park, Judson Memorial Church and the Inside/Out Stage at Jacob’s Pillow. Javi is also the Artistic Director of The Movement Playground, an emerging movement collective that has been performing and touring in the New York Tri-State Area since 2014 and are excited to premiere their first commissioned works with Ballet Forte (NJ) and Bucknell University (PA) in the upcoming year.

For more info: www.jpmovementplayground.com

Photo Credits: Whitney Browne, Brayden Donnely, Hayim Heron

What Moves You? @ Jessica Markham

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Jessica Markham: Dancer
Charlotte, NC

What Moves You? 
“I believe God has blessed me with the gift of movement to tell a story – that moves me. My search for happiness & freedom motivates me to move. There is a plan & purpose assigned to my life and dance is a strong part of that – that moves me.”

Born in Washington DC, Jessica began her dance career at the age of seven when her grandmother suggested her mother put me in classes so her hyperactive grandchild would stop blocking the television with her awesome dance moves. She attended Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte NC and later received her bachelors degree in Visual & Performing Arts with a concentration in Dance from Johnson C. Smith University. Moving to NYC in 2013, she has performed at the National Black Theatre, SOBs and performed in a commercial with Panasonic shown at the 2017 SXSW festival. Currently, Jessica dances with the Indorican Multicultural Project and background for the phenomenal MC, Nitty Scott.

What Moves You? @ Alissa Johann

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Alissa Johann: Dancer/Choreographer
West Chester, PA

What Moves You? 
“Music.”

Alissa trained in classical ballet, modern and jazz at the Brandywine ballet in West Chester, PA. She later went on to earn a B.A. in Dance and a B.A. in Media Studies from Cedar Crest College in 2016, while also furthering her technique at Muhlenberg College. She has received several scholarships and awards and has attended summer intensives at the Joffrey Ballet School and American Ballet Theater. Alissa is a professional dancer, choreographer, and instructor in Philadelphia, PA.

For more: http://alissajohann.wixsite.com/alissajohann

Photo Credits: Brian Mengini, Anna Bonacci, Amico Studios 

What Moves You? @ Jen Roit

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Jen Roit: Choreographer
San Jose, CA

What Moves You? 
“Emotions and stories.”

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Proud of her West Coast origins, Jen Roit received a BFA at NYU Tisch, working with Karole Armitage, Bill Young, and Dwight Rhoden. She continued a diverse career with Jennifer Archibald, Nathan Trice, Daniel Holt, Mark Dendy, Randy James, Transcendance Group, and the Park Avenue Armory. She received mentorship from Camille Brown and Jennifer Edwards through the Breaking Glass Project and Stephen Petronio through NYU’s Alumni Choreographic Workshop. With her company, Armada Dance, she has produced work for BalaSole Dance Company, MaD Circle Dance, Moving Beauty Series, Amalgamate Artist Series, Equilibrium Danceworks, WAXworks, and has been presented at HATCH, Spoke the Hub, RAW Artists, Dixon place, The Actor’s Fund, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Triskelion, and Ticino in Danza (Switzerland). She currently serves on the Artist Committee for NACHMO, is editor of the Dance Magazine College Guide, manages projects at TERP Corp, and dances for Dances for Solidarity. She has choreographed for short films and music videos, including “You and I and You” presented at the Outlet Dance Project’s International Film Festival, Dance Film Day in Portland, OR, and for Triskelion’s Dance Film Festival. Founder of the Broke Dancer, a weekly newsletter for inexpensive dance and fitness classes around NYC.

For more: http://www.jenroit.com

Photo Credits: Stephen Delas Heras; Massimiliano Rossetto; Oje Ihonvbere; Eric Bandiero/BalaSole Dance Co.; Jen Jones Photography

What Moves You? @ Arshiya Bhan

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Arshiya Bhan: Dancer
Toronto, Canada

What Moves You?
“I can express multiple emotions through the power of dance. This is what moves me.”

About Arshiya
“My name is Arshiya Bhan, and I am a Toronto based dancer, choreographer and a You tuber. I have been dancing for the past 14 years with training in Bollywood and lyrical and self-taught in Belly Dance and Hip-hop. I am thankful to have had many opportunities over the years such as performing at Toronto Raptors, Toronto International Film Festival, and Iffa awards to name a few. These experiences have helped me grow as a person and as a dancer. I also run a fitness class for women called Belly AB Fitness. In this class, I combine intense workouts and dance as a full-body workout. The philosophy of this class is not only to promote fitness but also to ensure all the female participants leave my class feeling positive, confident and sexy.”