Capital Dance Project presents Behind the Barre: Made in Sacramento

By Lisa Murphy

Lisa Murphy, Editor
Lisa Murphy

With momentum from a successful first season, Capital Dance Project, is entering its second year. CDP will present its summer series Behind the Barre at the Crest Theater Friday August 26 and Saturday August 27.

The independent dance company, founded and run by dancers of the Sacramento Ballet, has had a year to perfect their programming. With new collaborators this year, (including many of the artists who participated in Art Hotel), Behind the Barre is a cultural experience you won’t want to miss.

We sat down with one of Capital Dance Projects founders, Alexandra Cunningham, to talk about what audiences can expect from this years’ program.

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Who are the founders of Capital Dance Project? How did the group come together?

Capital Dance Project (CDP) is an independent collective of Sacramento Ballet dancers that performs in the summer months. CDP was officially formed in May of 2015 after an unexpected lay-off but CDP has been loosely formed since 2014 when Sacramento Ballet dancers had the opportunity to perform at THIS Midtown and TBD Fest with music producer and Sacramento taste maker Shaun Slaughter.

What is unique about Capital Dance Project compared to other companies?

CDP is a 100% dancer run company. The dancers coordinate every aspect of the organization as well as the annual, and pop-up, performances. CDP provides a springboard and platform for enhancing dancers’ skill sets while mastering their own profession.

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Going in to your second year, what have you learned? Do you feel you have more community support this year?

Since we have had an entire year to plan our performance at the Crest this August, we are more organized in our efforts and have been able to coordinate collaborations with other Sacramento organizations like the VSP Shop and M5Arts, as well as with 9 visual artists and musicians. Additionally, CDP was able to apply for grants this year and we are honored to be recipients of Sacramento Republic FC’s Glory Glory Sacramento Fund – a $15,000 matching grant for outreach programs with at-risk youth and in collaboration with Sac Republic players. CDP has been fortunate to have a tremendous about of community support since its inception and we are thrilled to have the backing of Sac Republic to take our community engagement efforts to the next level.

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Has the opening of CLARA provided any new resources/opportunities for collaboration?

As an independent organization, we are excited for the opportunity to rehearse at the CLARA and grateful to the Sacramento Ballet for sponsoring the studio space rental. The CLARA is a wonderful resource for the Sacramento community and we are looking forward to participating in the unique synergy of its diverse members this upcoming Second Saturday. We will be hosting a Free Open Rehearsal from 4:30-5PM – but that’s just one of the CLARA’s various Second Saturday activities. CDP is thrilled to be part of this new Sacramento artistic hub. Our rehearsals at the CLARA have only just begun but we can’t wait to see what collaborations arise!

Who are your collaborators this year, and why are their contributions so important?

Each of CDP’s nine resident choreographers has been paired with a local artist or musician. M5Arts helped pair five visual artists, all of which participated in Art Hotel 916 – Shaun Burner, Trent Dean, Raphael Delgado, Franceska Gamez, Waylon Horner, and Kevin Zee. CDP is also working with three varied live music collaborators EDM producer Elijah Jenkins, classical musicians Alison Sharkey & Andy Tan, and members of the Sacramento Taiko Dan. CDP is also getting technical support from the VSP Shop and working with Sacramento videographer Brandon Manning. CDP choreographer/dancer Kaori Higashiyama is designing and making most of our costumes! All collaborators are equal contributors to the show and are participating in making all aspects of the production.

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What can audiences expect to experience at Behind the Barre: Made in Sacramento?

Behind the Barre will be a multi-media performance experience. Dance, visual art, live music and technology collide, combine and collaborate to produce a unique and 100% made in Sacramento performance experience. Enjoy refreshments by New Helvetia Brewing Co. and Clarksburg Winery while witnessing Sacramento’s most exciting artists take the reins and produce an unforgettable show.

Behind the Barre: Made in Sacramento
August 26 & 27, 7:30PM
Crest Theater
Tickets: $25, purchase here

Donate to CDP here. All donations up to $15,000 will be matched by Sacramento Republic.

(Images courtesy of Brandon Manning and Capital Dance Project)

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