77.2 F
Boone
Saturday, May 25, 2024
HomeAdventureProject Dance lights up New York City

Project Dance lights up New York City

By David Rogers. NEW YORK CITY — Let it be known that the Carolina Snowbelles and SnowFlurries were among more than 250 young performing artists stealing the hearts of people in The Big Apple on April 20. And they executed this “larceny” in broad daylight — in the very heart of Times Square. The larceny was grand, indeed!

BONUS PHOTOS AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE

FOR BEST VIEWING, CLICK ON ANY IMAGE FOR ‘SLIDESHOW’ MODE

All photographic images by David Rogers for High Country Sports.

At 22 years, Project Dance may well be the longest-running show on Broadway. Sure, it is only performed once a year on the third Saturday of April and there was a three-year hiatus while the world dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, but when a show is this good who cares about details?

The Carolina Snowbelles perform in Times Square on April 20 as part of Project Dance. Photographic image by David Rogers

Launched in 2002 by the Project Dance Foundation as a way to help the city “heal” after Sept. 11, 2001, Project Dance has now inspired people in more than 30 cities in 13 countries around the world with a series of open-air, free dance concerts that go for almost eight hours on a single day. In New York City, the event is performed on a popup stage where 44th Street, Broadway Avenue, and 7th Avenue intersect.

The Project Dance Foundation principal and founder is Cheryl Cutlip, now with ties to Boone and Blowing Rock, but who spent 15 years with the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes as a performer and, later, administrator. Through her High Country studio, The Space at Project Dance, Cutlip formed the Snowbelles and SnowFlurries as a way for young people, especially girls, to find themselves through dance and performing. Although the New York contingent included some two dozen performers and their families, Cutlip’s dance school has grown to more than 100 dancers from all over the High Country.

The High Country’s SnowFlurries perform April 20 as part of Project Dance in New York City’s Times Square. Photographic image by David Rogers

In fact, The Space at Project Dance has outgrown their current rented space with Cutlip and her supporters looking to move into a purchased building in the near future.

For Project Dance on April 20, some 30 dance troupes from all over the U.S. took turns performing with ensemble, duo and solo acts, from 10 a.m. to almost 5 p.m. The weather gods knew Project Dance was coming, sending a morning rain shower during the event setup before 9 a.m., but clearing the skies for the rest of a “Chamber of Commerce” day.

Few artistic performances are as striking as the cacophony of beautiful, often inspirational and spiritual music against the backdrop of horns, sirens, and a multitude of vehicles rumbling over manhole covers. And visually, seeing the dancers perform juxtaposed against the neon lights and iconic signage for which Times Square is so famous may well be incongruous, but the energy and excitement of the moments are something to behold.

And behold they were, the individual performances often inviting whoops and hollars of encouragement but always drawing enthusiastic applause.

Project Dance 2024 in New York City’s Times Square, April 20. Photographic image by David Rogers

The High Country’s Snowbelles performed two routines and the SnowFlurries one, as well as special performances by two High Country based dance teachers and a solo performance by a young member of the Snowbelles.

DIFFERENT DRUM (SnowFlurries)
Choreography by: Emma Pinnix
Evie Jolly
Everlie Powell
Henley Brinker
Hollis Brinker
Emery Reed
Shepherd Gray
Avery Willingham
Addy Salley
Vera Kwong
SING (Carolina Snowbelles)
Choreography by: Cheryl Cutliip
Vera Kwong
Avery Willingham
Everlie Powell
Maggie Schlake
Anasofia Salinas
Rachel Witmer
Carly Watson
Brooke Church Handy
Emma Pinnix
Luci Pedroni
Journey Lockhart
Genevieve Goff
Cameron Parker
HAPPY (Carolina Snowbelles)
Choreography by: Claudia Palta
Maggie Schlake
Anasofia Salinas
Rachel Witmer
Carly Watson
Emma Pinnix
Luci Pedroni
Journey Lockhart
Genevieve Goff
Cameron Parker

Without You, Without Them
Choreographed and Performed by Emma Pinnix and Brooke Church Handy

 

In addition, Snowbelles member Journey Lockhart performed a solo routine, Columcille, choreographed by Randall Flinn.

BONUS PHOTOS

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular

Recent Comments