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April 07, 1995 - Image 87

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-04-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

MITCH'S II

Oakland Universit 's

MEADOW•BROOK

T H E A T R E

BANQUET ROOMS AVAILABLE
FOR ANY OCCASION

`There were beginning, interme-
diate and advanced levels.
"Early on, I was commisFioned
by the Music Study Club of De-
troit to choreograph "Chichester
Psalms" by Leonard Bernstein,
and I asked the women in my ad-
vanced class if they would be part
of it.
"We found that we enjoyed
each other's company as well as
the performing and touring, and
we formed the Festival Dancers.
The name was given to us be-
cause we appeared at the Festi-
val of the Arts sponsored by the
JCC."
Over the years, Ms. Berg has
maintained a nondenomination-
al company, taking members to
community audiences with pro-
grams such as 'The Electric Play-
ground," a multimedia work for
children; "Womensrites," an ex-
ploration of life's stages; and
"Sauces of Our Heritage," a com-
bination of Jewish, Yemenite and
Israeli dances.
"The Festival Dancers are an
unusual group of women who
have found time in their lives to
dedicate themselves to dance,"
said Ms. Berg, who scouts expe-
rienced performers willing to take
regular technique classes, come
to rehearsals and participate in
activities.
"All the money that we get
goes into the Festival Dancers
Touring Fund, which is used for
production, costumes and other
necessities. Because we are in
residence at the JCC, we feel that
we have to pay back the commu-
nity for the support that we get.
"If a school calls and can't af-
ford to pay our fee, for example,
we adjust it and take the rest out
of our fund."
Ms. Berg, who also brings her
talents to the Renaissance Dance
Company of Detroit and the
Mme. Cadillac Dance Theatre as
director, is a dance history in-
structor at Marygrove College
and has been dance artist in res-
idence at Camp Maas for the past
17 years.
Ms. Berg enjoys keeping track
of her students and travels to oth-
er cities to watch performances
of those who have turned profes-
sional. Last summer, she was in
the audience when Richard Or-
bach danced the lead in an Israeli
production about King David.
Beth White, a former student
and former daughter-in-law,
teaches in West Virginia and will
be attending the anniversary
event.
"Harriet has been my mentor,"
said Ms. White, who also puts
herself on stilts as part of a slap-
stick comedy act. "She even
taught me how to manage a
dance studio." ❑
/1 Festival Dancers will be-
gin their program at 4 p.m.
Sunday, April 9, at the Maple-
Drake JCC. For information,
call 661-7634.

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