Bonedale Ballet puts on Spring Dance Performance
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Who: Bonedale Ballet
What: Spring Dance Performance
When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Carbondale Middle School
How Much: $18 adults, $10 students, $5 kids ages 5-11
Bonedale Ballet, the dance offshoot of Carbondale’s Coredination Movement Studio, is ready to put on one of its biggest performances yet.
Friday and Saturday’s Spring Dance Performance at Carbondale Middle School will feature nine pieces danced by students as young as 4 through adults.
“It’s fun because the school is growing,” said co-founder and executive director Anthony Jerkunica, who said Bonedale Ballet now has 40-50 students. “What we’re trying to do is show that we have a full school.”
The program includes a solo from Jerkunica’s wife, Alexandra Jerkunica, who is co-founder and artistic director of Bonedale Ballet; a duet from both Alexandra and Anthony Jerkunica; a few soloists; a tap piece to “Singin’ in the Rain”; a piece from the modern class and more.
The Spring Dance Performance is a showcase of Bonedale Ballet’s students, but seeing the Jerkunicas perform will both give the young dancers something to aspire to and show the audience what kind of training Bonedale Ballet provides.
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The Jerkunicas both danced with professional companies and approach teaching from a respect for the core. Coredination also offers Pilates and yoga classes to build stronger, more graceful bodies, and that fitness philosophy is apparent in their dancing.
“Her solo — I don’t know many people that can do that kind of dancing,” Anthony Jerkunica said. “It’s pretty amazing how she moves and how easy she makes it. It’s not like somebody could just come out and say, ‘I’m going to do that.’”
This focus on core strength and grace are staples in Bonedale Ballet’s training diet. And the Jerkunicas believe physical grace will translate into a mental state of graciousness, too.
“I guess balance is a good defining term for what we do,” Alexandra Jerkunica said. “We instruct balance physically, but also guide a dancer about balance mentally. We can’t resolve everyone’s issues just through ballet, but we hope to be providing them a studio where we only encourage very optimistic points of view.”
“Our overall mission statement is to provide mindfully crafted core movement,” Anthony Jerkunica added. “What we’re really trying to do is offer the modern, the tap, the ballet and the Pilates, and we feel like that’s a unique formula. It’s a unique breadth or continuum of movement. There’s opportunity to build really strong, diverse dancers.
“The other thing I want to say is that Alex and I, being in ballet and dance as long as we have, we’ve seen some of the adverse effects of strict protocol and ruling with an iron fist. And we’ve seen how that can be deprecating to dancers. It can bring on a bad sense of self-worth. What we’re trying to do is work from a supportive place. It’s not that we don’t want kids to work hard, but what we’re trying to do is earn the kids’ respect and realize that they have their own work ethic. We’re trying to tap into that and encourage.”
Bonedale Ballet offers ballet, modern and tap classes at a variety of levels. They’ve recently started offering classes every second and fourth Saturday to better accommodate adults. Prospective students are able to pay a drop-in fee for each class or purchase a punch pass at a discounted rate. The Jerkunicas said anyone who’s curious about starting to practice dance should just give a class a try.
Coming to a performance wouldn’t be a bad introduction, either.
“I hope people who come get joy, a sense of ease from everything else that’s going on,” Alexandra Jerkunica said. “People are on the go constantly, even in our small town, and they get that chaotic feeling. You can sense it when people walk in, and then they sit here for a while and go, ‘Phew, okay.’ So that’s what I’m hoping people get out of the performance — and just an appreciation for the human body.
“Anybody can do it, really, even if somebody told you when you were young that you didn’t have the body type for ballet. That’s who we’d like to invite, so they can come back and revisit that desire to dance.”
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