Friday, November 23, 2012

Bella: The Beauty of ME Dance

ME Dance, Inc. is the Newest Professional Dance Organization located in the heart of Central Florida. I went to one of the final dress rehearsals for Bella by the Marshall Ellis Dance Company.  Bella is the second series of performances by this dance company. When I arrived, dancers were stretching and Marshall was sweeping the stage and applying what I'm guessing was a liquid wax to the flooring.  One dancer was wearing a white tutu and of course I felt compelled to sketch her. She was the first dancer to perform a solo. A large screen was set up onto which a video of this dancer was projected. She walked through a park and then began writing in her note book about life's challenges and emotions. Each dance was preceded by one of these video segments in which she wrote about various aspects of life as she grew and matured. The human experience of love is designed for the sole purpose of showing you who you truly are and it is expressed vibrantly through dance.

After a full run through, Marshall Ellis asked the dancers if they could recite the dance company's mission statement. It is, "To introduce innovative ideas through dance to create growth in the arts community. Our goal is to enrich the arts community by providing an outlet to feature talent in art through entertainment."  He felt the first run was technically amazing but he wanted to feel that undefinable spark, the magic and joy of fully expressed emotion through entertainment. It wasn't just about a smile, but about absolute commitment to artistic expression. With another hour to rehearse, the dancers performed a second time. This time they performed "all out". A high energy 80's dance number had all the dancers trying to catch their breath. Marshall has invested so much of himself to make ME Dance, the premiere dance company in Central Florida. That takes plenty of blood sweat and tears. As I left around 11PM, the dancers were still hard at work. Art isn't easy.

Show Times:
November 23, 2012 - 8pm
November 24, 2012 - 8pm
November 25, 2012 - 7:30pm
Ticket Prices: $20 General Admission 
Venue: John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center, The Mandell Theatre Orlando Shakespeare Theater 812 E. Rollins St. Orlando, FL 32803

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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