“A year ago at the Regional Dance America Festival, [a panel of judges] had the option to select one dance company from … each of the five regions of the United States, and we were the dance company chosen to represent the southeast United States as a demonstration,” said Nancy Tolbert Yilmaz, artistic director.
In the school’s 35-year history, she said this is the first time her students have been chosen to perform in the competition.
“Once every four years this opportunity comes around,” Yilmaz said. “With thousands of members of Regional Dance America, this is a huge honor.”
The dancers from north Fulton will not be competing in the event but rather performing an exhibition piece.
“[The dance companies from each region will] do five different individual pieces,” Yilmaz said. “So it is one performance but with five different pieces.”
The students, who range in age from 15 to 19, will be performing a piece entitled “Fold.” It was created by choreographer Kassandra Taylor Newberry, the dance theater’s assistant artistic director. Yilmaz said the dance is ballet-based but incorporates Newberry’s unique, contemporary style.
“It is a piece about a poker game with 12 dancers,” Newberry said. “It is a high-energy piece with a quirky take on the ins and outs of the game. Six rolling chairs and a huge rolling poker table create an underground atmosphere and give the piece a pop of excitement with how the props are used throughout the piece.”
She said the dance is set to composer Hans Zimmer’s score to the “Sherlock Holmes” movies.
“This piece is my absolute favorite piece I’ve ever created in the past 10 years,” Newberry said.
Yilmaz said many of the dancers in the piece have been with the school since they were 3 or 4 years old. Some are now alumni who were high school seniors when the company was selected last year and are returning to participate in the piece as college freshmen, she said.