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Star dancers with Maui ties to perform in ‘Bring it Home’

By Staff | Jun 2, 2016

Hallie Hunt performs “Push Fall” at Dance Maui 2015. PHOTO BY TRISH BARKER.

MAKAWAO – The professional dance company Adaptations Dance Theater (ADT) will present “Bring it Home,” an annual dance concert series, on June 17 and 18 at Seabury Hall’s `A`ali`ikuhonua Creative Arts Center.

This inaugural event will bring local and international dancers – all with ties to Maui – together on-island to perform a collection of dance pieces led by ADT’s resident choreographers, Amelia Couture and Hallie Hunt.

Since its inception in 2013, one of the driving goals of Adaptations Dance Theater has been to contribute to the art movement in Hawaii by offering a home to professional dancers while simultaneously providing an outlet through which world-renowned dance can be regularly experienced by the local community.

The show came into being through conversations between ADT founders Hunt, Couture and Nicole Humphrey, but serendipity also played a role.

“We talked about the number of Maui dancers we knew who have moved off-island in order to pursue a career in dance, and we realized there were quite a lot of them,” said Hunt, who is the artistic director for ADT.

“These dancers are experiencing fantastic work and gaining a valuable education in dance, and we wanted to give them the opportunity to share that with their home community. These thoughts, plus listening to Sam Cooke’s ‘Bring It On Home To Me’ on repeat while rehearsing one of our pieces, soon enough spawned the idea for ‘Bring it Home.’ “

In its inaugural year, “Bring it Home” will feature the return of Hawaii-raised dancers Ali McKeon and Katie Istvan, who both who grew up dancing on Maui.

“Coming home to dance in a professional context brings me full circle,” said McKeon. “The Maui community watched me grow up through the lens of dance, and it continues to be my safe space – a place I am able to dance with minimal self-consciousness or judgment. To dance in the company of people who I have grown up with, people who share in an unspoken understanding of the value of community and the unrelenting demands of being a dancer, and in front of a community that has known me since I started dancing, is truly a gift.”

Also joining the 2016 “Bring it Home” troupe of traveling and resident artists is Nathaniel Hunt of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Ailey II. Hunt has cultivated a strong relationship with Maui through his work as a guest artist and mentor for the nonprofit student company at Alexander Academy of Performing Arts. His participation in the show marks Hunt’s third visit to Maui in as many years – this time coming straight from New York City’s Lincoln Center stage.

The “Bring it Home” program will present the world premiere of “A Riot of Bones” choreographed by Couture and accompanied by her husband Toby’s original musical composition. The evening’s program will also include a solo by Nathaniel Hunt and a recreation of the namesake piece “Adaptation,” a favorite in the ADT repertoire.

Attendees of the Opening Night Gala on Friday, June 17, will enjoy drinks, pupus and the opportunity to mingle with the artists before and after their performance. The Saturday, June 18, show will be a reprise performance of the full dance program.

“As a professional dancer living on Maui, people are always asking me why I don’t relocate to New York or Los Angeles. The answer is simple: Maui No Ka ?’Oi,” said ADT Executive Director Amelia Couture, who was also raised on Maui.

“Through this celebration of dance and Maui’s local talent, we hope to inspire a culturally dynamic and continually growing community of dance in Maui.”

Tickets to the Opening Night Gala are $55 for adults and $25 for those under the age of 21. Tickets to the Saturday performance are $25 for adults and $15 for ages 12 and under (with a school ID).

More information on “Bring it Home” and other Adaptations Dance Theater programs can be found at www.adaptationsdancetheater.com.