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Professional contemporary dance company to stage annual summer dance concert

By Staff | Jul 5, 2018

From left, Nathaniel Hunt, Hallie Hunt and Nicole Yezzi perform “In Between Infinite,” choreographed by Ali McKeon, at Bring It Home 2017. PHOTO BY AJJA DESHAYNE

MAKAWAO – Bring it Home, the signature summer performance of Adaptations Dance Theater (ADT), returns July 6-7 to Seabury Hall’s ‘A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center.

Maui’s professional contemporary dance company will present original works choreographed and performed by a cast of local and guest artists who all have ties to Maui, demonstrating the island’s homegrown talent in contemporary dance.

Bring it Home provides the opportunity for this expressive and increasingly popular genre of dance to be experienced live and onstage for and by members of the Maui community, building upon ADT’s mission to create a professional home for contemporary dance on Maui.

Each year, Adaptations Dance Theater invites artists who have left the island in pursuit of professional careers elsewhere to come back and have a work opportunity at home. This invite includes a round-trip flight, housing when necessary and compensation at a competitive rate for these artists’ time and expertise.

Bring it Home takes place in the summer, so that working professionals do not have to choose between participating in the event and their current jobs at Mainland companies that generally hold their seasons in the fall and spring.

This allows ADT to bring back artists who have worked with renowned companies like Alvin Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico, Acts of Matter, Menlowe Ballet, Ballet San Jose, and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet.

Even though the entire Bring it Home process lasts only a month, ADT works year-round to create this opportunity.

“It is a year of hard and constant work for four short weeks of an arduous and extremely fun rehearsal process, followed by two brief but thrilling performances,” said Hallie Hunt, ADT co-founder and co-artistic director.

However short, the effort has an invaluable effect. To see these artists who grew up on Maui onstage in this professional context demonstrates what is possible for the hundreds of student dancers currently training at Maui’s dance academies.

“It means giving the professional dancers from and of Maui the platform to share their craft and inspiration with their community, their home. It means lifting our youth up and showing them their potential,” said Hunt.

Now in its third year, Bring it Home brings back its largest cast yet of dancers in various stages of their careers, from those earning advanced degrees in dance at esteemed college programs to the active professionals dancing in companies, creating their own works and supporting full-time dance careers on the Mainland.

Katie Istvan, a born-and-raised Maui girl who grew up dancing at Maui Academy of Performing Arts, has been working in Los Angeles for the past six years and was part of the inaugural Bring it Home cast in 2016. She recently moved back to Maui – just in time for Bring it Home 2018 – and credits ADT as one reason for her return.

“ADT has raised the caliber of dance on Maui and has given me and other dancers real opportunity on the island,” said Istvan. “If it weren’t for ADT curating such events, I would not have been coming back as often as I have, and I also certainly would not even think about moving back as I am now.”

The five-year-old organization has shown steady growth in its relatively short existence. Since its inception in 2013, Adaptations Dance Theater has established an annual season that features the Bring it Home dance concert in the summer and the community outdoor performance festival Dance Maui each November.

Throughout the year, the company presents a series of master classes featuring different genres of dance to provide continuing education and professional development for aspiring professional dancers and dance hobbyists.

Community building is at the center of ADT’s annual calendar and overall mission, creating connections among dancers and between dancers and their audience.

“I believe Bring it Home is a celebration of community and is therefore a show that welcomes every type of audience member and viewer regardless of previous experience or exposure to dance,” said three-year veteran of Bring it Home, Maui’s Ali McKeon.

Bring it Home’s Opening Night Gala Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 6, with complimentary refreshments, pupus and music; attendees may also bring their own beer and wine to enjoy during the reception and after-party.

The performance begins at 7 p.m., and attendees will have the opportunity to mingle with the artists at the after-party directly following the show. Tickets are $55 for Friday’s opening night, open to ages 21 and up.

Saturday’s encore performance begins at 7 p.m. and is open to all ages. There will be a Q&A session with the artists after the performance. Tickets to Saturday are $29 each, with student tickets available for $15 (with ID).

Beyond attending this year’s Bring it Home performance, additional support for Adaptations Dance Theater’s mission can be offered through its Go Fund Me campaign or by making a donation via its website.

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