Gala to support dance program for people with disabilities

Northern California Dance Conservatory hosts ‘Synthesis’ fundraiser
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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Northern California Dance Conservatory presents “Synthesis”

What: Fundraiser to benefit Access Dance Program

When: Opening night gala is 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, with additional performances at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18

Where: Black Box Theater, 920 Reserve Drive, Suite 110, in Roseville

Cost: $30 gala, $18 Saturday performances

Info: Purchase tickets at


The Northern California Dance Conservatory is offering the public the chance to witness the talent of their young performers while raising money to benefit a dance and creative movement class for children with special needs and developmental disabilities.

There will be dance performances, an art gallery with paintings and handcrafted jewelry, photographs, live improvisational painting and documentary film screenings all during one special event called “Synthesis” at the conservatory’s Roseville theater.

“Especially, in a suburban setting, there are not very many opportunities to be exposed to the fine arts in this way, and with this (variety) of media at one time,” said Kelly Archer, artistic director of the program.

The gala takes place Friday, May 17, and benefits the conservatory’s new Access Dance Program, which offers no-cost therapeutic dance and creative movement classes. This opening night celebration includes a pre-performance reception sponsored by Robert Mondavi Winery and Hawks Restaurant of Granite Bay and a post-performance dessert reception.

Additional dance performances will occur Saturday, May 18.

For the dance pieces of the show, Archer paired seven choreographers with visual artists, who created paintings based on their interpretations of the dance and music. A jeweler made necklaces to represent the music, and a photographer and filmmaker documented the overall process of the show, which has been in the works since September.

“I’m such a believer in the power of the arts, and for (artists) to come together and collaborate, that power just multiplies exponentially,” Archer said.

The Friday gala will feature pianist Manuel Luz. During the show, he will perform live music as one of the dancers and a painter do an improvisational performance.

Dancers in the pre-professional division, which includes the trainees ages 10 to 12, apprentices ages 13 to 15 and company ages 15 and up, and the senior ambassadors will perform the other dances.

“The vision behind ‘Synthesis’ is one of community collaboration and giving back, people helping people in our own community while celebrating and enjoying all that our local artists have created together,” said conservatory spokeswoman Monique Coleman.

The Access Dance program offers free creative movement classes designed specifically for children and youth with disabilities. In the program, they get special attention to help them fully experience the joy of movement, self-expression and the therapeutic benefits of dance, according to Coleman.

The program launched in February and serves children ages 7 to 18 with disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. Classes are led by Lindsey Oester, a dancer teacher and behavioral and developmental therapist for children with special needs.