Queens dance collective prepares for launch on Metro
by Andrew Shilling
Jan 08, 2014 | 3009 views | 0 0 comments | 87 87 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Rogue Dancers
The Rogue Dancers
A group of emerging Queens choreographers is preparing for the spotlight as they ready their team of local dance artists for their debut performance and launch of a new event space.

The Queens Dance Workshop is readying for the Choreographers’ Spotlight Showcase, a performance set for Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in their new space at the Genesis Society Studio Metro Plaza, at 102-02 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills.

Dance companies like the Falcon Dance, Moira Dance Theatre, Thomas/Ortiz Dance and Sheennah Augustin Dance Company will each get 15 minutes to showcase their work.

Blair Hotchner, founder of The Rogue Dancers dance company, started the Queens Dance Workshop after joining the Genesis Society Studio Metro Plaza back in July 2012 to teach yoga.

“My goal with the Queens Dance Workshop was to create an organization that brings a focus to central Queens as a viable place to see up and coming artists, as well as a space that catered to Queens choreographers,” Hitchner explained.

Hotchner has since brought together numerous local directors, dancers, musicians and filmmakers to one place to give Queens artists a space of their own.

While she explained that the center is more than welcoming to artists and performers of all five boroughs, there are specific programs built just for the residents of Queens to facilitate inter-borough connections.

“Inspiring change through meaningful work is a goal for both the dance company's choreography and the work we choose for the showcase,” she explained.

Laurel Zaleski, co-artistic director for The Rogue Dancers, said she hopes the new collaboration with The Queens Dance Workshop will expand their group and provide more of an open dialogue with the artistic community.

“The Rogue Dancers have brought in new collaborators, always trying to keep work fresh and not defining ourselves in a particular style of movement,” Zaleski said.

In addition to their studio showcases, the Queens Dance Workshop also presents numerous administrative workshops like classes in branding and marketing, grant writing and fundraising, as well as self-producing.

Stephanie Deere, artistic director with MachineHistrionica, previously worked with Hotchner and the Queens Dance Workshop with her dance company.

"Presenting work in the Queens Dance Workshop was a wonderful experience,” Deere said. “As a Queens-based artist, it was wonderful to find such support in our community and be able to connect with other choreographers, dancers, and dance-lovers."

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