As we wrap up two weeks of Rogue performances, Faith Sidlow talked with some of the members of the Fresno Dance Collective who are debuting their new dance company at the Rogue Performance Festival.
I am thrilled to inform you about Fresno’s newest dance company, fresNO dance COllective, (NO CO). We are a professional non-profit touring contemporary dance organization founded in 2009 currently featuring twelve locally trained, experienced performers, and featuring repertory by local and national artists under the direction of Amy Querin, MFA. NO CO was founded to produce dance artists, freelance choreographers and dance companies, develop emerging dance talent, and enrich the arts in the Fresno metropolitan area by fostering collaboration and embracing diversity.
The timing of the launch of this organization was a culmination of many ideas and events. I moved to the Fresno area three years ago after receiving my Master of Fine Arts in dance performance and choreography and after an extended professional performing and teaching experience in ballet and contemporary dance. (biography information located at www.amyquerin.com) Since then, I have been teaching in the Theatre and Dance Department at Fresno City College, conducting my own research in the community about the history of the rise and fall of arts and dance organizations in Fresno. One of the purposes of my non-profit dance company is to engage in ‘audience education’ in the Fresno Metropolitan Area, a community of approximately 500,000 that I believe can support an emerging professional contemporary dance movement.
Why a resident professional dance company? As recently published in the December 20th Fresno Beehive’s Sunday Spotlight column entitled Dear Santa, the Fresno arts scene needs help, arts critic Donald Munro listed many wish list items. At the end of the article, he lists seven “pie-in-the-sky” fantasies; a “resident dance company” was on that list. I agree. Fresno will now join most other cities its size in hosting its own touring professional dance company. As dance in the mainstream has become increasingly popular with shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars, it feels like the perfect time to captivate our Fresno audiences with similarly programmed dance events. As many of you know, the type of dance talent displayed on those shows already exists here, in Fresno. Through NO CO, I plan to create opportunities for the best of our local talent to perform in professional-quality events, thereby creating an opportunity to build a contemporary dance audience. In addition to producing professional-quality performing opportunities for Fresno dance groups, I also plan to create paid projects for local artists by recruiting guest dance performers, guest dance choreographers, collaborations with musicians, visual artists, photographers, etc. Our concerts will also feature interactive, lecture demonstrations about “hot topics” in dance; I plan to get involved in educational endeavors including in-house arts school field trips.
As a non-Fresno-native, I recognize and appreciate the breadth of history here which includes organizations that have paved the way for NO CO: the first only professional* non-profit* independent* contemporary* dance company. Because of this, the people and organizations I link myself with will be paramount. I cordially invite you to support fresNO dance COllective.
I would love to hear from you about this new company and would like to invite you to attend our Fresno Premiere at this year’s ROGUE festival March 5th, 6th, and 13th, to join our 2010 list of sponsors ($250 tax deductible donation includes 2 free tickets to our shows & dance lesson for 2), and to join our email list. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the mailing list, and visit my website for more information about our upcoming 45-minute concert at ROGUE. I will be happy to email you a save the date by email or mail. Our 2010 season will commence with our participation in PILOT February 19th-21st in Dallas, Texas; our full events calendar is listed on the website.
I look forward to meeting you in March at one of our ROGUE shows; I have enclosed a company flier. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or check out my website (www.amyquerin.com). I would love to meet with you to further explain my dance initiatives in Fresno.
Amy Querin, MFA
Artistic Director, fresNO dance COllective