HISTORY, MISSION AND VISION


HISTORY
BalaSole Dance Company, founded in 2010 by Roberto Villanueva, is a multi-genre and all-inclusive dance company.  Since its official incorporation in July 2010 as an educational non-profit dance organization, the company has presented informational sessions and performances for the general public at prominent New York City dance venues such as the Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater, The Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, and Tribeca Performing Arts Center.  In June 2012, BalaSole Dance Company officially became the resident dance company of the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

BalaSole Dance Company is the first hybrid dance organization in the United States that is solely dedicated to bridging the gaps in the field of dance.  It is the only dance company-showcase, the first of its kind, that provides artists with artistic freedom, mentorship, an arena to express their own artistic voice, and an environment for cross-pollination of styles.

Elizabeth McPherson of Attitude Magazine and Joel Benjamin of Time Square Chronicles noted the company for its "admirable goals and intentions."  Lisa Jo Segola of Back Stage New York highlighted the company for providing "a showcase for overlooked dancers."  Tim Martin of Dance Europe Magazine called BalaSole Dance Company a "hybrid creature" and described it as "part dance company and part showcase for aspiring dancer/choreographers."  Stephanie Deere of Broadway World called the company's "emphasis on the creative process extremely refreshing."  Roberta Pikser of Theatre Scene wrote, "This is why we go to see dance."  Linda Diamond of ENV Magazine stated, "this interactive collaboration of independent thinkers has not been seen since the 1980’s in the New York dance scene."  Philip Gardner of Oberon's Grove described the company "as a unique venture in the contemporary New York dance scene."

Since 2010, the company has held 15 New York City concert seasons and featured 150 dance artists performing pieces that range from experimental, postmodern, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, flamenco, tap to African dance.  These artists have performed in works by renowned choreographers, including Martha Graham, Lar Lubovitch, Paul Taylor, Robert Battle, Merce Cunningham, Jose Limon, Mark Morris, Elisa King, David Parsons, Lucinda Childs, Chuck Davis, Doug Elkins, Milton Myers, Dwight Rhoden, Gregory Hines, Savion Glover and Jimmy Slyde.  Some also performed in Broadway musicals West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Fame and Cabaret, as well as in music productions of pop artists Celine Dion and Nicki Minaj.

BalaSole Dance Company's roster includes artists from renowned companies such Limón Dance Company, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Parsons Dance, Lucinda Childs Dance, Les Ballets Trocadero De Monte Carlo, Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, Philadanco, The Isadora Duncan Dance Company, Tulsa Ballet, as well as graduates from The Juilliard School, New York University, SUNY Purchase, The Boston Conservatory, Columbia University, Harvard University, Duke University, Ailey School/Fordham University, Barnard College, Long Island University, Rutgers University, Hunter College, University at Buffalo, Muhlenberg College, North Carolina University, East Carolina University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Marymount Manhattan College, University of the Arts, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, George Mason University, California Institute of the Arts, and University of Oklahoma.  Many have received undergraduate/graduate degrees in Dance, Education, Neuroscience and Behavior, Psychology, Exercise Science, Business Management, English Literature, Political Science, and American Studies.

Mr. Villanueva established BalaSole Dance Company because he believed there was a great opportunity to address the imbalances that he saw and experienced for 25 years in the field of dance.  He knew that it was time to launch an "inclusive" and "diverse " dance company that would elevate the professional field of dance; educate, connect and inspire people; as well as promote "individuality" and "self-worth."  (To learn more about Roberto Villanueva's background, intent and philosophy, visit the "Staff" page of our website).
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MISSION
The mission of BalaSole Dance Company is to bridge the gaps that exist in the field of dance.  BalaSole Dance Company carries out its mission by:
  • addressing various under-representations in the field in terms of personal artistic expression, genre, style, body type, age, gender, and ethnicity;
  • giving dance artists a platform that encourages artistic freedom;
  • providing technical, artistic, and career mentorship to dance artists;
  • demystifying the professional field of dance;
  • strengthening the relationship between the performance and academic arenas of dance;
  • connecting dance to other artistic and non-artistic fields; and
  • making the art of dance accessible to under-served communities.

The company was established as a result of the following imbalances, which are contributing to the gaps in the field of concert dance:
  • Insufficient opportunities given to dance artists to showcase their individual artistry
  • Generally only one genre or stylized form of dance used in a dance company’s repertoire
  • Typecasting restrictions that marginalize dance artists because of age, shape, size, ethnicity, and style
  • Low number of male dance artists entering the field
  • Insufficient multi-ethnic representation of dance artists in dance companies
  • Below average compensation given to a large number of dance artists working in smaller dance companies
  • Inadequate mentorship given to dance artists with regard to finding or honing their own artistic voice, and planning for their careers
  • Lack of artistic freedom and ownership given to dance artists in dance companies
  • Limited opportunities for male and female dance artists to become soloists in dance companies
  • Scarce opportunities for emerging dance artists to work alongside seasoned performers
  • Insufficient recognition of the commonalities between dance and other non-artistic fields
  • Low valuation of the professional field of dance in comparison to other non-artistic fields
  • Limited understanding of the professional field of dance within the general public
  • Unwarranted disconnect between commercial and concert dance, as well as between the performance and academic arenas of dance
  • Inadequate opportunities for group collaboration in dance companies
  • Low number of dance programs available to K-12 schools and other communities such as senior citizens living in senior centers, children and youth from low income families, and adults without formal dance training
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VISION
The vision of BalaSole Dance Company is to promote a balance in the field of concert dance where:
  • the public can experience a dance concert filled with diversity and artistry;
  • artists can demonstrate their individual artistic identity and potential;
  • collaboration and mutual appreciation exist between dance and other fields; and the art of dance is accessible to everyone.    
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FOR INFORMATION OR BOOKING,
CONTACT:
info@balasoledance.org
347-328-7010

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