BalaSole

HISTORY

BalaSole Dance Company, founded in 2010 by Roberto Villanueva (Executive & Artistic Director), 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 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, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New York Live Arts (formerly 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 and only hybrid dance organization (part dance company and part showcase) in the United States that is solely dedicated to bridging the gaps in the field of dance. It provides artists with artistic freedom, mentorship, an arena to express their own artistic voice, and an environment for cross-pollination of styles. The company's executive & artistic director provides artists one-on-one consultations to help them find a balance between "creativity" and "accessibility" in their work.


BalaSole has been described as "a Kaleidoscope of Human Shapes" (The New York Times), "an electrifying showcase" (NBC News), "a showcase for overlooked dancers" (Back Stage New York), and "a unique venture in the contemporary New York dance scene" (Oberon's Grove). Huffington Post highlighted the company for its "Boundless Soul." Attitude Magazine and Time Square Chronicles noted the company for its "admirable goals and intentions." Dance Europe Magazine praised BalaSole for "the presentation of skilled artists who can command the stage." Broadwayworld.com called the company's "emphasis on the creative process extremely refreshing." Theatrescene.net wrote, "This is why we go to see dance." ENV Magazine stated, "this interactive collaboration of independent thinkers has not been seen since the 1980’s in the New York dance scene."


Since 2010, the company has held 19 New York City concert seasons and featured over 200 dance artists performing pieces that range from ballet, modern/contemporary, experimental, postmodern, hip-hop, jazz, musical theater, flamenco, tap to African dance.

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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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