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At RoCA, Dance That’s Artful and Entertaining

by Amy Alinkofsky
On Saturday, June 22, Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA) will present a multi-media living art gallery with Emotions Physical Theatre and a group of aspiring young dancers.
Ascending Through Dance

Youth dancers from the MLK Multi-Purpose Center

RoCA has brought Shawn Rawls, the Artistic Director of Emotions Physical Theatre, to work with a group of aspiring young dancers at the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center. Together, they have brought free dance classes to the youth of Spring Valley. Their eight week long class, learning technique, and choreography will culminate in a performance of contemporary dance on Saturday, June 22 at 3p. For the students, this is their introduction to contemporary dance, though some have taken hip-hop classes. Rawls hopes to expand the program with RoCA to three class offerings in the near future, giving young dancers the opportunity to learn contemporary and modern dance. This student performance is free to the public. RoCA continues to present innovative programming for youth throughout the county in the hopes of teaching and enriching the community of Rockland with all forms of the arts.
Intimacy Lost: The Living Gallery – A Dance Performance

Emotions Physical Theatre

Following the youth performance, Rawls professional troupe Emotions Physical Theatre presents Intimacy Lost: The Living Gallery at 5p and again at 7p. Dancers become moving exhibits that come to life through hip hop, ballet, and contemporary movement, exploring the burdens of social norms and expectations based on gender. Guests will walk through a series of miniature shows featuring highly trained dancers as well as stunning props and costumes.
Shawn Rawls sees his dance troupe as serving a bridge between art and entertainment. Using an organic blend of contemporary dance, hip hop, ballet, gymnastics, and breakdance, Emotions Physical Theatre is committed to making dance theater fun, accessible, and innovative. The troupe breaks down walls between stage performance, and spectators to create an experience for audience members that goes beyond a typical dance show by including audience participation and by creating in unique spaces. For this special RoCA performance, audience members will travel through different settings and experience dancers in vignette performances. The troupe believes that dance theater should be transparent and easy to understand while inspiring thought and communicating ideas in a clear and aesthetically pleasing way.
Rawls creates dance art with the goal of fostering personal growth. He incorporates research from psychology and sociology into productions so an audience member might walk away from the experience with a thought-provoking tidbit of practical information. It promises to be a memorable evening of performance
Tickets for Intimacy Lost are $30 and can be purchased by calling RoCA at 845-358-0877 or or at Performances of Intimacy Lost are at 5p or at 7p. For more information contact:  Rockland Center for the Arts, 845-358-0877, or visit Rockland Center for the Arts is located at 27 S Greenbush Rd., West Nyack, NY 10994. Business hours are: Mon-Fri 10-4; Sat and Sun 1-4pm (closed holidays).
RoCA’s programs are made possible, in part, with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Funding for the youth program is made possible with funds from Wells Fargo.a

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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