Rainbow Dance Theatre – Residency / Commission Activities

Rainbow Dance Theatre (RDT) offers a wide variety of workshop and residency options from traditional Modern Dance and repertory to non-traditional partnering and improvisation. Also available are workshops in several World Dance styles including Hip Hop, Salsa, Hawaiian Dance and West African Dance and Drumming, In-the-schools residencies include inter-active performances and workshops in Hip Hop and West African Dance and Drumming. Special programs for at-risk youth develop cooperative skills and self-esteem.

1) Master classes: Company members lead master classes in a variety of styles including Hip Hop and Break Dancing, African Dance and Drumming, Hawaiian Dance, Salsa, Modern Dance, Dance Composition, Contact Improvisation and Partnering, and Body Conditioning.

2) Residencies: Residencies of three days to three weeks offer in-depth training in one or more of the dance styles listed above, up to three classes per day, and can be paired with repertory classes where students learn excerpts from the RDT repertory. In residencies of at least one week, a new commissioned work can be set on selected student, community or professional dancers.

3) In-the-Schools Performances and Workshops: RDT’s The Roots of Hip Hop and its Day with Rainbow Dance Theatre offer youth programming for elementary through high school students. The Roots of Hip Hop takes audiences on a cultural history adventure that traces the popular urban African-American dance style Hip Hop back to its roots in African dancing and drumming. Through dance performances, audience participation in dance and drumming, short vignettes and information “bytes”, The Roots of Hip Hop celebrates the rich cultural heritage of today’s African-American community. A Day with Rainbow Dance Theatre includes The Roots of Hip Hop performance followed by 2-4 workshops in West African Dance and Drumming and/ or Hip Hop and Break Dancing. Each workshop can hold up to 40 students. The “Day” can be expanded to 2-3 days to serve a greater portion of the student population in the individualized workshops.

4) Special programs for Youth-at-Risk: Led by Darryl Thomas, RDT’s The Rainbow Project offers an engaging, non-competitive dance experience for youth with special needs, emphasizing Hip Hop and Break Dancing, raw, athletic dance movement, and non-traditional partnering as skills to foster cooperation, focus and group interaction. Contact time can be up to 6 hours per day, which can be focused on just one group or can be divided into up to three separate workshops in one day. Rainbow Project residencies of at least one week can culminate in the performance of a dance work choreographed in collaboration with the youth participants.

5) Commissions: Artistic Directors Darryl Thomas and Valerie Bergman set a new work or a work from the RDT Repertory on local community or company dancers. A minimum of one week (7 days), 5 hours per day is needed for a commission. Choreography is tailored to meet the needs and abilities of the individual groups.