Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy First Birthday... and more!

Blowing out the candles to one year of dance!

With the arrival of Luminarium's very first anniversary, we decided to throw the Sponsor Benefit Gala - an event that would serve as a birthday party, a fundraiser, and to say thanks to our sponsors. Generously hosted by AKA Bistro (owner Christian Touche) in Lincoln, MA, the celebration was well attended and very well received. Our guests enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres and live jazz (many thanks to Jenn Allen, Alex Baboian, and Aaron Liao from Berklee College of Music), chocolate covered strawberries, and birthday cake!  A very successful silent auction featured items such as a gift basket of gourmet chocolates, a professional photoshoot/graphic design work, a pet portrait sitting, a gift certificate to Madison Floral of Somerville MA, handcrafted jewelry, and more! We cannot wait to have another anniversary extravaganza in 2012, mark your calendars!

On a more personal note, both Merli and myself are beyond words with celebrating our first year. We have had 2 of our own fully-produced concerts, shown work in performances at the Boston Center for the Arts, Mount Holyoke College, the Williston School in Easthampton, MA (with Nataraj Dancers), and at the Dance for World Community Festival in Harvard Square. We completed a successful community outreach project with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, took part in a nationally-acclaimed artistic photoshoot, and so much more. All while becoming a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, holding two auditions, fundraising and (oh yeah!) forming an entire dance company from scratch! While we take what we have done and where we are at for granted, upon inspection this is truly quite amazing. What I believe has propelled us so far and so fast is having our company carried on a solid partnership. It is wonderful to be half of a team that is equally motivated and thorough (and of course it helps having similar lofty goals and dreams). What is a bit scary is the thought and task of keeping our momentum strong over the next year, and beyond of course. We accomplished so much in so little time, the thought of where a continued pace could lead is both nerve-wrecking and fantastic. For now, we are looking forward to the Seacoast Fringe Festival in Portsmouth, NH in October, to our Year End Concert in Cambridge in November, to the official word from the IRS on our nonprofit status, and of course to the creation of innovative new work! Believe it or not, it is already time to start creating material and looking for performance opportunities for next season!


Below are photos of the Gala, and parts one and two of the video shown at the event. These videos provide brief clips of all of our performances over the past year!
All photos were taken by the talented Julia Wagner. View her portfolio here: http://wagnerwordsandimages.blogspot.com.

The company! l. to r. - Chritin Collins, Amyko Ishizaki, Louise Layman, Kimberleigh A. Holman, Meghan Riling,
Merli V. Guerra, Dahne Ledford, Jess Jacob, Mark Kranz and Guest Performer Amy Mastrangelo.
Unable to attend: Guest Performers Lori Celeste, Melenie Diarbekirian, Jarid Polite and Anna Reyes.
Guests were instantly greeted with the sounds of live music...

...the sounds of chatting...
...and laughter!
Guests enjoying the opportunity to mingle with company members.
Rekindling connections from the past-
-and making connections for the future.
Merli discusses the wonderful connections that can be made through the Mount Holyoke College Alumni network with MHC alum (and Luminarium lawyer) Freya Shoffner.
Sponsors, artists and community members of all ages  joined us for a festive night!
Our incredible host, and the owner of AKA Bistro of Lincoln, Christian Touche. Many thanks to everyone at his restaurant for making our evening unforgettable.
Drinks, laughs, and our film on the wall...
Company members Meghan Riling and Amyko Ishizaki (l. to r.) enjoying a drink inside.
Friends and Sponsors 
Family and Artists
l. to r. - Company Members Mark Kranz, Jess Jacob, K. Louise Layman, Christin Collins, and Amyko Ishizaki welcome the Artistic Directors as they enter to thank the crowd.

Kim and Merli thank their company, sponsors, family and friends, and reflect on their first year running the company together with humor and introspection.
The candles are lit!
Kim & Merli blow them out...
...and everyone enjoys cake!
Thus ends Year One. If you haven't yet, please help us improve and enhance Year Two by leaving us a comment below, in the comment box on our website, or by emailing us directly at Luminarium.Dance@gmail.com.

Thank you!

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