The following article was published in The Lynn Daily Item by Sam Minton June 22, 2021 read here
NAHANT — Forty Steps Dance is aiming to bring people together after such a long year apart.
The Nahant dance studio will be hosting its 28th annual concert Saturday evening. Concertgoers will be in for a treat as new choreography and some old favorites will be on display.
Just like every aspect of human existence, dance was also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year the studio held its performance outside and will continue to do so on Saturday.
With Forty Steps finding success in their new, al fresco last year, coupled with relaxed guidelines from the state, Artistic Director Sallee Slagle said the best decision was to once again have the performance outdoors.
“We didn’t know, so we decided to prepare for an outdoor performance as we knew that we would probably be able to do that and were uncertain if we would be able to do any indoor variation,” said Slagle.
The choreography was also affected by the pandemic. A new work titled “Reverse Dance” utilizes and represents a medieval dance form that has dancers spread out and making limited contact.
For many, the arts can be used to bring the community together. Slagle and other dancers are very excited to be able to perform for the crowd once again.
“Just being able to present to the community and keep the arts alive — not just bring them alive but keep them alive — that’s the key, and we really feel like arts are essential especially to our spirit and all of that,” said Slagle. “I think through the isolation that we all experienced with the pandemic it’s really soul-feeding in that way and it definitely is something that we all missed during this period of time.”
Getting to perform for a crowd is not something that Slagle and her dancers take for granted, especially when they were forced to have online performances last year, she said.
“As dancers and performers, we have done some online work as well and it’s rewarding but it doesn’t have that same instant connection with your audience and you are never quite as sure whether you have connected with your audience when you are online,” said Slagle. “So, this (performance) is where we get to interact and connect and that’s really the soul of art.”
Slagle will also be performing a special solo, “Window Panes.” While it was choreographed in 2016, the piece strikingly hits home since it is focused on isolation.
“‘Window Panes’ kind of has the idea that you are always looking at other people’s lives and comparing your life to their life, and I think we’ve all had some introspective moments through this period too,” said Slagle. “Looking at our life and looking at others— trying to figure out what’s best for all of us — it has that kind of quality.
“It does show that there’s a little bit of that despair in there, but the final point … they are working together as a group as well.”
Tickets are available at fortystepsdance.org.
The following article ran in Nahant Magazine in the Fall 2020 issue. Read it here.
The 2019 Annual Spring Concert, held March 2019 at Nahant Town Hall, featured new and old works, and a work-in-progress made up of 40 steps: 40 Steps (Work-in-Progress), Echoes and Shadows (2019), Flax Pond (2019), Missing Pieces (2012) with Guest Artist Kelley Donovan and music interludes performed by Cellist Julie Ouellette Earp. Photos: Glen Tines
Saturday, July 28, 2018
at 5 p.m.
(Rain date July 29 5 p.m.)
at Flax Pond, Chestnut Street, Lynn, MA
Bring a chair and see new works in this free performance!
This performance will include free form dance through the park using its many natural landscape features. There will be site-specific choreography as well as excerpts from repertory and a preview of new works to come. There is also an interactive segment planned where dancers will invite the audience to join in!
More info at facebook.com/FortyStepsDance
This performance is supported in part by a grant from the Lynn Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and in part by the Nahant Preservation Trust.
LYNN – ArtWeek, a 10-day festival that celebrates culture, creativity and the uniqueness of Massachusetts communities, will take place statewide April 27-May 6.
For the first time, the city of Lynn has been invited to participate. Marblehead, Nahant and Salem also will take part.
“Creatures Workshop,” May 6, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
$15 ages 8+| $20 adults | $30 family of 4
This unique workshop encourages participants to interpret and identify their own artistic portrayal of animals, and blend it with choreographed dance excerpts as well as improvised movement. Learn from choreographer Sallee Slagle and the dancers of Forty Steps Dance while exploring the movement of “Creatures.” The edited video of Slagle’s choreographic masterwork “Creatures,” which was filmed at LynnArts theater, will also be shown. This workshop at Nahant Community Center, 41 Valley Road, is for adults and children age 8 and older.
Come Support Forty Steps Dance by dining at Tides Restaurant
Monday, April 30, 2018
Tides Restaurant will donate 10% of sales on this night to Forty Steps Dance. Dine-in, take out and drinks included. Make it a night out with friends or family, or grab something to go, and support your local dance company!
At Tides Restaurant & Pub
2B Wilson Road, Nahant, MA
Are you interested in performing with Forty Steps Dance? If so, come to our Open Class & Rehearsal, Saturdays this Fall (call to confirm dates.
Modern Class with Artistic Director Sallee Slagle at 10 am.
Rehearsal at 11:30 am.
Performances planned on the North Shore and Cambridge, MA this Fall and Spring.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-599-1476.
Dates subject to change. Please check Facebook for updates.
A note from our Artistic Director to all previous members of Forty Steps Dance:
This is a milestone year for all of us who have been part of Forty Steps Dance! I invite you to come celebrate our 25th season to watch and/or dance/perform with us in some way this March! Our annual performance is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Nahant Town Hall. Please plan to come as our guest, or better yet join in the evening performance with us. You can easily participate in the finale that will include all of the Forty Steps Dancers I can gather!
If you are able to save the date, we would love for you to participate.
I am SO excited and hope to connect with many of you once again! Thank you for your contribution in getting us to our 25th Season!
Artistic Director, Forty Steps Dance