performing arts

Springshow

Last Saturday the Macomber Center hosted our annual Springshow. It was filled with truly inspired performances by kids of all ages, working together to bring out the best in each performer. It really showed how much genuine collaboration takes place here between big kids and little kids, and between accomplished performers and beginners. In addition to the usual line up of excellent musicians and dancers, this year’s show highlighted some breakout performances by kids who have only been working at their instruments for a couple of months. These kids are always willing to challenge themselves, and it’s the sign of a healthy community when kids feel safe enough to go outside their comfort zone.  But it’s not just the kids who challenge themselves here, it’s the adults too. A 6 minute version of Swan Lake, brilliantly adapted by Margaret, 15, opened with relevé entrances by Dan and Mark, both staff at the Center. Neither of them had any prior dance experience, but like everyone else who Margaret selected for her production, they accepted the challenge and worked hard during the weeks leading up to it.

The Springshow has become an occasion to celebrate this special community that we have created at the Macomber Center and for parents, relatives, and friends to get a glimpse into these kid’s creative lives at the Center. This year’s show had a special feature though. About a half hour into the show, everyone's attention was directed towards the back of the room to a promotional video that the kids had made with Mark to raise money for a new music room.

After the 30 second video was shown, Nomi Sofer, one of our founding parents, made an exciting announcement: Several families have decided to put up a $15,000 matching challenge. If we can raise $15,000 by May 25th that money will be matched and we will have the $30,000 that we need to begin construction on the new room this summer!

You can help us reach our goal by donating $10, $100, $1,000, or any amount that is comfortable for you.

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That's Showbiz!

By Mark Bell This December the Macomber Center will present our first Wintershow. A musical variety show featuring our members. Last April’s Springshow drew a great crowd and was a real hit. The cast members from our variety shows also enjoy acting in films we produce here at the Center.

Most exciting for me is seeing the fall-out that occurs around and after these productions. Kids huddle together dreaming up their own movie roles and stories. Some write their own scripts and even film scenes of their own. Kids put together their own dances and perform for their friends. Some sit at the piano and work out melodies. Several of them formed a rock band and began collaborating on songs while sticking to their own daily rehearsal schedule. Being a performer is fun but it gets tough as you progress. The inner discipline and time investment required to learn a dance step or play a musical instrument is formidable. Adding more people into the mix and creating a rock band or dance group and delivering a finished project to the stage is truly a feat.

I look forward to producing the Wintershow and Springshow along with some new movies at the Center this year. The cast members still enjoy working under my direction - and seeing how I get out of jams. But after my productions wrap, the kids keep the train rolling. Growing creatively under their own direction. That is what satisfies me the most.

Movement Vocabulary.

Recently on a cold Friday, the members of Macomber Center were treated to a workshop given by Molly Chanoff - a workshop which turned everyone upside down, literally!

Molly is a member of the renowned Dance Troupe LAVA, whose home is a studio in Brooklyn, NewYork. There, classes in gymnastic acrobatics for families and professional performers take place, emphasizing core strength and power, as well as training in trapeze art and Capoeira.

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art form originating in the 16th century, with dance, acrobatics, play and music disguising its original intent. Molly demonstrated and taught exercises for increasing flexibility and core strength, different types of multi-person balancing acts, head stands and hand stands. Everyone came away with an increased understanding of how balance works for themselves, and their interactions with others. It was a fabulous afternoon!

Macomber Music

At the Center, kids are able to play music any time they want.  We have a beautiful upright piano, two acoustic guitars, one violin, one electric guitar and two amplifiers. Several of the members are accomplished musicians, and many times each day you will hear the piano being practiced by different people.  Occasionally guitar, harmonica, piano and vocal collaborations can be heard coming from the music room - most enjoyable!