After a much needed catch-up session at Blockheads Burritos, Jason Aquirre (PS S’12), Molly Day (PS S’12) and I headed over to the Roseland Ballroom for the much-aniticipated “Happy We’ll Be,” a dance narrative choreographed by Al Blackstone. Al is a beloved guest teacher at Broadway Dance Center – just see what some students have to stay:
I have always subscribed to the notion that Al is the ultimate storyteller. Even in class, he brings a magical element to his teaching. The beauty of his movement and narrative is only matched by the warmth and compassion of his heart. – Alexa Erbach (PS F’11)
His class without a doubt always lifts my spirits. The energy he exudes is extraordinary and so motivational. – Nikki Croker (PS F’11)
Al was the 2011 recipient of the Capezio A.C.E Award (Dance Teacher Summit), which “is a great opportunity for emerging choreographers to expose their work to one of the most influential audiences in dance.” Check out Al’s winning piece, “Brown Eyed Girl.”
As part of their prize, A.C.E Award winners receive a grant to fund their own dance production in New York City. And thus, “Happy We’ll Be” was born…and for that, we are so happy!
The show is a full-length “dance narrative,” no dialogue – just music and dance. The show takes a bit after the concept of “6 degrees of separation” (“Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.”) In a sort of ripple effect, one character meets and affects another character, who affects another, and so on. But, only the audience gets to see the full picture.
Each new dance scene witnesses a character’s own pursuit of happiness. ie:
- A teenaged girl learning to walk in heels to impress her school crush.
- A man planning to propose to his girlfriend.
- A young gay man looking for support from his family.
We are all connected in our pursuit of happiness and we all play a role in making others happy.
Al’s latest project is a full-length dance production that defies the convention of any other show you have ever seen. “Happy We’ll Be” is an inexplicable account of love, loss, kindness, wonder and hope. It penetrates the center of our hearts and delves into the source of individual happiness, taking the audience on an unforgettable journey that forces us to marvel at the exquisite beauty in the smallest moments of our own lives. “Happy We’ll Be” is a revivifying reminder that love can be found beyond a lover’s embrace. It reminds us that love is rooted in the slightest touch of a hand, the help of a friend, the kindness of a stranger, and the affection of a parent. – Alexa Erbach
[excerpt from Al Blackstone’s resume]
…My heart’s been stolen.