Dancers Create ‘Tree of Life’ This Weekend

For the past several months, dancers at Just Dance! studio in Warren have carefully decorated more than 300 leaves in an effort to raise money for cancer research.  Each individual leaf is dedicated to someone the dancers care about who is affected by cancer – as a survivor, battler or a loved one who has passed on.  The decorated leaves will become a “Tree of Life” in a spectacular stage set for an upcoming annual dance recital.  “A project like this really makes you realize how many people are touched by cancer,” says Sherry Winn, Just Dance! owner.  “It’s been a wonderful effort and the students have put so much love into decorating the leaves.”

a dancer’s leaf for the Tree of Life

Throughout the winter dance season the students purchased and sold blank leaves for $5 each, raising more than $1,300 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund.  The dancers labeled the leaves with the names of people they care about who have been affected by cancer, and carefully decorated each one accordingly.  “I’m so thrilled that we’re able to help a good cause at a time when there is so much attention and excitement focused on our dancers,” says Ms Winn.  The dancers will be attaching the decorated leaves to create the Tree of Life on Saturday, May 26th starting at 1:30 pm at the Just Dance! studio (located in 426 Fitness on Metacom Avenue in Warren).

The Tree of Life will be moved to Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA on June 5th for designers to finalize the stage set ahead of the studio’s annual recital, “Dance 4 Life”, on June 8th and 9th.  This year’s recital has been recognized by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute as an official fundraising event and the dance studio hopes the event will raise further funds for Dana-Farber.

For more information visit the Just Dance! website or contact Sherry Winn: or 401-486-4478.

Winding Down

We’re coming to the end of another school year, and after a gorgeous weekend like the one we just had, summer’s so close you can almost taste it!  But, as I keep trying to explain to my kids (and remind myself), there’s still a month of school left, and still a few things to accomplish before we dive into summer vacation.  And a few things still to look forward to, like this week’s concerts:

On Tuesday, May 22nd at 7pm the Mt. Hope High School bands and choruses will present their Spring Concert in the high school auditorium on Chestnut Street in Bristol.  Performing will be the MHHS Concert Band directed by Robert Arsenault; the Chorus directed by Vicki Boyle and accompanied by Melissa Woolverton; the Vocal Ensemble; and the Symphonic Band directed by Christopher Lambert.  The combined bands and choruses will present “An American Songbook”, arranged by Douglas Wagner.  Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $5 for adults (free for children, students, and senior citizens).  Call 254-5980 ext. 3164 for more information.

On Wednesday, May 23rd at 7pm the Kickemuit Middle School 6th Grade Band, 6th Grade Chorus, and KMS Jazz Band will perform in the middle school auditorium on Child Street in Warren.  The 6th grade band and jazz band programs are directed by Jeffrey Brackett, and the choral program is directed by Andre Arsenault.  Songs featured in this performance will include “Clarinet Blues”, “Rock Around the Clock”, “Dynamite”, “Empire State of Mind”, and “Hey, Soul Sister”.

On Thursday, May 24th at 7pm the Kickemuit Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Chorus and the 7th and 8th Grade Bands will perform in the middle school auditorium on Child Street in Warren.  The choral program is directed by Andre Arsenault, and the 7th and 8th grade band program is directed by Melissa Labonte.  Songs featured this evening will include music that these groups will be performing at the Great East Festivals in Derry, NH on June 1st, such as “The Song That Nature Sings”, “Jubilate Deo”, and “As Twilight Falls”.  Ensembles will also perform music from the movies “Titanic”, “Star Wars”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, and “Beauty and the Beast”.

Donations to support the middle school music program will be gratefully accepted at the door.

A Week of Music and Dance

After a weekend whirlwind of theatre and art, this week is filled to the brim with music and dance!

Roger Williams University Instrumental Ensemble performs on Monday, May 7th at 7:30pm in the Barn/Performing Arts Center.  This spring, the music of Leonard Bernstein and Ralph Vaughn-Williams form the heart of the program, while there’s plenty of lighter fare as well: Chuck Mangione’s “Land of Make Believe”, a Brazilian samba, and a good dose of American jazz. Join the students, faculty, staff, and community members who make up the ensemble for this free concert.

Roger Williams University Dance students will perform ‘A Casual Interaction’, a site specific piece on campus to display their exploration of movement related to the architecture and environment around them.  The piece will be performed on Wednesday, May 9th, at 12:30pm.  The dancers will utilize the spaces in front of the University Library, the Gabelli School of Business, and the School of Engineering.  Michael DeQuatro, composer and accompanist for the Performing Arts Center, will be playing his own original sound score for the site specific piece right alongside the dancers.  Eighteen Dance majors; all junior and senior students, have studied site specific dance in their Performance Lab and Movement Analysis class.  Site specific dance is a piece that occurs outside of the conventional theatre space.  It was first explored in the 1960‘s during the post-modern dance movement and has been developing ever since.  Click here for more information.

Roger Williams University Chorus in concert on Thursday, May 10th at 7:30pm in the Barn/Performing Arts Center.  The free performance is focused around the theme of love songs, featuring the “Neue Leibeslieder” (“New Love Songs”) Op. 65 by German composer Johannes Brahms.  The remainder of the program will consist of love songs from a variety of time periods, from the Renaissance through the present day.  The chorus is an ensemble of 30 singers and is directed by Jonathan Richter.

The Bohemian Quartet will perform in concert on Friday, May 11th at 7:30pm in the Colt School Auditorium on Hope Street in Bristol.  Prior to the concert, members of The Bohemian Quartet will conduct a free workshop with a group of musicians from the Community String Project – participants in the afternoon workshop will perform with The Bohemian Quartet in the evening concert!  Ticket prices for the general public are $10 ($5 senior citizens; free for CSP students and family members), and all proceeds from ticket sales will be used for the benefit of the Community String Project.  The afternoon workshop and evening concert are sponsored by the RI State Council on the Arts.

Friday night also marks an Open Mic Night at The Coffee Depot on Main Street in Warren; Michael Troy is the featured artist on Friday, May 11th, beginning at about 7pm.

And to cap off the week you’ll have to make a choice:

Stone Church Coffee House in Bristol presents an evening of music on Saturday, May 12th at 7:30pm featuring Anne’s Cordial, a musical cocktail of folk, blues & jazz, and bluesy alternative folk artist Jacob Haller and the Running Commentary.  Tickets are $15 (students are half-price and children 5 and under are free); doors open at 6:45pm.

Church Street Coffeehouse in Warren presents Atwater-Donnelly on Saturday, May 12th at 8pm.  The highly acclaimed husband-wife duo, Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly, present delightful programs of traditional American and Celtic folk songs, a capella pieces, olf-time gospel songs, dance tunes, and original works. Elwood and Aubrey blend gorgeous and unusual harmonies and play guitar, Appalachian Mountain dulcimer, mandolin, tin whistle, harmonica, banjo, bones, spoons, limber jacks and other surprises.  Tickets are $10 at the door and refreshments are available with a small donation.  Doors open at 7:30pm.


Their official Opening Night is tomorrow, but students and teachers will get a sneak peak of the Guiteras Performing Arts Committee’s debut production, “Seussical, Jr.” when the cast & crew performs for their school this afternoon.  Break a leg, kids!


And remember, tonight is also Opening Night for the Masqueraders’ production of “Beauty and the Beast” at the high school, and the show will be preceded by the Community Arts Celebration at 5:30pm – read our post, “Things in Threes” for more details.  And there’s lots more happening this weekend – Michael DiMucci performs at Linden Place, the Roger Williams University Dance Theatre in Concert, “The Divine Sister” at 2nd Story Theatre – be sure to visit our Pages for all the details!