Arts Previews

  • The 2019 Five College New Music Festival takes place at UMass Amherst Sept. 6-8. SUBMITTED PHOTO/NOAH LOVING

Thursday, August 29, 2019
New director for Amherst Ballet

Madeleine Bonn, previously a principal dancer with the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, is the new artistic director of Amherst Ballet.

According to press notes, Bonn also has extensive experience teaching ballet, with a teaching certification from the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, in addition to her dancing background. At Amherst Ballet, she will lead classes for all ages and levels of ability.

“ ‘Don’t be perfect. Be extraordinary.’ This is a piece of advice I got from Alonzo King,” Bonn said in a statement. “No one is ever perfect…. Every dancer has different qualities, and realizing this completely changed my life. That is what I would like to do for my students.”

“We have no doubt that Madeleine will instill renewed vigor into our school,” said Reiko Sono, the president of the board of directors. “She’s a beautiful dancer, but more importantly, she’s a great teacher who makes sure no one is left behind. She will be a strong advocate of our motto, ‘Ballet for all.’ ”

Film company to hold fundraiser

A former Northampton resident who named his film company for the street he grew up on is seeking funding for his next project. “Ryan Road Story” is about a filmmaker who returns home from Hollywood after hearing of the tragic passing of his brother, who was a recovering addict.

Tyler Geis, who grew up in Florence and now lives in Florida, formed The Ryan Road Company with Christopher Carantit of Ashfield. The company has made two previous short films, “The Station” and “Melvin,” both of which were shot in various towns in the Valley, and the company plans to shoot “Ryan Road Story” in Florence and Northampton.

Geis and Caranti are gearing up for a crowdfunding effort. In the meantime, anyone looking to find out more about the new film project or to contribute to it can visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/ryan-road-story–2/coming_soon or ryanroadfilms.com.

Five College New Music Festival returns

The new college season is about to begin — and during Sept. 6-8, the UMass Amherst Department of Music and Dance will host the 2019 Five College New Music Festival, featuring four concerts led by Five College faculty composers, as well as electro-acoustic works and pieces by a number of modern masters.

The Festival includes nearly 50 performers and composers, primarily current and former Five College faculty but also current students and community musicians. Returning as organizers of the Festival are Elizabeth Chang, professor, and Salvatore Macchia, professor and department chair, both of UMass; and Eric W. Sawyer, professor, Amherst College.

In addition to works by seven Five College composers, the music series will feature works by several Five College alumni. All four concerts will take place in Bezanson Recital Hall in the UMass Fine Arts Center and are free and open to the public.

Visit 5cnmf.org for additional information and details about the performances.