Dance company getting imaginative


Arundel Live

April 01, 2005|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

This weekend, American Dance Artists returns with its spring show to its favorite near-home venue in Brooklyn Park.

The major work will be choreographed to John Lennon's 1971 hit "Imagine" and features the company in solo, duets and ensemble work.

The show opens tonight at 8 p.m. at the Chesapeake Arts Center, with additional performances at 8 p.m. tomorrow and at 3 p.m. Sunday.

American Dance Artists is an exuberant, young company formed in spring 2002 by Linthicum-based artistic director Adrienne Canterna, 22, recipient of the 1998 gold medal in the USA International Ballet Competition, and her sister Ashley Canterna, also a national medalist.

Ranging in age from 18 to 23, members of the nine-member troupe, despite their youth, have years of experience. Several began dance study by age 3, and all have garnered national awards while performing throughout the United States.

"We all get lots of work individually and are now becoming known as a company," said Adrienne Canterna during a rehearsal last week at Edna Lee Dance Studio in Glen Burnie. "American Dance Artists offers as much diversity as possible. We do what we like to please ourselves and our audience. We want to reach as many people as possible during this show's three-day run."

The camaraderie and enthusiasm of this close-knit group are apparent.

Adrienne and Ashley Canterna welcomed sister-in-law Alicia Canterna, whom their brother Tony Canterna married in 2003.

The Canterna trio had a family-like closeness to other dancers attending a recent rehearsal: Zola Williams, Michelle Combs, Robbie Nicholson and Allyson Kelly. Travis Wall is also scheduled to be in the show.

Adrienne said company member Jodi Adkins, her close friend, is in a dinner theater production of West Side Story in Wisconsin and thus unable to appear in the performances. However, Adkins is expected to be part of the next American Dance Artists show.

A veteran of nearly two years on Broadway in The Music Man, Robbie Nicholson, 19, is one of two male dancers in the company. He said he prefers lyrical dance, which he described as "a mix of ballet and jazz."

Nicholson's lyrical dance skills were displayed at American Dance Artists' October 2004 From Broadway to Hollywood show in a spectacular James Bond Medley, which will also be performed this weekend.

Adrienne and Ashley Canterna's brothers will also join the company for the first time, with Andy Canterna on acoustic guitar and Tony Canterna on piano. They will be joined by violinist Joo-In Lee.

Tickets are $18 for non-CAC members and $15 for members and children age 12 and under. They may be purchased at Chesapeake Arts Center, 104 Hammonds Lane in Brooklyn Park. Information: 410- 636-6597 or www.american

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