12.20.11

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Dear friends,                                                           

As the new executive director of Doug Varone and Dancers, I am admittedly biased: I think we’re terrific! But it’s not just me – here’s what the Washington Post has to say:
Varone is an exceptionally fluid dancemaker. There’s an emotional breadth sometimes missing from so many other greats in modern dance. Varone puts the beating heart at the center of the work.
That “beating heart” is vital. To me, the arts are not the garnish: they are the main course. I need food for my soul every bit as much as for my body, and it is through the arts that I find it. The work that this amazing contemporary dance company creates fulfills my soul and enriches my life immeasurably. Now in our 25th anniversary season, I can’t wait to see what we do next.

However, imagine if you will a world without dance. No kinetically thrilling leaps or twirls. No heartbreakingly poignant duets. No quiet moments of non-verbal communication. No brilliantly athletic feats that make you gasp aloud. No moments of sheer joy, the kind that make you glad to be alive. The work of Doug Varone and Dancers touches the spirit and the intellect, reaching the very core of what makes us human. For 25 years, Doug and our remarkable dancers have been feeding the soul of audiences of all stripes. 

To continue to nourish you, we ask your help. A friend of the Company’s is willing to match all new or increased gifts up to $40,000. Can you help us get there? Read on…!

We remain deeply committed to art as humanity and that is reflected in the dances we create and how we share them. This way of thinking infuses our programs for young dancers, helping them develop their own particular skills to the highest level. Our Winter Intensive in New York City in January and our Summer Workshop at SUNY Purchase in June will bring new dancers into our orbit, inspiring us even as we hope to inspire them. There is so much more we could do. That we want to do.

What role can you play? You can come see us, and you can support our work financially with a tax-deductible gift. Mark your calendar, and if you’re in the neighborhood I hope you’ll attend one or more of the following events:

January 6, 2012, 92nd Street Y, New York City: A new installment of our ever-popular Stripped series, which brings you into the creative process. This time we’re previewing our new as-yet-untitled work, which will premiere in the spring.

January 7, City Center, New York City: Doug Varone and Dancers participates in the Arts Presenters showcase.

February 3-4, Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Long Beach, California: our only West Coast engagement this year!

February 16-March 18, 92nd Street Y: Doug curates the Harkness Dance Festival.

March 9-16, Boston: Doug directs The Barber of Seville for Boston Lyric Opera

March 12-24, Buffalo, N.Y.: With support from the NEA, the Company will be working in Buffalo-area hospitals, creating and recording dances based on patients’ dreams. On March 24, we premiere our newest work at the University of Buffalo Center for the Arts.

April 23-May 2, Krasnoyarsk, Siberia:
We are returning to Krasnoyarsk to work with the Russian Dance Construction Company, lead residency workshops and perform at the International Festival of Modern Dance “Isadora.”

May 22, New York City: Join us for our 25th Anniversary Celebration at the NYU Skirball Center on Washington Square Park!

And of course we’re planning for the future. Artistically, we continue to work with artists across many mediums – in opera, in theatre, in film, in fashion, in music – to create amazing new work and bring dance to new audiences. Our innovative outreach and education work is continually sought-after around the country (see Buffalo, above), yet here in our home city of New York, we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible.  Our passion is to create a K-12 curriculum for public and independent schools so that future generations will have the knowledge and enthusiasm to participate in and enjoy dance. Increasing dance literacy is central to our mission.

All of this requires your help. Your support will ensure the continuation of our creative, performance and education activities, and allow us to envision new work. Our donors -- individuals like you, foundations, corporate and government entities – provide nearly 60 percent of our income. It’s no lie when I say “we really couldn’t do it without you.” 

So if we’ve been around for 25 years, why give NOW? To honor our success and longevity, an anonymous donor has stepped forward with a MATCHING GRANT (yes I did bold and capitalize that) hoping to spur new and increased donations to ensure the future success of Doug Varone and Dancers. Our generous friend will match 1:1 any new or increased gifts, up to $40,000.  I am hoping that you will join me (I’m a new donor too!) in supporting this wonderful Company and help us reach our goal. Cash, checks, credit cards, stock and all baked goods gratefully accepted.

If you, like me, would never want to envision a world without dance; if you rejoice in the wonder and sheer physicality of Doug Varone and Dancers, I hope you will consider a gift to celebrate the holiday season. And doesn’t everyone need a tax deduction at this time of year? Thank you. Thank you for your past support, your consideration of this request (you read this far!) and for all you have done and will do for us. We will repay you with vibrant, thrilling dance.

With all best wishes for 2012,


Martha Neighbors
Executive Director