Editor’s Note: The following article is derived from officially released information, published with few or no editorial changes. The Greylock Glass occasionally provides our readers with such content if the information is factual in nature, and requires little to no interpretation or analysis, often when original reportage would not provide additional relevant information.
They Dance For Rain and The Foundry announce the long-awaited benefit event, SOFT SHOE BOOM BOOM SPIN!, an echo of the wildly successful interactive fundraising events SOFT SHOE BOOM (2015) and SOFT SHOE BOOM BOOM (2019). The funds raised from this event go directly to supporting They Dance For Rain’s dance-making programs in Nairobi, Kenya.
The event will take place on Saturday February 11th at 7pm at The Foundry and will feature an experimental and interactive un-silent auction of improvising musicians who will respond to the participation of the audience who purchase from a menu of items for directing and conducting the performers. Musicians include: Andy Wrba (bass), Beth Craig (cello), Bonnie McCubbin (violin), Charlie Tokarz (saxophone), Mike Fahn (valve trombone), and tap dancer Stefanie Weber. (MORE TBA.) Before the musical feature, the audience will have the opportunity to add their words to a “mad libs” script written just for this event by Don Jordan and spontaneously performed by members of his Nutshell Playhouse crew: Alexia Trainor, Mark Hohlstein, and Maddy Campbell. A short work-in-progress film edited by Michael Sinopoli highlighting the Virtual Residency work of They Dance For Rain during the pandemic will be shown at the start of the evening. The event will culminate with an Afro-pop playlist dance party. Creative projections by artist Joe Wheaton accenting the camera work of fine arts photographer Monika Pizzichemi will light the space throughout the night. There will be a cash bar.
They Dance For Rain is a dance-making project that works with individual artists and arts-for-social-change organizations in urban Nairobi, Kenya. They bring Tap shoes and the art form of Tap Dance to people with an interest and need for this unique kind of artistic self-expression. In this area of the world, Tap Dance is still quite young and the eagerness to learn it is immense. They Dance For Rain also seeks to bring visibility to an otherwise underrepresented population of dancers and urban dwellers through photography and film, and the sharing of photographic skills and equipment. Through a continuing global exchange of artistic dialogue They Dance For Rain inspires and supports a new generation of community-engaged artists and builds robust action-based relationships across platforms with established artists.
Since its founding in December 2011, They Dance For Rain has been directed by action-based dance artist Stefanie Weber. The addition of fine arts photographer Monika Pizzichemi in 2013 as associate director expanded the initial reach. Both artists are based in the U.S. in post-industrial Pittsfield, MA. In 2014, they welcomed project assistant, actor, and dancer Josephine McDonald to the team. They have exhibited photos from the project in Austin, TX, at The Soul to Sole Festival, in Boston at The Beantown Tap Festival and locally at the Whitney Center for the Arts and The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. They Dance For Rain has been funded predominantly by the generosity of an engaged community of caring and dedicated donors in addition to grants from various foundations including the Capezio Foundation.
Soft Shoe Boom Boom Spin will be offering two ticket streams for the evening. $25 for 7pm entry which includes performances and participation in the “unsilent” auction and mad libs theater. $15 for 8pm entry for the after-auction dance party.
The Foundry, a multidisciplinary performing arts venue at 2 Harris Street in West Stockbridge, Mass., is committed to giving a platform to often unheard voices and bringing diverse audiences together.