Sunday, August 10, 2003

Dance Notes


DanceSport lures 1,200 onto Westin's ballroom floor

By Carol Norris
Enquirer contributor

Six years ago, Cincinnati joined the U.S. ballroom competition circuit when Eleanor Lachman organized DanceSport. Most larger cities host these weekend contests, and, as Lachman explained, "I just felt like Cincinnati needed its own competition."

Lachman has 32 years invested in ballroom dance teaching and competing. Although she no longer competes, she owns and operates Arthur Murray Dance Studios downtown and on Montgomery Road. DanceSport events are larger than any one studio, however, with competitors - amateur and professional - drawn from across the country.

These well-attended competitions abound. A couple could dance for gold nearly every weekend. Cincinnati will draw 1,200 entries Thursday through Saturday. That breaks down to about 500 to 600 competing each night (some couples enter in more than one style). Prize money totals $22,000.

Lachman, who calls ballroom a "large sport," has had some help organizing the event: Frank Regan and Vic Dominic, who've had experience in Cleveland, and Bonnie Morrison, locally.

Saturday's awards will be presented by Cincinnati Ballet's artistic director Victoria Morgan and conductor Carmon DeLeone.

This year's Cincinnati DanceSport at the Westin Hotel, downtown, will include competitions, dinners, awards presentations and general dancing for the public (Friday and Saturday evenings). The public can attend all events; ticket prices and times vary. Information: 281-5500; www.cincinnatidance sport.com. Buy tickets at the door.

Class recommendation

There are loads of studios to choose from if you're interested in becoming a ballroom dance competitor - or simply want to look great on the dance floor at your next wedding reception.

We like the sound of the class-and-dance combination that's scheduled every third Saturday at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 7000 Winton Road, Finneytown. It's sponsored by USABDA, a national organization of ballroom types, and for $10 you get a lesson from 8-9 p.m. (local instructors rotate teaching) and then can practice 9-11:30 p.m. Information: 961-0136.

New ballet marketer

Young (he's 30) and eager (he'll be doing 21/2 jobs), Jeff Syroney is ready to take over the public relations and marketing responsibilities at Cincinnati Ballet. The departments have been vacant since Susan Eiswerth and Vanessa Torbeck quit their positions before last season ended.

Syroney worked with Cleveland Ballet before it disbanded four years ago. Most recently, he was producer and director of marketing and public relations for Cleveland Public Theater, a large experimental theater complex. He's expecting endless hours with Cincinnati Ballet, but significantly better money by taking over both positions.

What about the other half job? He expects to be doing public relations for the company's Budig Academy, too.

Russians off gala list

Missing from the list of performers for Saturday's Gala of International Ballet Stars were Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik. The former principals with Cincinnati Ballet had most recently worked with ballet tech ohio, teaching and choreographing, and performed beautifully at last year's gala.

What happened?

"Unfortunately, we put too much trust in ballet tech people," Kremnev said. "And as a result, have lost all of our previous influence to the gala."

Marvel Gentry Davis, executive producer of ballet tech, would not elaborate, saying only that the couple was not appearing this year.

Kremnev and Reznik have sent their students to the Budig Academy, despite quitting Cincinnati Ballet on unhappy terms. Could those fences be mending? No one is saying.

The Russian couple recently returned from Moscow where they taught and caught up with old friends at the Bolshoi Ballet. They promised more news soon, saying "We're working on some very interesting projects."

E-mail norris@one.net




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