Celebrating dance in the north county; Production: The Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts will showcase local talent with 30 short performances in a program at Glen Burnie High School involving 100 dancers and a spectrum of dancing.


On toes and flatfooted, in khakis and leotards, with boots, sandals or nothing on their feet, dancers will shimmy, shake and gyrate on stage at Glen Burnie High School to celebrate dance.

The production -- two hours of stomping, stretching, leaping, tapping, spinning and wiggling on March 6 -- will include nearly 30 brief performances in the second of a series put on by the Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts, the north county's newest arts hub.

"Celebrate Dance" will showcase local talent and, organizers hope, continue to feed a community hungry for the arts. With more than 100 dancers -- from a 3-year-old ballerina to a group of seniors who call themselves Go Grannies -- the show will present a sample of the community's expression of movement and rhythm.

"Our goal is to allow the public to see as many different kinds of dance as we can present in two hours," said Wayne Shipley, a former board member who is helping organize the event. "It's for the art and [to] invite the community in to see who we are."

Among the performers to leap and twirl in the extravaganza is Adrienne Canterna, 16, of Linthicum. The Chesapeake Center helped sponsor Adrienne's trip last year to the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Miss., where she won a gold medal and pride for the center.

"We're extremely pleased that we had a little bit to do with that," Shipley said.

Adrienne will perform two short pieces, one alone and one with her sister, Ashley, 13, who also studies ballet.

Other groups will sprinkle contemporary, tap, swing, hip hop, country and liturgical dances in with the dances of Hawaii, Korea, Scotland and the Philippines throughout the show in two- to three-minute performances.

The show will help keep the Chesapeake Center in the spotlight while board members wait for workers to complete a $20 million renovation at the old Brooklyn Park High School late this year. The auditorium and classrooms will provide space for arts classes, music, dance, theater, drawing, painting and singing.

The Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts was formed two years ago as an arts council to promote and sponsor arts programs and education in northern Anne Arundel as the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis supports arts in the southern end of the county.

After a year of gathering a board and establishing goals, the group drew more than 800 visitors to Brooklyn Park High in January 1998 for its inaugural event, "Celebrate the Arts" -- a variety show involving local artists and high school groups.

"We had no idea how hungry this area was for this kind of involvement in the arts," Shipley said. "It was an eclectic audience, too -- older, younger, all sorts of socioeconomic backgrounds."

Board members are hoping to keep interest high with a series of other performances that concentrate on a specific art. "Celebrate Dance" is the second in the series, which is to continue through next year. "Celebrate the Spoken Word," focusing on poetry and drama, is scheduled for late April.

"It's important that we keep our name out there so folks know we're serious about being successful," said Del. Joan Cadden, who pushed eight years to make the center a reality. "Just because we don't have a building doesn't mean we're not serious about having arts in north county."

Pub Date: 2/25/99

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