At The Phipps Center for the Arts

Members of The Phipps Dance Company include, top row, left to right: Natalie Duncan, Lainey Hanson (Bayport), Jessie Moore, and Chloe Hawksford; middle row: Emalie Marion, Kailee Baumann, and Lauren Lansfeldt; and bottom row: Abby Prestrud, Emerson Hatch, and Margo Maher (River Falls). All of them are from Hudson unless indicated otherwise. Photo by Marnie Marie Photography
Members of The Phipps Dance Company include, top row, left to right: Natalie Duncan, Lainey Hanson (Bayport), Jessie Moore, and Chloe Hawksford; middle row: Emalie Marion, Kailee Baumann, and Lauren Lansfeldt; and bottom row: Abby Prestrud, Emerson Hatch, and Margo Maher (River Falls). All of them are from Hudson unless indicated otherwise. Photo by Marnie Marie Photography

The Phipps Dance Company April 1, 2

The Phipps Dance Company, a non-competitive performing company led by director Christina Leines and associate director Stephanie Campbell, celebrates its twelfth season with showcase performances continuing on Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 2 at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theater of The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis.

The 2016-17 company is comprised of 16 auditioned dancers who range in age from 13 to 18 years old. This seasons dancers are Kailee Baumann, Lily Callander, Natalie Duncan, Elle Fallon, Keegan Foster, Lainey Hanson of Bayport, Emerson Hatch, Chloe Hawksford, Claire Kromrey, Lauren Lansfeldt, Margo Maher of River Falls, Emalie Marion, Jessie Moore, Abby Prestrud, Elizabeth Stoerzinger, and Arianna Zontelli. All of them are from Hudson unless indicated otherwise.

The performances will feature a variety of styles, including musical theater, lyrical, tap, hip-hop, jazz, and classical ballet. Guest choreographers are Joe Crook, Zoe Emilie Henrot, Mackenzie Lewis, Bre Poliak and Tracy Vacura.

Crook is a professional actor, dancer, singer, and aerialist. He choreographed an upbeat musical theater piece with a Latin flair to music from the Broadway show “In the Heights.” Crook comments on his time with the dancers, “We worked at trying to create a dynamic environment incorporating different theatrical elements. We tried to create an open space allowing everyone to be involved in the creative process.” This way of working developed an exciting dance both visually and emotionally.

Henrot, who is the artistic director and a company member of St. Paul Ballet, taught the dancers “Garland Waltz” from the ballet “Sleeping Beauty.” She comments, “This piece is a wonderful first corps de ballet piece because it is fun, but still challenging. The dancers learned how to work together by watching the leading dancer and counting very difficult phrases of music that shift from 8s to 10s.” Along with that, the piece is made even more challenging as the dancers hold beautiful flowered garlands during the entire dance.

The Phipps Junior Dance Company, led by Mackenzie Lewis and Greta Lewis, will also perform.

General admission tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at 715-386-8409.

‘Stepping out,’ a comedy with two left feet at the Phipps

“Stepping Out,” a comedy by Richard Harris, will be performed on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sunday, April 2 at 2 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis.

“Stepping Out” is a warm and poignant comedy about the attempts of some working-class amateurs to overcome their inhibitions and left feet in a low-rent dance studio in North London. Mavis, a former professional chorus girl, tries her hardest to teach the bumbling amateurs some tap dancing skills for an upcoming recital. During their weekly classes, Mavis must mediate the minor dramas that erupt among this motley but loveable crew. Secrets tumble out, conflicts arise, friendships grow, and everyone is changed. Through their classes, they come to realize that it is not about success or failure; it is about having the courage and going the distance.

Charlotte Kodner, of Apple Valley, plays Mavis; Heidi Hansen, of Hudson, plays the very proper Vera; Sheila Pelzel, of Hudson, plays the larger than life Rose; Jennifer Jacober, of Cottage Grove, plays bubbly Sylvia; Tricia Cook of Woodbury plays timid Andy; Samantha Hedden, of Ham Lake, plays caring and sweet Lynne; Carole Conama, of St. Paul, plays anxious Dorothy; Gina Hamilton, of St. Paul, plays confident Maxine; and Jake Jager, of Minneapolis, plays shy Geoffrey. Ruth Ashwood, of Hudson, is cast as grumpy Mrs. Frasier, who accompanies lessons on the piano.

Tickets are $24 and $26 for adults and $17 and $19 for students of any age, with a $2 discount for seniors on the Sunday matinee. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at 715-386-8409.

Ceramics classes for children, adults

The spring schedule of classes in the Ceramics Studio at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wis., is now open for enrollment. Offerings include an eight-week Beginning/Intermediate Pottery on the Wheel class for teens and adults, a three-week Experiencing Clay class for teens and adults, a one-day workshop for adults and teens, and a special Mother’s Day Gifts Clay Workshop for adults with children ages 4 and older.

In Beginning/Intermediate Pottery on the Wheel, beginning participants will learn basic techniques for throwing pots on the potter’s wheel. For the intermediate potter, this class offers an in-depth development of more advanced skills and techniques. All students will be supported by the instructor in developing the skills they would like to work on, and if they are unsure, the instructor has many ideas. Having a mix of skill levels in class makes for a fun and diverse learning environment. This class, which is limited to nine students, will be offered Mondays, April 3 – May 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The class fee is $229, which includes one 25 lb. bag of clay, glazes, and firing, as well as access to the studio during scheduled open studio hours.

In Experiencing Clay, students will gain firsthand experience as they approach multiple facets of the ceramic making process, including wheel throwing, hand-building functional pottery, and creating sculptures in a variety of methods. Class size is limited to nine and is offered Tuesdays, May 9 – 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The class fee is $69, which includes all materials and supplies.

New this season, The Phipps offers “One and Done,” on Saturday, April 1, from 1-4 p.m. Students of all skill levels will be guided through using a variety of techniques, textures, and tools for working with clay to create a single project of their choice. Individual guidance will be given by the instructor, who will fire the work after class, and have it ready to pick up on Saturday, April 15. The class fee is $39, which includes all materials and supplies.

In the Mother’s Day Gifts Clay Workshop, participants will work closely together as they learn basic hand-building techniques, such as pinching, coiling, and clay slab-construction to make flower pots, coffee cups, and decorative globes. They will use light colored clay and brush on colorful decorations to create one-of-a-kind gifts. The class will be held on Saturday, May 13, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. for a fee of $39 for each adult and child pair; and $18 for one additional person. After the class, the instructor will cover participants’ creations with a clear, food-safe glaze and then have them fired and ready to take home on Saturday, May 27.

For more information or to register in Ceramics Studio classes, go to ThePhipps.org, call 715-386-2305, or stop by the center.