INTENSIVE – Professional dancer Adam McKinney formerly with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and choreographer Sarah Ashkin lead a rehearsal of an upcoming Summer Dance Intensive production Thursday in Allen Hall. Students will dance a 25-minute program Saturday 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. A five dollar donation is suggested at the door. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

February 6, 2014 Community Happenings

New Arrivals
Baby Girl Duvall
    Elaine Duvall was born 9:29 a.m. Jan. 31 at Sitka Community Hospital.
    At birth, the infant weighed 6.1 pounds.    She is the daughter of Amanda and Ronald Duvall of Sitka. The mother is employed with the Sitka School District, and the father works at University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka Campus.
    This is the couple’s first child.

    School Board Meets
    Sitka School Board will hold a special meeting in executive session to review superintendent applications 7 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Centennial Hall Rousseau Room.

    Discussion Slated
    On House Bill 77
    Public discussion on House Bill 77 is set 2-3 p.m. Feb. 13 at Highliner Coffee.
    The bill has implications for salmon streams, subsistence resources, and Alaskans rights to comment on state development projects. Discussion and next steps are planned.
    Sen. Bert Stedman and Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins oppose the bill. For more information contact Ray Friedlander at 747-7509.

    Dancer to Return to Sitka
    To Teach, Join in Jazz Fest

By Emma Bruhl
    Most people use movement to transport themselves from one location to the next. Dance teacher Frances Donohoe uses movement to transport her ideas onto the stage and tease artistic confidence out of others.
    “In all the work I’ve done, both teaching and performing, I find I come back to a desire to help people understand the things hidden in their bodies and movement,” Donohoe said.
    Since returning to Sitka this month, Donohoe has launched herself into various projects. Starting in January, she began teaching adult dance classes in the evenings through the Sitka Fine Arts Camp and youth classes at Baranof Elementary School in the mornings as an artist in residency. She is also collaborating with her former teacher, Melinda McAdams, on choreography for the Fireweed Dance Theatre. Previews of choreography will be shown this weekend at Donohoe’s Sitka Jazz Festival workshops.
    Born and raised in Sitka, Donohoe counts herself blessed to have found dance at a young age. She was 10 when McAdams, an experienced dance teacher, moved to Sitka.
    “I only signed up because my best friend did,” Donohoe said.
    By the age of 13 Donohoe was attending dance “intensives” all over the West Coast during summers, as well as participating in the local Sitka Fine Arts Camp, where she studied dance and other art disciplines. When she was 16, she moved to Aurillac, France, to work with the dance company Vendetta Mathea. Donohoe said working with the company “introduced her to dance as a lifestyle,” as opposed to a performance career, which is relatively short-lived.
    Following this philosophy, Donohoe attended the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Wash., where she earned a degree in dance performance, teaching and choreography. This education took her from being a dancer to being an “artist.” Over four years, she said, she became versatile in more aspects of a production than just performing on stage. Her multifaceted production capabilities have opened doors for many new collaborations.
    Through these endeavors Frances has discovered that her true passion is “community, and how to create connections in a community through art.” This idea has drawn her specifically to “contact improvisation” which focuses on “creating with a group.” Advanced dancers in Sitka are learning contact improvisation at Frances’s Dance Improvisation and Contact Dance workshops which took place earlier this month at the Sitka Studio of Dance.
    Donohoe’s Fireweed Dance student, Emma Combs, said, “I’m usually really afraid of improv, but I feel really comfortable with (Frances).” For those who are interested, but hesitant or intimidated by the prospect of dance improvisation, Combs suggested that they go for it. She said Frances is “passionate … and, she’s not really afraid of anything, and she wants all of us to be there too. She wants everybody to succeed.”
    Sitkans can experience Donohoe’s dancing by purchasing a Sitka Jazz All-Festival Pass that grants admission to all Friday and Saturday workshops (including her dance and jazz workshops) as well as all festival concerts. Donohoe’s evening adult modern class meets Tuesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. at Allen Hall. Her choreography can be seen at the Fireweed Dance Theatre performance March 8. Sitka Jazz All-Festival passes are sold at Old Harbor Books. To sign up for an adult class call 747-3085.
    Emma Bruhl is a Sitka High School senior, serving as an intern for the Greater Sitka Arts Council. This is one in a series of profiles of local artists

    Cross Trail
    Classic to Run
    Registration for the second annual Sitka Cross Trail Classic Marathon and A Half is open. The early registration price – until March 14 – is $75 for the full and $55 for the half. The run is slated 7 a.m. Aug. 2.
    Registration is available online at Fees for the 26.2 and 13.1 mile race increases to $90 and $70 on March 15, and $105 and $85 on June 1.
    For more information contact race directors Penny Brown 738-7366 or Julie White 738-3146 or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

    Talk Canceled
    Due to a family emergency, the ‘‘Traditional Chinese Medicine’’ presentation by Susan Chartier, originally scheduled for Feb. 9 at Kettleson Memorial Library, will be rescheduled.

    ANS to Meet
    Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 4 will meet 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at the ANB Founders Hall.
    A parliamentary procedure training will be held at 6 p.m. Those with questions may call Jean at 623-7355.

    Benefit Friday for
    Baranof School
    Pizza Express will host a benefit dinner for Baranof Elementary School  4-9 p.m. Feb. 7.
    Proceeds will help fund PAC-supported program and activities, such as artists in the classroom, RIF book program , Great Alaskan Reading Race and staff appreciation, and provide support for classroom year-end celebrations.
    A percentage of all sales from all meals, including dining in, take-out and delivery. Call 966-2428 or stop by 1321 Sawmill Creek Road.

Login Form