School sets stage for Pre-K ballerinas

The New York Theatre Ballet will present a performance of “The Nutcracker” this weekend. (Photo by Richard Termine)

The New York Theatre Ballet will present a performance of “The Nutcracker” this weekend. (Photo by Richard Termine)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Since moving to a new location at St. Mark’s Church on-the-Bowery last year after more than three decades in its old space, New York Theatre Ballet has been trying to come up with new ways to get involved with the community. To that end, the school has recently started offering pre-ballet classes for children as young as three and four years old, as well as expanding its adult program for women of all ages.

However, while NYTB founder and artistic director Diana Byer said the adult classes are held in a welcoming atmosphere for anyone who “has never put on ballet slippers,” the younger students are held to a much loftier standard.

“It’s very professional,” she said. “It’s not a play date and it involves serious training. We teach them that their behavior affects everything around them and we have real expectations for the students.”

The company’s interest in getting young children involved in dance and theater is evidenced through the classes that start at such a young age but also through the performances that are tailored specifically to kids.

Continue reading

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 10

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Aiding ISIS, from Turkey

Obama is playing about as dangerous a game in the Middle East as George W. Bush ever did and the blowback could be fierce.
ISIS can’t survive without the help of the U.S. and our Middle East allies, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia who are intent on fomenting anti-Shiite chaos throughout the region.

Most ISIS money comes from oil they sell on the sly to middle men in Turkey. If Turkey closed its border to ISIS oil tanker trucks, ISIS money would dry up in months. The Turkish/Syrian border is also a big crossing point for Syrian rebels (including terrorists and radical Islamists).
Next, virtually all of ISIS’s weapons come across the Turkish border, or are taken from the so-called “moderate” anti-Assad militias in Syria that the CIA, Qatar and Saudi Arabia supply.

Or are US weapons captured in Iraq.

Removing Assad while preserving the state and its institutions is a pipe dream. Nevertheless, at the behest of our Middle East allies, the U.S. has been pursuing regime change in Syria instead of ISIS. That left Assad to invite the Russians in to help him fight ISIS.

Last week Russian warplanes began bombing ISIS oil tanker trucks in Syria. Turkey shot down one of those Russian warplanes inside Syrian airspace, claiming that the warplane had violated its airspace. US officials said the Russian incursion was hardly measurable.

Obama should have smacked down Turkey for its near act of war. He didn’t. Instead the tail will continue to wag the dog and instead of just stepping quietly aside, Washington will continue to oppose the forces — Assad, Putin and Iran — that can put an end to ISIS militarily.

J. Sicoransa, ST

Continue reading