COLDWATER – Tibbits and Young Michigan Dances are teaming up with professional actor/dancer Beau Hutchings to present “Cultural Influences of Dance” on Wednesday October 12 at Tibbits Opera House for a dynamic lecture presentation explaining the origins of common dance moves and popular dance trends.
In this exciting presentation, Hutchings will dissect some widely known dance steps performed anywhere from a wedding line dance to a current “TikTok Trend,” and explain the cultural origin from which they derive. The art form of dance has rich multicultural roots and this discussion will be sure to have audience members tapping in their seat, aisle or on stage!
A native of Marshall, Michigan, Hutchings has a history with both Tibbits Summer Theatre and Young Michigan Dances (YMD). Having danced in numerous YMD productions as a young dancer since 2003, he now acts as a guest artist and occasional choreographer for YMD Spring productions performed at the Marshall Franke Center for the Arts.
Hutchings studied Music Theatre Performance at Western Michigan University, and promptly moved to New York City where he worked as a professional Dancer/Singer/Actor for 12 years. Notable credits include playing Riff in the US National and European International tours of “West Side Story” (dancing original choreography by Jerome Robbins); ensemble and principal understudy in Royal Caribbean’s Broadway on the Seas Production of “Chicago” (dancing original Bob Fosse choreography); and dancer for “Broadway Bares” a summer fundraiser presented by Broadway Cares: Equity Fights Aids at New York City’s famous Hammerstein Ballroom in 2019 (created and produced by Tony Award Winning Director and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell). Hutchings currently resides in Marshall, where he works full time with Starr Commonwealth based in Albion. In his spare time, he keeps busy and involved in the arts by choreographing musicals for the Franke Center Youth Theatre program. He also sits as a judge for the Applause Talent National Dance Competition Circuit, and for Impact Dance Adjudicators (IDA) based out of New York City.
As Coldwater’s own dance company, YMD is proud to include this presentation in the Cultivating Community schedule as it celebrates its 50 years of bringing the finest in dance to youth in this region. Since it was founded by Stanley Godfrey in 1972 with its first presentation of “Nutcracker,” YMD has reached more than 30,000 youth through its school programs and public performances. It has presented classic ballets such as Coppelia,” “Peter and the Wolf,” and “The Sleeping Beauty” prologue as well as original theatrical dance productions like “The Snow Girl,” “Legends of the Great North Woods,” “Goldilocks,” “The Emperor and the Nightingale,” “Wonder Tales from Around the World,” “The Dancing Princess,” “The Wood Maiden,” and “Tales from Mount Olympus.” These new productions in collaboration with playwrights Charles Burr and the late Bobb James, combine live dance and theatre to bring new dimensions of storytelling to the stage.
This lecture is one of more than two dozen cultural events taking place throughout Branch County and hosted by groups including Branch Intermediate School District, Branch District Library, Hope Café, AIRA, KCC Grahl Center, and Branch Pride to name just a few.
“Cultural Influences of Dance” is free to the public with donations accepted at the door. As part of the Cultivating Community celebration, it is partially funded by Michigan Council for Arts and Culture Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Women Who Care.
The lecture presentation is held at the beautiful historic Tibbits Opera House, 14 S. Hanchett Street, in Coldwater. It begins at 7pm with doors to the theatre, Ghost Light Bar, and Art Gallery open at 6:30pm. For more information, call or visit Tibbits.org.