Local composer David Noel Edwards offers royalty-free performance music for ballet dancers around the world.

Bits & Bytes: Composer offers free music for ballet dancers; BCC virtual massage therapy info session, open house; Dorset Theatre Festival announces new program, resident artist

Berkshire Community College will offer a virtual massage therapy information session on Wednesday, March 3, and a virtual open house on Saturday, March 6

Local composer offers royalty-free recordings for ballet dancers

CANAAN, N.Y. — Composer David Noel Edwards is offering royalty-free recordings of his own orchestral music to ballet dancers around the world for their use in performance videos during the pandemic.

“This is my gift to the dance community,” Edwards said. “Some ballet dancers may feel they’ve lost their mojo when a pandemic separates them from their peers and audiences. When I saw how my dancer friends were suffering, I realized I could help them survive artistically and emotionally by offering my own music royalty-free, so they could post performance videos on YouTube or TikTok without running into copyright issues.”

With indoor dance performances effectively eliminated during the pandemic, ballet dancers around the world are looking for no-risk performance opportunities. Until it’s safe for audiences to gather together again indoors, outdoor and video performances are the only options dancers have. To thrive, dancers need pristine recordings of inspired orchestral music performed by professional musicians at the highest level. But music like that is extremely hard to come by.

With video-sharing platforms such as YouTube and TikTok subject to copyright law, dancers risk having their videos taken down if they perform to copyrighted recordings. Now, dancers may use any of the music at coviddanceproject.org in performance videos without paying fees or royalties. Moreover, it will be possible for dancers to present their performances as world premieres if they post a particular piece before anyone else.

—A.K.

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BCC to offer virtual massage therapy information session, open house

Massage therapy class photo courtesy BCC

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Community College (BCC) will offer a virtual massage therapy information session on Wednesday, March 3 at 4 p.m. The event will provide an opportunity for prospective and accepted massage therapy students to learn more about the program, admissions process, financial aid process/due dates, immunization/medical requirements, CORI/SORI clearance, and the part-time evening/Saturday program pathway.

For more information, or to register for the information session, contact Judy Gawron, program coordinator and professor in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, at jgawron@berkshirecc.edu or call (413) 236–4604.

BCC will also host a virtual open house on Saturday, March 6 at 10 a.m. During this Zoom event, guests will choose one of four breakout rooms, where they can chat with admissions counselors and faculty about their academic interests or the admissions process. The four breakout rooms, facilitated by deans or faculty, will be for Nursing; Business and Outreach; STEM and Allied Health; and Humanities, Behavioral, and Social Sciences.

Attendees will also get a chance to learn more about financial aid opportunities and their transfer options from BCC to hundreds of four-year schools. After the open house, guests will be invited to attend a virtual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) workshop, where they can get help filing their forms from BCC experts.

Attendees will be given a gift card to a local lunch spot of their choosing after the Open House, as well as an online voucher to the BCC bookstore. One lucky attendee will win a BCC swag bag. Register for the virtual open house at www.berkshirecc.edu/openhouse.

—A.K.

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Dorset Theatre Festival announces new Commissioning & Fellowship Program, welcomes Resident Artist Jade King Carroll 

DORSET, Vt. — Dorset Theatre Festival recently announced the launch of its new Commissioning & Fellowship Program, welcoming returning director Jade King Carroll as resident artist, who will design and oversee this program in collaboration with Artistic Director Dina Janis. Carroll will also work with Janis in producing the Festival’s new StageFree Audio Plays.

Jade King Carroll has worked as a director at the Festival for the past three years. Her interpretations of classical and new work have been seen at theaters across the country, and she has taught, guest lectured, and directed extensively, including at Julliard, Princeton, and NYU.

Dorset Theatre Festival welcomes, starting upper left and going clockwise: Josh Wilder, Sarah Gancher, Jihan Crowther, Ann Braden, Jade King Carroll, and Cusi Cram.

The Commissioning and Fellowship Program has welcomed its first two Fellows, playwrights Jihan Crowther and Josh Wilder, who join the Festival’s commissioned playwrights, Cusi Cram and Sarah Gancher, in the launch of the program. The Festival also announced two additional commissions by playwrights Chisa Hutchinson and Theresa Rebeck, the first of Dorset’s StageFree Audio Plays, scheduled for later this year.

Dorset’s newly commissioned artists and the first class of Fellows will have the opportunity to design their own goal-oriented programs of development. One objective of the program, according to Carroll, is to develop long-lasting relationships that benefit the playwrights, the Festival, and the American theatre at large.

“At this challenging time, it seemed urgently important to bring theatre to people everywhere and anywhere, breaking down barriers and walls, while lifting up new, fierce, and inspired work as we boldly step forward with our community into a newly imagined future,” said Artistic Director Dina Janis.

—A.K.