Monday, July 15, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Young Choreographers Initiative; Yuletide Festival; Estes at Salisbury Forum; swing dancing at Dewey Hall

The Young Choreographers Initiative performance explores issues that matter most to the students, including sexual assault, consent and explorations of gender.

Young Choreographers Initiative to perform at Saint James Place

Great Barrington — On Sunday, Dec. 9, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Berkshire Pulse will present a works-in-progress performance of choreography created by teen students in its Young Choreographers Initiative at Saint James Place. The presentation will feature group and solo works including improvisations and in-the-moment choreography involving audience participation. The work explores issues that matter most to the students, including sexual assault, consent and explorations of gender.

This fall, YCI director Susan Quinn worked with students to explore the connection between movement and social activism. The dancers chose sexual assault as the issue on which they wanted to focus. “The students researched the topic and shared their findings,” Quinn explained. “This naturally led to discussion and journaling about what consent is, how survivors are often blamed or not believed, and brainstorming how to prevent sexual assault. The movement invention and structure of the piece was generated from the discussions, their feelings and their writing.”

The performance is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $10-$20. All donations will assist Pulse to further launch and foster educational workshops and events for the YCI. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to


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Sandisfield Arts Center to host two-day yuletide celebration

Sandisfield — As an effort to celebrate the season as a community with multi-cultural residents, the Sandisfield Arts Center will host a two-part community Yuletide Festival Saturday, Dec. 8, and Sunday, Dec. 9.

The Yuletide Festival begins Saturday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m. Activities will include interactive crafts and caroling. Volunteers will help participants with holiday craft-making such as wreaths, Rice Krispies reindeer, paper Christmas trees, candy canes and more. Snacks and drinks will be supplied, all in the spirit of tasting and enjoying ethnic treats. Resident performer Linda Mironti will lead a sing-along.

The festival will continue Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. A festive program of music, carols, recitations, stories, sketches and dramas will be performed by Sandisfield Arts Center supporters of all ages including the Sandisfield Players and friends from neighboring towns, all coming together to celebrate winter holidays and a successful 2018 season.

Activities are free on Saturday, with an admission price on Sunday of $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Sandisfield Arts Center at (413) 258-4100 or


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Estes to discuss housing crisis at Salisbury Forum

Chris Estes. Photo courtesy Salisbury Forum

Lakeville, Conn. — Salisbury Forum will present Chris Estes, senior vice president of business strategy and advocacy at Rebuilding Together, for a talk titled “America’s Housing Crisis” Friday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hotchkiss School’s Walker Auditorium.

Rebuilding Together is a 30-year-old national nonprofit network of 130 local affiliates that specialize in urgent home repair and community revitalization efforts in low- and moderate-income communities at no cost to recipients. Each year its network of affiliates completes around 10,000 repair projects nationwide, including disaster-recovery efforts. Estes leads Rebuilding Together’s policy and advocacy efforts as well as programmatic partnerships with other national, regional and local community development organizations. He joined the organization in January 2018 after five years as president/CEO of the National Housing Conference in Washington, D.C.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact


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Paula Bradley and Luke McNamee of Miss Paula and the Twangbusters. Photo: Bill Dillof

Dewey Hall to host swing dancing with Miss Paula and the Twangbusters

Sheffield –  Oldtone Native will present a night of swing dancing Saturday, Dec. 8, at Dewey Hall, beginning with a lesson with Harry Pisila at 7:30 p.m. Dancing to live music from with Miss Paula and the Twangbusters will begin at 8:30 p.m.

Multi-instrumentalist Paula Bradley has toured with Uncle Earl and Bruce Molsky, and has recorded and toured with Tony Trischka; she, Molsky and Trischka formed the acoustic roots trio Jawbone. She also was a founding member of the acclaimed old-time trio the Rhythm Rats. Bradley currently performs on piano and lead vocals with honkytonkers Girl Howdyas well as in the old-time duet Moonshine Holler on vocals, guitar, banjo, ukulele and feet. Bradley will be joined by Peter Bearup on electric guitar and vocals, Luke McNamee on saxophone, Lance MacIntosh on bass and Bob Resnick on drums.

The cost is $15–$20 and $10 for students with ID. Beginners are welcome and partners are not necessary. For more information, contact (413) 429-1176 or



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