Across The Ages Dance Project
Boston University Dance Theater
(entrance on Buick Street, off Commonwealth Avenue)
June 1, 2019 8:00pm
June 2, 2019 6:00pm
Gary Whited, a Boston-area psychotherapist and poet (check out the piece on his poem To Fencepost on Boston Arts Diary from a few years back), is also, it turns out, a modern dancer.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Whited, and as well with Eliza Mallouk who is co-founder of the Across The Ages Dance Project.
Now 74, Whited was, in his twenties and thirties, an academic; he has a doctorate in philosophy and taught at a variety of places, including the University of Texas at Arlington. During that time, the multi-talented Whited also performed with the Fort Worth Ballet, having enough technical skill to appear in their production of The Nutcracker. Arriving in Boston in the late 1970s, Whited’s dancing career tapered as he became a parent, took up a several year stint writing software, and gradually moved into a career as a psychotherapist. Taking up dancing again for a bit in his fifties, Whited’s momentum was cut short by injuries suffered in a car accident, but, now in his seventies, he is back at it full force.
A couple of months ago, Whited was in a dance class along with Eleanor Duckworth, an educator now in her eighties, who invited him to come to a rehearsal for Across The Ages Dance Project, and he really loved it.
Consequently, Whited will be performing, with others, in the project’s annual dance concert on June 1-2 at the Boston University Dance Theater. The concert features seven pieces, each with a different choreographer, and, quite remarkably, includes a whole host of dancers ranging between the ages of 7 and 93.
Eliza Mallouk, the co-founder of the project, now in her late sixties, began dancing in her mid-fifties. She, and dancer friend, also middle-aged, Marcie Mitler, decided to form the Across The Ages Dance Project as a way to enable dancers of all ages to explore dance and to perform together. Their idea was hatched in 2010 and they presented their first concert in 2011. It was a huge success, surprising all by filling the hundred or so seats in the black box theater at the Green Street Studios in Central Square, Cambridge for each of three nights.
Tragically, Mitler was killed in a car accident in 2016. Mary McCarthy, a director at The Dance Complex in Cambridge pitched in to help manage, and, along with Mallouk, enabled the project to mount its 2016 concert and to continue beyond that to the present day.
The project presents an annual concert, usually in June, and begins its rehearsals several months before that. An interesting, unusual, and inspiring opportunity for dancers of all ages, this immediately upcoming annual concert seems much worth checking out.