Farewell to a Fond Friend

Ed Fogarty with wife Gail Higgins Fogarty at FBP’s Black & White Fete, May 2016. Photo by Liam Louis.

From the stage, the audience is darkness. Looking out through bright spotlights, individual spectators may not be seen, but those with exceptional passion can be felt. When Edward Fogarty was in the audience, his energy was impossible to ignore.

At the end of every performance, just as the spotlights dimmed, Ed Fogarty rose before the house lights. Curtain call was his time to shine. Ed’s unbridled enthusiasm for “his dancers” poured out of him. His wild applause erupted through the theater, punctuated by his signature “Bravo!” and a few rogue whistles.

Ed’s animated post-show appreciation was rivaled only by his excitement pre-season. He worked tirelessly as a dedicated benefactor, serving almost 30 years on the Board of Trustees, currently as the body’s Vice President. One of Ed’s most notable traits was his genuine desire to get to know every dancer. He was truly invested in the company as a collection of artists, inspiring Festival Ballet Providence’s contribution to the community throughout the years.

Ed Fogarty’s generosity of both heart and spirit will flood the halls of FBP for years to come, followed closely by the warm echo of his familiar “Bravo.”

The Company dedicates its 40th Season in  memory of our dear friend Edward Fogarty, who died August 31, 2017. In honor of his affinity for creation, FBP has established a new works fund to support the development of new choreography for the Company he so loved. For those who would like to attend, the funeral service for Edward Fogarty will be held Tuesday September 12, 2017, 10:00am at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, 57 Cole Ave., Providence, RI. Visitation will be held Monday September 11, 2017, 4:00pm-8:00pm at Skeffington Funeral Home, 925 Chalkstone Ave., Providence RI. In lieu of flowers, the Fogarty family has requested that donations to Festival Ballet Providence be made in Ed’s honor.

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Jordan Nelson’s emotional return to the studio

Immediately following his release from Rhode Island Hospital on Wednesday, Jordan Nelson’s first stop was, you guessed it, Festival Ballet Providence. The hit-and-run biking accident several weeks ago may have left him with a broken clavicle and fractured skull, but it did not take away his determination to keep dancing.

Arm in a sling but eyes bright as ever, Jordan stepped into the studio for an emotional reunion. As he approached his usual position at the barre, Nelson broke into tears of joy, explaining just how much it meant to be back in the studio again.

While slowing practicing some doctor-approved pliés, Jordan opened up about his intense work to improve his physicality and technique throughout the month of June, and the hardest part of being in the hospital for eighteen days: not moving. In typical dancer fashion, Jordan is already planning his gradual return to training, one step at a time.

Jordan’s got his sights on the upcoming season, FBP’s 40th Anniversary. “There’s still so much work that we have to do, and only a few months left to prepare. I can’t believe I am able to get back to doing everything that I love with all of these dancers that I’ve been able to work so hard with this past year,” Nelson beamed, adding “we’re going to get to show audiences what we are capable of as a company, to an extent that I don’t think they’ve seen before.”

Jordan is certainly looking forward to the next few months, but in his not so distant future? “Seven Stars for a ginger biscuit, of course.” Pliés and pastries, just what the doctor ordered.

(L to R) FBP Board members Laurine Ryan Perry, Marie Weiss, Artistic Director Mihailo Djuric, Dancers Jordan Nelson, Kirsten Evans, Marissa Parmenter

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Announcing Assaf Benchetrit as Guest Faculty for SDI 2015

 

Benchetrit_220

Assaf Benchetrit began his dance and music studies at the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel. Upon graduation, he danced with the Jerusalem Dance Theater, the Panov Ballet, and later with The Israeli National Ballet Company. During his military service, Assaf received the “Remarkable Dancer” prize from the Israeli government which allowed him to continue dancing while serving. After completing his military service, he arrived to United States to dance with companies such as The Joffrey, Metropolitan Classical Ballet, Alabama Ballet, and Gelsey Kirkland Ballet. Throughout his career, Assaf toured through England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and numerous other countries. He performed lead roles in the majority of renowned ballet productions such as Swan Lake as Siegfried, Don Quixote as Basilio, La Corsaire as Ali, La Bayadere as Solar, Coppelia as Franz, Sleeping Beauty as the Prince, the title-role in Petrushka, and a number of George Balanchine works including Apolloin the title-role, Donizetti Variations and the Nutcracker as Cavalier. Assaf holds a joint B.S in computer science and B.F.A in dance degrees with academic honors from Montclair State University, and an M.F.A degree with academic honors in dance from Hollins/ADF/Frankfurt. He was a faculty member at Columbia University (Barnard College), Rutgers University, Montclair State University, and Raritan Valley Community College, where he taught ballet, mens’ class, pas de deux, variations, and modern dance. He is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at UNH.

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Find out more about SDI’s new Director…

Marissa Parmenter - Company Dancer

Marissa Parmenter returned to Festival Ballet Providence after having danced for the company from 2002-2006. Her most memorable FBP roles were Pingril, the witch in The Widow’s Broom, Finger Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, and the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet. Before returning to FBP she danced for Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and BalletMet Columbus. In 2008, Ms. Parmenter was honored to participate in Paris’s prestigious L’Ete de la Danse with Les Grands Ballet. She has performed as a guest artist with many companies in the US including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and Boston Ballet.

Ms. Parmenter has been fortunate enough to create works with leading choreographers, Ohad Naharin, James Kudelka, Mauro Bigonzetti, Edwaard Liang, Dominic Walsh and Viktor Plotnikov. She has also had the pleasure of performing works by icons such as Christopher Wheeldon, Jiri Kylian, Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and Alejandro Cerrudo.IMG_0222.jpg

Ms. Parmenter has previously been on faculty at BalletMet Academy and Passe Dance Center. She has been a guest teacher for Rice University, Sam Houston University, University of Houston, and Wheaton College. Ms. Parmenter has been awarded the Sono Osato and the Caroline H. Newhouse grants for dancer higher education. Her choreography has been performed at Hollins University and at Wheaton College.

Ms.Parmenter received her MFA from Hollins University in collaboration with the Forsythe Company in 2014 and is on faculty at FBP School as well as Artistic Assistant and Director of FBP School’s Summer Dance Intensive. She is married to FBP dancer Ty Parmenter and they have a beautiful son, Miles.

Marissa-JohnHall

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