This past year, BHS and the Brooklyn Arts Council partnered on an oral history project interviewing local dancers. BAC initiated Folk Feet, a Folk Arts program dedicated to supporting the work of traditional dancers in Brooklyn, in 2003. The goals of Folk Feet were to identify the range of traditional dance practices represented in Brooklyn by individuals, companies, and community and social dance groups; to document these artists and their practices; and to present them to a wider public by way of concerts, showcases and workshops. This is the fifth in a series of five audio slideshows from that project.
Irina Roizin opened the Brighton Ballet Theater School of Russian Ballet in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn in 1987.
Irina immigrated to Brooklyn from Russia in 1977. Having trained from a young age as an acrobat and character dancer, she continued her dance training in the U.S. with two sisters, Rona and Galina Rybak, who had learned the art of ballet from the renowned Agrippina Vaganova.
In this excerpt, Irina describes how dance teaches children about other cultures and how listening to live piano music gives them a much-needed chance to relax.
Music: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1: III. Allegro con fuoco by David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra