Purelements: An Evolution in Dance- Press Profile

2010 Union Square Arts Award Recipient

1958 Fulton St., Suite 409
Brooklyn, NY 11233

Media Contact: Kevin Joseph, Co-Executive Artistic Director
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Purelements: An Evolution in Dance (Purelements) fuses elements of modern, hip hop, jazz, ballet and African dance with voice, spoken word and musical theater to educate about social issues, and enhance artistic development and audience experiences. Its goals are “to empower people to live healthy, creative and balanced lifestyles; increase self-awareness and cultural appreciation; and break down barriers of social ignorance by bridging gaps between diverse communities through arts education and programming.”

Purelements emerged in August 2006 when two childhood friends and professional dancers committed to build a dance organization to encourage and motivate young people and inspire professionals. Since then, it has provided educational and performing arts programs for young people and adults living in Brooklyn.

Artistic Influences=Revitalizing Education (AIRE) is Purelements’ in-school component and offers multiple dance programs at Brooklyn public schools. Classes encourage professionalism, discipline and personal responsibility, and respect of creative community artistry and ancestors’ contributions. Teaching artists use African-based creative/social/cultural principles distilled from characteristics found in dance and drum circles of western Africa as an ideal platform for multifaceted student learning. Last year, AIRE served approximately 900 students in 18 public middle schools.

Located in East New York, the Center of Artistic Refinement (COAR) is a professional dance studio-center offering dance, vocal, and theater arts training to novice, pre-professional neighborhood residents, and former AIRE participants. Enrollees are interested in pursuing dance as a career and willing to dedicate five weekend hours to study various forms and techniques. The curriculum includes classes in ballet, modern, jazz, West African, and hip hop dance, as well as culture, health, vocal, theater, and audition prep. The structured Saturday programs provide students with tools that artists need to be successful and create an awareness of inner strengths in order to strive toward “artistic and character refinement.”

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