Posted December 15, 2017
The Neos Dance Theatre artistic director Bobby Wesner spoke to Lorain County Community College Early College High School (ECHS) freshmen and sophomores about the upcoming performance and the dance company on Tuesday, December 12 at Lorain County Community College. Wesner donated tickets for the students to attend the group’s performance later that week on Friday, December 15 at Stocker Arts Center.
The revamped ballet rendition, “A 1940’s Nutcracker,” was performed by local participants and students from the new Neos Center for Dance as part of the Student Matinee Series in Hoke Theatre.
“I believe what we are doing with the Nutcracker reflects what we are doing with Neos in regards to collaboration and looking at the world with fresh eyes,” Wesner said. It’s no surprise, “neo” means “new” in Greek, he said.
Wesner explained the history of the theatre, what Neos offers and his transition into the theatre profession. “I didn’t even know it was a career. I was raised on a farm,” he said. Today the Neos Dance Theatre now serves three areas including Akron, Mansfield and Lorain, and also has a teaching leg, Wesner said. He also let the crowd learn a little about the various other jobs related to working in a theatre, such as animation, music, lighting and choreography.
The students were excited to learn more about the dance group from Wesner firsthand. “It was interesting to see the inner workings of how he started up from just him and his wife and now it’s became a whole production,” freshman Jabari Fuentes said.
“I can already tell just by what he said it’s going to be amazing,” said sophomore Joshua Niemiec II. “Hearing him coming in makes me more hyped for Friday since we understand his passion,” added sophomore Angelys Melendez.
The lecture and performance content was later incorporated into the students’ coursework, said ECHS teacher Mark Jaworski.
The Early College High School allows first generation college students to start in ninth grade and participate in a combined high school and college experience with the goal of earning a high school diploma and college associate degree at the same time. This year 300 students are participating in the program on the LCCC campus.
All courses are taught on the LCCC campus tuition free to allow younger students the ability to experience the college’s resources, laboratories, performing arts center, technology and non-traditional instructional strategies.