Chamber Dance Project Continues its free Virtual Series with Emmy Award – Winning Ballerina Grace-Anne Powers Discussing Pointe Shoe Care

Grace-Anne Powers. Photo by Jennifer Zmuda.

Grace-Anne Powers pointe shoes by Jennifer Zmuda
Grace-Anne Powers. Photo by Jennifer Zmuda.

By Marc Apter

Washington, DC (April 28) –Chamber Dance Project (CDP), Washington’s premiere contemporary ballet company, is using technology to engage audiences virtually until it can bring its 7th season, New Works 2020, to the stage. CDP’s well-received  Virtual Chat series, which began in April, continues at 5 p.m. each Tuesday throughout May.  To receive the link for each Zoom session, email  rsvp@chamberdance.org. Call 202.499.2297 for further information.

On May 5 CDP will feature Emmy-winning dancer Grace-Anne Powers of Chamber Dance Project and Ohio’s BalletMet discussing pointe shoes. To insure that CDP has the highest caliber dancers for its summer seasons they hire dancers from superb companies that are dark during the summer. Powers will discuss and demonstrate her tips for breaking in pointe shoes, discussing different types of shoes and how she cares for them as well as demonstrating her extensive knowledge comes not only from years of dance experience but also through wisdom passed on from her mother, who operates a ballet store.

“BalletMet provides me with 40 pair of pointe shoes a season, which is typical for dancers, as each pair lasts only about two weeks due to hard use,” says Powers. Powers promised to tell Zoom participants how model airplane glue can help pointe shoes last longer as well as provide tips for tailoring the shoes to their feet.

She also found that plastic fish pond liners were the perfect substitute for professional Marley ballet flooring to avoid slipping in her home and to protect delicate pointe shoes during the the coronavirus quarantine.

Powers’ presentation and Q&A is the first of four planned for May with dancer Julia Erickson discussing transitioning from classical to contemporary ballet roles on May 12; with Luz San Miguel and Davit Hovhannisyan demonstrating classical ballet partnering on May 19 and contemporary ballet partnering on May 26.

“Even though we cannot yet perform in public, we want to connect with our audience in a meaningful way to help keep everyone’s spirits up. The arts have the power to boost our hearts and minds and we feel compelled to find ways to share our art and our passion. Our first session of the month happens to fall on Cinco de Mayo, so grab a margarita and join us!” said Diane Coburn Bruning, CDP founder and artistic director.

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This year, May 5 has been designated as  GivingTuesdayNow to help arts and other nonprofit organizations weather the current financial storm. Thanks to the generosity of one of their patrons, every donation made to CDP on  Tuesday, May 5 and after will be matched up to a $10,000. This will help CDP fill the gap for the season left by the cancellation of their March Anchors Aweigh Gala.  Donations may be made at chamberdance.org.

About Chamber Dance Project: Award-winning choreographer and Artistic Director Diane Coburn Bruning founded Chamber Dance Project (CDP) upon her conviction that dance should be a collaboration between dancers and musicians, and that when artists’ share the creative process with audiences, it deepens the audience’s experience. The company commissions and performs new and contemporary works by outstanding choreographers and composers in collaboration with dancers and musicians (who appear together onstage). In past years, CDP performers shared their creative process with open rehearsals; this year’s virtual series aims to provide the same connection between audience and artist.

With its Donated Ticket and Bring a Child for Free programs, CDP provides access to those who otherwise not have the opportunity to see live music and dance.

CDP sponsors include Bloomberg Philanthropies, DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, KPMG, The Share Fund and Macy’s.