Charmaine Warren certainly knows how to bring the fun to Montclair.
Charmaine is the founder and artistic director of the dynamic dance event, Dance On the Lawn: Montclair’s Dance Festival, which will be celebrating its fifth anniversary, bringing performers and joy to Montclair since 2014.
Charmaine herself has a distinguished dance background, as she is a performer, historian, consultant, and dance writer. She is a faculty member at Hunter College and Empire State College’s online program. She is a former faculty member at The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program. She performed for many years with top New York dance companies, and she currently teaches a movement class and is a yoga teacher at Ashtanga Yoga Montclair.
The Montclair Dispatch had the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Warren about the founding of Dance on the Lawn, and the important role it has in the town of Montclair.
Charmaine founded the Dance on the Lawn festival, “hoping to increase New Jersey’s exposure to dance by bringing professional and emerging companies, plus students of dance from around the state, together to
perform in a community setting. In addition to offering presentation opportunities, Dance on the Lawn created an ‘Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer’ and mentor program to help support young, emerging artists.”
Charmaine Warren works alongside managing director, Laura Marchese, to put on the impressive event. “Laura and I love dance and it is because we love this art form that we are encouraged every year to share it with audiences. It is also our charge to bring dance to our community free of charge!”
Laura echoed Charmaine’s sentiment, “it’s been thrilling to see how we’ve grown over the past 5 years; the enthusiasm of our audience makes the effort a joy.”
The celebration of dance will be hosted by Nasha Thomas, who serves as national director for AileyCamp and master teacher for arts in education. The festival also features the 2018 “Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer,” Javier Padilla of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who has continued his performance education at the Mason Gross School of the Arts within Rutgers University. Dance on the Lawn attendees can also expect New Jersey dance schools to blow them away, including two Montclair programs: Kathy Costa’s Danceworks and Company, and Sharon Millers’ Academy for the Performing Arts’ Performance Workshop Ensemble.
Dance on the Lawn will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, located at 73 So. Fullerton Ave. in Montclair. The event will begin at 3 P.M. on Saturday, September 8th, and festival-goers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. Get ready to watch some of the best dancers that New Jersey and New York have to offer!
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