Spending Summer in Motion


“A summertime, dancer-run company was a longtime dream of many of the Sacramento Ballet dancers,” says Alexandra Cunningham, principal dancer of the Sacramento Ballet and co-founder of Capital Dance Project.

Unlike other professional athletes, ballet dancers are unemployed during the off-season and pick up other dance work during the summer to remain financially stable. When the dancers were unexpectedly released early from their seasonal contracts in the spring of 2015, Cunningham and her fellow company members banded together and in just 21 days produced their first performance of “Behind the Barre: Made in Sacramento,” an innovative dance, art, tech and live music performance featuring all Sacramento-based talent.

On Aug. 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., the fourth year of “Behind the Barre” returns to the Crest Theatre featuring collaborators like visual artists Raphael Delgado, Franceska Gamez and Melissa and Melinda Arendt; digital media artists Natalie McKeever and Brandon Manning; musician Schuyler Petersen; bassist and singer Casey Lipka; and hip-hop artist The Philharmonik.

New this year, each performance’s closing piece will feature a different musician, which Cunningham says reflects “a mash-up of everything from the evening to tie it all together. It’s ambitious, but there are so many incredible artists and musicians in Sacramento to work with, so we’re up for the challenge.”

CDP’s annual Sensory-Friendly Dance Performance—designed specifically for individuals with autism or special needs—will take place on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Crocker Art Museum.

For information, visit capitaldanceproject.org.