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Jenny Dalzell on Tuesday, May 07, 2013
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What's one thing that American Ballet Theatre dancers Marcelo Gomes and Isabella Boylston have in common with NYCB's new soloist Ashley Laracey? They studied at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. And they're not the only ones. Other dancers, including Houston Ballet's Sara Webb, San Francisco Ballet's James Sofranko, and former Pennsylvania Ballet principal Riolama Lorenzo, have all trained at Harid, which marks its 25th anniversary this month with a big celebration.
A tuition-free boarding high school and dance academy under one roof, Harid was founded in 1988 by Fred Lieberman—a former engineer whose heart was in the arts. Today, it's directed by former Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancer Gordon Wright, who's invited many of the conservatory's talented alumni to take part in the anniversary gala May 24–26.
It's a great line-up: Alumni Matthew Adamczyk and Mahallia Ward—both members of the Joffrey Ballet—will perform the pas de deux from Wayne McGregor's Infra, and Royal Winnipeg principal Amanda Green (who graduated from Harid in 2003) will perform an excerpt from Harid's resident choreographer Mark Godden's Above, So Below. Current conservatory students will present selections from Paquita, Swan Lake, and Flower Festival in Genzano, along with a new work by Godden, Beautiful Dreamer.
Are you a Harid alum? The school is also hosting a reunion for all of its former students; events include brunches, dinners, performances and open classes. For more info, see www.harid.edu