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Spring Dance Concerts Announced

posted May 9, 2019, 12:06 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated May 9, 2019, 12:19 PM ]

We are happy to announce our end-of-year concerts, showcasing the talents of our dance students! The Senior Dance Concert features the culminating work of experienced dance students in a professionally run production on June 8th at 4pm & 7pm, at Darien High School, 80 High School Lane. $20 tickets will be available at the door. The Junior Dance Concert takes place on May 18th at 11am, at the Darien Town Hall auditorium, 2 Renshaw Road, in a smaller more intimate production, with $5 tickets available at the door. Both concerts are open to the public.

"We are so proud of what our students have accomplished over the years through hard work and dedication, and are particularly bittersweet over our high school seniors who will be moving on to college next year," commented Bonnie Gombos, DAC Dance Director, "Our objective is to provide an enriching learning experience that students carry with them throughout their lives."

Our 45-year-old dance program is one of the largest in Connecticut, with over 600 students. It offers over 50 classes weekly for all ages and levels in an ideal dance space, the DAC Weatherstone Studio. Our youngest students, aged 3 to 5, explore rhythm and creative expression in addition to learning dance vocabulary and basic positions, while technical proficiency is a goal for older dance students. Unique to the DAC program is the number of performance opportunities available to all of our students, with multiple dance productions throughout the year.

The dance program offers students who don’t participate in a school sport, the opportunity to fit in with like-minded peers and enhance creative talents while keeping fit. Dance students, like Eva Larino, frequently feel that they have a second family at the DAC, "Dancing at the DAC has played such a huge part in my growing up. The dancers and the teachers create a sense of community that really makes you feel like you belong, while also pushing you to work hard, gain strength through exercise, and learn respect through team work."

Cindy DeForest, DAC teacher, dance mom and student, commented, "The DAC's dance program encourages students to explore a wide range of dance styles and provides a very supportive environment for students. There is no one 'type' of dancer who succeeds in our program. Success is measured by each dancer's personal growth as they learn to master technique and performance skills. This sets us apart from other schools and creates a welcoming vibrant community of students, teachers and parents, which is why I started here as a dancer 18 years ago, enrolled my daughter in the dance program 15 years ago and have been a teacher in the program for 8 years."

Full year and half year dance classes are available from September through June, with some classes offered through summer. Find out more about the Darien Art Center's dance offerings here, call us at (203) 655-8683, or email DAC Dance Director, Bonnie Gombos at bonnie@darienarts.org



Theatre Audition Workshop for Grades 6-10

posted May 1, 2019, 5:16 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated May 1, 2019, 5:17 AM ]

Theatre Kids: Are you participating in the Musical Theatre Workshop at Darien Summer School this year? Or auditioning for INTO THE WOODS at the DAC? Make sure you're prepared and sign up for our:

For Grades 6 - 10
 June 2 
The Vocal Audition from 2-3:30pm, with Zach Redler
The Dance Call from 4-6pm, with Julia Feeley and Ryan McConville

For The Vocal Audition, bring your audition music! Students will receive tips on how to prepare for your audition and personal coaching. Teacher Zach Redler is an award winning music theatre composer, writer of operas and an adjunct faculty member at NYU. Max 15 students 

The Dance Call will give students the tools to understanding how to follow a choreographer, pick up the steps and give them the confidence to have fun, even during the audition process. Julia Feeley has studied under the direction of Chet Walker, conceiver of Fosse and choreographer of Pippin. Ryan McConville is back at DAC after a successful workshop for Theatre 308’s CHICAGO. 

Max 20 students. $60 for one session, $95 for two. Questions, email maria@darienarts.org





NEW! Ladies Night Out: Fused Glass Jewelry Making

posted May 1, 2019, 4:56 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated May 1, 2019, 4:58 AM ]

Learn all the steps of the glass fusion process including glass cutting, with Dorothy Hafner, award-winning artist and designer. Compose fused glass pendants using a rainbow assortment of colored, metallic and patterned glasses supplied by the artist from her personal collection. Each student makes 3 separate designs. 

Silver bails and cotton cords are provided or bring your own chains. Finished pieces are ready for pick up at the Darien Arts Center in 2 weeks. 

Fee: $70. Please register by May 28th.

THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2019

Saturday Night Fever, 70’s Disco Dance Benefit on June 15th

posted Apr 4, 2019, 11:31 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Apr 4, 2019, 11:33 AM ]

The board of directors of the Darien Arts Center, along with Amy Allen, executive director, are excited to announce their Saturday Night Fever, 70’s Disco Dance Benefit planned for June 15th at the DAC Weatherstone Studio. The party starts at 7:30pm and will be a fun night of celebration with friends to benefit the Darien Arts Center. Tickets will be available online later this month.

Sip and Paint Ladies Night Out

posted Mar 28, 2019, 12:04 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Mar 28, 2019, 12:05 PM ]

Due to popular demand, a Sip and Paint Ladies Night Out is returning to the Darien Arts Center’s Visual Arts Studio on Wednesday, April 24th, from 7-9 pm. Artist Stephanie Lush-Mastriano will lead this fun and friendly workshop inspired by the famous French artist Edgar Degas, who is especially identified with the subject of dance. A live ballerina will pose as a model for the attendees to use as inspiration to create their own painting. Small canvases will be provided; participants may bring larger canvases if they prefer to create a larger painting. Easels, paint, brushes and drawing materials will be available. Beginning painters and professional artists are welcome and participants may bring their own wine and refreshments. Fee for the workshop is $45 and registration is necessary by April 22nd.
For questions, call (203) 655-8683.

Sip and Paint Ladies Night Out
Wednesday, April 24th, 7-9pm
DAC Visual Arts Studio


'Shakespeare or What You Will' for Grades 9-12

posted Mar 14, 2019, 1:42 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Mar 14, 2019, 1:44 PM ]

Shakespeare or What You Will  
With Claire Kelly and Nick Urda  
Grades 9 - 12  
Thursdays, 5-6:30pm  
April 4 - May 18  
Culminating Performance Saturday, May 18 
in DAC Weatherstone Studio  

Young actors will work alongside Shakespeare on the Sound Artistic Director, Claire Kelly and Education Director Nick Urda to uncover the secrets of performing, understanding and loving Shakespeare. Over the course of the program, participants will learn how to analyze text, develop a character, strengthen performance skills, and conquer cold feet. There will be a culminating event where students will have the chance to perform their scenes 
and soliloquies for family and friends in the Darien Arts Center's Weatherstone Studio.
$250 plus $35 registration fee

New: Calligraphy, Gold Leaf Gilding, Funky Street Jazz & Kids in the Cast!

posted Mar 7, 2019, 11:34 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Mar 7, 2019, 11:36 AM ]

We are happy to offer two new springtime classes for adults: Introduction to Traditional Calligraphy and Gold Leaf Gilding for Works of Art; and two new classes for students: Funky Street Jazz, a dance class for grades 8 and up, and Kids in the Cast!, a theatre class for grades 3 and up. Join us for our fun new offerings!

For Adults: 

Gold Leaf Gilding for Works of Art - Saturday, April 6th: 11:30am-1:30pm. 
Students will learn the different methods and techniques of gilding, the process of preparing the surface, as well as how to handle and apply composition metal leaf to enhance their own artwork. Students are encouraged to bring an object or artwork they would like to gild to the workshop. All materials will be provided. $95. Register

Introduction to Traditional Calligraphy - Mondays, 7-9pm, March 25, April 1, 8, 15, 29 & May 6. 
Students will be taught key calligraphy terms, structural guidelines, scale, angles, direction and basic pen strokes. Starting with the dual-pencil technique, the class will progress to the broad-edged calligraphy marker and eventually to the steel nib liquid ink pen. No prior experience or skills are necessary. All supplies provided. $295 plus $35 registration fee. Register

For Students: 

Funky Street Jazz
- 8th Grade & Up, Mondays, March 18-May 20, 4:30-5:30pm. 
In this fun energetic class, students learn the dance styles and techniques of music videos and pop culture. Senior concert performance optional. For further inquiries, contact Bonnie@darienarts.org. $180. Register

Kids in the Cast! - For Grades 3-5, Thursdays, April 4-May 19, 3:45-4:45pm. 
A fun & silly hour to play games of improv, study acting & develop performance skills. For the culminating event, students perform their class work for family & friends in the DAC Weatherstone Studio. $225. Register

Sign Up Now for Summer Camps & Classes

posted Feb 21, 2019, 10:44 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Feb 21, 2019, 10:47 AM ]

We are pleased to offer a variety of new summer camps and classes for all ages in theatre, dance, martial arts, visual arts and music. Use our new improved registration system to sign up and feel free to call (203) 655-8683 with questions. We hope to see you this summer!


PERFORMANCE KIDS - Two age groups available: Group A: Ages 3-5, Group B: Ages 6-8. Monday-Friday, 10:15am-12:45pm. Session 1: June 10-14, Session 2: June 17-21, Session 3: July 22-26. 1 week: $250, 2 weeks: $450, 3 weeks: $600. Ages 3 through 8 create scenery, age appropriate costumes and learn songs and dances that culminate into a mini show performed on their final day of camp.

ART IN MOVEMENT: DRAWING, YOGA, DANCE - Grades 1-5, Monday-Friday, 9:45-11:45am, June 24-28, (5 classes), $200. This class will combine the art of yoga and dance with learning the basic techniques of drawing and sketching.

YOUNG COMPOSERS CAMP - Grades 3-High School, Monday-Friday. Session 1 Beginners: 3:30-4:30pm, July 8-12, $125; Session 1 Advanced: 4:30-6:00pm; July 8-12, $185; Session 2 Beginners: 3:30-4:30pm; July 15-19, $125; Session 2 Advanced: 4:30-6:00pm; July 15-19, $185. This is a 5-day intensive composition workshop. Projects will be individually tailored to meet the level of the student. This camp aims to fill a gap in students’ music education that is too often overlooked: the ability to write, notate, record, and perform one’s own music.

- Grades 7-10, June 24-July 5 (No class July 4), 11:30am-5:30pm, $910. Twelfth Night, Jr. is ideal for the budding actor in your family! Campers will explore and rehearse a forty-five minute version of Twelfth Night. This version will be directly adapted from the script used in Shakespeare on the Sound’s main stage production. Campers will learn acting techniques for creating character, the difference between monologue and soliloquy, general stagecraft, and more.

DAC in partnership with OPEN ARTS ALLIANCE, INTO THE WOODS, JR. - Grades 5-12. Auditions week of June 3. To schedule an audition email: Maria@darienarts.org. Rehearsals August 12-23, 11:30am-5:30pm. Performance August 24/25 in the Weatherstone Studio. $1200. Be careful what you wish for as Stephen Sondheim’s and James Lapine’s cockeyed fairytale comes to life in this adaptation of their groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical. Into the Woods, JR. features all of your favorite characters: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk) and the Witch, in this lyrically rich retelling of classic Brothers Grimm fables. With unforgettable roles, Into the Woods, JR. showcases an ensemble of talented singers and actors.

CARTOONING/GRAPHIC NOVEL - Grades 2-6, Monday-Friday, 9:45-11:45am, July 29-August 2 (5 classes), $200. Students will create and illustrate their own short comic strip. Students create their own text and characters, and focus on facial expressions, body language, and the use of color.


DANCE INTENSIVE - Grades 3-6, Monday-Friday, 1:15-4:15pm July 15-26, $565. This intensive will include 3 dance classes each day for all levels. The classes will include jazz, tap, ballet, modern and hip hop. There will also be classes in theater arts, improv and yoga.

BALLET INTENSIVE/POINTE - By permission only, Level 3 and up, Monday-Friday, 1:15-4:15pm, July 29 - August 16, $685. A ballet technique intensive for intermediate and advanced students including pointe work. There will be a showing on the last day.


PRE SCHOOL BALLET 1 - Ages 3-6, Tuesdays, 10:30-11:15am, July 9-August 13 (6 classes), $120. Young dancers will learn basic ballet steps in a fun, creative atmosphere.

PRE SCHOOL BALLET 2 - Ages 3-6, Thursdays, 10:30-11:15am, July 11-August 15 (6 classes), $120. Young dancers will learn basic ballet steps in a fun, creative atmosphere.

CHOREOGRAPHY - Intermediate & Advanced, Wednesdays, 6:00-7:15pm, June 19-August 14 (9 classes),
$180 full session or $20 per class. This class will explore many different styles of dance technique, concentrating on a different style each class.

MARTIAL ARTS - Ages 4-12, Tuesdays, 5:45-6:45pm, June 18-August 13 (9 classes), $180. This class will teach children the art of Karate. It is designed to refine motor and organizational skills, improve self-discipline & teach proper behavior through respect and self-control, teach self-defense and of course to have fun! Class will be separated into mixed age groups.

FOR PRIVATE MUSIC INSTRUCTION FOR ALL AGES: Email Juanita Bosee at Juanita@darienarts.org.

FOR ADULTS: $20 Drop-In Fee for Adult Classes Or 10-Class Card for $180 (good for all adult classes)

ADULT BALLET - Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9:45-11:15am, June 17-August 23. All students are encouraged to try this popular intermediate level class. Each class will include a thorough barre, center oor, and well-balanced combination in a relaxed and positive atmosphere.

ADULT MARTIAL ARTS - Tuesdays, 6:45-7:45pm, June 18-August 13. A great workout while learning many self-defense theories and skills. This class will improve coordination, stamina and self-awareness.


Join us for COFFEE & CULTURE on February 28th

posted Feb 7, 2019, 11:45 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Feb 7, 2019, 12:18 PM ]

Darien’s premium European coffee house, Caffè Nero, is hosting 
COFFEE & CULTURE, a benefit for the Darien Arts Center, on February 28th from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The evening will include live acoustic music by our fabulous (and very cool) music instructor, Dan Saulpaugh, incredible artwork by 2018 Ginny Wright Scholarship recipient Nadia Czebiniak, and complimentary beverages and light fare provided by Caffe Nero. 

Admission to event is $20 and all proceeds will support the Darien Arts Center. Tickets are available through the link below or at the door.

Tickets for COFFEE & CULTURE

Caffè Nero is located at 1075 Post Road in Darien, and parking for the event is available in the rear of the building in addition to on-street parking. For questions, call the Darien Arts Center at (203) 655-8683


posted Dec 17, 2018, 12:31 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Dec 17, 2018, 12:55 PM ]

We are happy to announce the return of our annual smartphone photo contest, Pic Darien, which will be accepting entries at darienarts.org from January 1st through February 14th. Adults (18 and up) and Students (17 and under) may submit their smartphone photos for cash prizes in 6 categories: People and Pets; Landscape, Seascape, Nature; Travel; Food and Drink; Abstract; and Love, Anguish and Triumph. The contest is open to all; there are no age restrictions and contestants are not required to live in Darien. All entries will be presented in a slideshow at an April 28th Award and Reveal Reception in the DAC Weatherstone Studio located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Darien Town Hall.  


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