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New and Exciting


posted Dec 21, 2018, 5:42 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Jan 16, 2019, 5:11 AM ]

Our popular showcase of talent, So We Think We Can Dance is back for its eighth year! This student-run production has sold-out audiences for the past seven years. Totally produced by DAC dance student volunteers, ages 10 to 18, the show returns to the DAC Weatherstone Studio with performances on Saturday, February 2nd at 7 p.m. and Sunday, February 3rd at 2 p.m. 

Eighteen DAC student choreographers with 40 dancers, manage all stages of creation and execution, and choreograph and perform approximately 17 dances that encompass many different styles of dance. 

The DAC dance program provides dedicated students a one of kind opportunity, to produce a show from start to finish. So We Think We Can Dance was the brainchild of past DAC students, some who have moved on to pursue careers in dance. They envisioned using the skills they had developed from years of dancing at the DAC, to express their individuality in their very own dances, while having a chance to shine. It has proven to be a great success, beyond selling out audiences. According to Amy Allen, DAC executive director, “So We Think We Can Dance truly fills us with pride. Our students utilize years of practice, to create, choreograph and produce an entertaining show. It empowers creative thinking and builds confidence that we watch our students take with these students and their talent every year. They really put their hearts into this, as well as a lot of time and effort. I can’t wait to see this year’s performances.” 

DAC dance students, Meghan Wood, Mackenzie Swift and Eva Larino are producing the 2019 show.

Tickets for So We Think We Can Dance 2018 are $10 and the show runs for approximately 2 hours. 
Purchase tickets ($10) at the door or email DAC Dance Director Bonnie Gombos at bonnie@darienarts.org. 

For questions call the DAC 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.  


The NEW Winter/Spring Catalog is here!

posted Dec 10, 2018, 5:54 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Dec 10, 2018, 12:22 PM ]

We've got over 70 classes for winter and spring in Music, Visual Arts, Dance, Martial Arts and Theatre for all ages! 

Many classes start in January; register now to secure a spot and ensure that classes will run.


Scenes from the Nutcracker Returns!

posted Nov 20, 2018, 12:23 PM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Dec 7, 2018, 5:01 PM ]

Many performances are sold out. Please email bonnie@darienarts.org for availability.

The Nutcracker comes to life once again, as the DAC's dance companies join together to enchant audiences of all ages at our annual production of Scenes from the Nutcracker. This Tchaikovsky holiday classic is abbreviated to an hour-long narrated show, specifically geared for young audiences. Children get to sit up close and are invited to meet and greet the characters after the performance.

The show, a Darien favorite since 2002, provides an appealing introduction to attending dance performances for the younger set. “The Nutcracker was written for children,” says DAC Dance Director and show choreographer Bonnie Gombos, “It’s a fabulous adventure that also exposes audiences to different kinds of dancing and it’s a great opportunity to spark an interest in dance. The original version is just a bit long for little ones, so we’ve adapted Scenes from the Nutcracker keeping them in mind.”

This year’s production features new dances and colorful costumes, guaranteed to delight all audience members. The dances consist of members from the DAC dance department’s junior, senior and adult companies.

Performances of Scenes from the Nutcracker take place in the DAC Weatherstone Studio at 2 Renshaw Road, behind Town Hall. Available show times are December 9, 15 and 16 at noon and 3 p.m. Tickets are $15. Reservations are highly recommended, as performances sell out quickly for this popular annual tradition. 
Call the DAC at (203) 655-8683 or email Bonnie@darienarts.org to RSVP for Scenes from the Nutcracker. 

The DAC’s Visual Arts department is offering two Holiday Craft Workshops for ages 6-12, between Nutcracker performances, on Saturday, December 8th and Saturday, December 15th from 1:15 pm. to 2:30 p.m. in the DAC Visual Arts Studio. Participants will create 3 holiday projects perfect for gift giving or home décor that include a snowman decoration, a holiday candy jar and Christmas ornament. 
Fee for the workshop is $35. A discounted rate of $45 that includes the Craft Workshop and a ticket for Scenes from the Nutcracker is available by emailing emily@darienarts.org
FIND OUT MORE & REGISTER for the Holiday Craft Workshops here or call (203) 655-8683. 


posted Nov 6, 2018, 9:56 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Nov 6, 2018, 10:05 AM ]

Saturday, November 10, 2018   

Join some of DAC's young and talented musical performers as they take the stage with some of Broadway's favorite songs. BROADWAY BEAT, a musical revue features music from Hairspray, Grease, Wicked, Rent and more! Led by Open Arts Executive Director, Rocco Natale.

Tickets are $10 at the door. Seating is limited. 

At the DAC Weatherstone Studio, 2 Renshaw Rd, behind Town Hall. 
Questions? Call (203) 655-8683.


posted Nov 2, 2018, 9:48 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 9:31 AM ]

2nd workshop added! Come join us for a festive wreath making workshop and a ladies night out! Bring friends!  
Wreaths and decorations will be provided. 
BYO Wine and refreshments. 

Fee: $55 

Friday, November 30, 2018, from 7-9pm. SOLD OUT

Thursday, November 29, 2018, from 7-9pm SOLD OUT

For questions, email DAC Visual Arts Director Emily Altman at emily@darienarts.org or call the DAC office at (203) 655-8683.

THE 24 DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, A Staged Reading on Nov. 3

posted Oct 17, 2018, 7:11 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Nov 1, 2018, 3:58 PM ]

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. Please check back here for details about more holiday fun at Scenes from the Nutcracker in December! 

We are excited to bring on the holidays with a staged reading of Madeleine L’Engle’s The 24 Days Before Christmas on Saturday, November 3rd at 5 p.m! The play was adapted for the stage by internationally produced playwright Jason Pizzarello and is directed by Carole Claps, director at Curtain Call. All are invited to arrive early for refreshments and to make a holiday craft, and to stay after the reading for a talkback with Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis.

In The 24 Days Before Christmas, the Austin family has a cherished tradition of doing something special every day counting down to Christmas - from baking cookies to decorating the tree. This year is a stressful one for Vicky Austin as she's cast as the youngest angel in the Christmas Pageant. Plus the family is preparing for the birth of a new brother or sister. Will the baby wait until January? Will Vicky mess up her big role? Will Christmas be ruined? The love between the members of the Austin family shines as bright as a Christmas star in the heart-warming tale for the holiday season. Filled with elves, carols, and laughter, this timeless adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's The 24 Days Before Christmas is sure to bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye.

Included in the DAC cast are Adelaide Meny, Luke Ryan, Natalie Treacy, Phebe Childs, Alana Arco Peck, Elizabeth Gonnella, Sofia Condon, Nick Condon and Louis Lehman. Executive Director of Open Arts Alliance and DAC Theatre Instructor Rocco Natale and Middlesex Middle School and Darien High School Musical Director Tim Sorenson also take the stage in the production. 

4:30pm: Refreshments and Family-friendly Holiday Craft, ages 5 & up
5:00pm: Staged Reading of The 24 Days Before Christmas
6:15pm: Talkback with Charlotte Jones Voiklis

There is a suggested donation of $10 at the door for attending The 24 Days of Christmas, which takes place in the DAC Weatherstone Studio. 

Seating is limited. For reservations, email DAC Theatre Director Maria Pizzarello at maria@darienarts.org, or call (203) 655-8683 for more information.

Welcome Dan Saulpaugh!

posted Oct 12, 2018, 6:01 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Oct 12, 2018, 6:02 AM ]

Musician Dan Saulpaugh has joined the Darien Arts Center to lead new group lessons that include a Rock Ensemble Workshop as well as the Young Composers’ Workshop, in addition to teaching private music lessons in guitar and voice. The group workshops each take place on Saturdays, beginning on October 13th and private guitar and voice lessons are ongoing.

Dan is an active performer and teacher throughout the greater New York City metro area and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz Studies from City College of New York. He also spent time studying with Douglass Rubio at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music as a Classical Guitar Performance major before relocating to New York City. While at Crane, Saulpaugh toured with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet playing in the guitar orchestra for performances of Shingo Fujii's "Shiki." While at City College, he studied privately with the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Competition winner, Lage Lund. Saulpaugh also works actively as a composer, bandleader and sideman. He released his debut EP "Before the Fire Is Gone" in April. He was a finalist in The Greene Space's 2015 Battle of the Burroughs: The Bronx and co-hosts the monthly jam session Jamhattan at Harlem's Silvana.

The Rock Ensemble Workshop will accept a group of up to eight students, who, under Saulpaugh’s direction, will form a rock band and play music from across rock music's repertoire, from 1950's rock and roll through modern indie rock. They will learn how to accompany a singer or soloist in a rock style, how to improvise, and how to find a cohesive group sound. The group workshop will be open to bass guitar, two drummers, three guitarists, piano/keyboard, three singers, two each of trumpet, saxophone, and trombone. Students will be encouraged to bring original material and will perform at the Darien Arts Center Holiday Recital. The workshop will take place on eight Saturdays from 1:30-3:00 p.m., October 13th through December 8th. There is no class on November 24th. Fee for the Rock Ensemble Workshop, which is open to grades 5 through 12, is $300.

The Young Composer's Workshop 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. Within a friendly and supportive atmosphere, students will learn a variety of compositional technics including writing short pieces using short harmonic progressions, form, melody and voice leading, as well as orchestration. Students will have their pieces critiqued and the workshop will culminate in a composition project that can be submitted to the Young Composers’ Festival in the spring. Students will also be invited to perform their pieces at the DAC Holiday Recital. Prerequisites include some level of proficiency with an instrument and reading notated music. The workshop will take place on eight Saturdays from noon to 1:30 p.m., October 13th through December 8th. There is no class on November 24th. Fee for the Young Composers’ Workshop, which is open to grades 4 through 12, is $300.

Private guitar and voice lessons with Dan Saulpaugh, for children and adults, take place on Tuesdays and Saturdays. For more information or to register, email DAC Music Director Juanita Bosee at juanita@darienarts.org or call (203) 655-8683. 

18th Annual Evening of Dance!

posted Oct 5, 2018, 6:15 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Oct 5, 2018, 6:16 AM ]

Once again, a dazzling ‘Evening of Dance’ promises to thrill audiences at our annual performances on Saturday, October 20th at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, October 21st at 4 p.m. Celebrating it’s 18th year, our ‘Evening of Dance’ will showcase an impressive culmination of performances by the DAC Dance department staff, and the adult and student performance groups that have worked together since 2000.

Under the direction of DAC Dance Director Bonnie Gombos, instructors and students have developed, choreographed and polished performances to feature the versatility of the dancers in a wide variety of dance forms. Performances will encompass classical ballet, modern, contemporary jazz, and ballroom styles, and approximately 30 dancers will perform in the 90-minute show. New this year: dancers have picked their favorite dances from over the years to perform a “best of” show.

‘An Evening of Dance 2018’ will take place at the DAC Weatherstone Studio. Tickets are $15 and reservations are recommended as both shows usually sell out. To make reservations email Bonnie Gombos at Bonnie@darienarts.org or call us at (203) 655-8683 for more information.

Join Us at Family Fun Day, September 29th

posted Sep 21, 2018, 4:41 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Sep 21, 2018, 4:41 AM ]

We are participating in the DDAC (Darien Domestic Abuse Council) and YWCA Family Fun Day at Hindley School on Saturday, September 29th from 1-4pm. DAC Visual Arts Director Emily Altman is preparing for the event, where the DAC will have a table for complimentary pumpkin painting and a caricaturist drawing free pictures from 1-3 p.m., with a drawing for a free full color caricature at 3pm. Net proceeds from Family Fun Day will support awareness, educational, and prevention initiatives in Darien. Proceeds will also fund victim services provided by the Domestic Violence Crisis Center and the Center for Family Justice and a newly established fund called “Wings of Hope”. 

Join us for some family fun!

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