Watch Berkowitz w/ Foster Dance's Schneider on Foster's outsized influence on the world of dance: Cable & Web

Tonight’s Chicago Metro North and Northwest suburban edition of Public Affairs features Jana Schneider, Foster Dance Studios’ interim artistic director, interviewed by show host Berkowitz.

Director Jana Schneider, at 26, is working with Kathryn Ebert- Foster Dance Studios' Executive Director, co-founder and minority owner; Graca Sales- Joffrey classical ballet master and principal coach; Sarah Goldstone- Foster Dance Studios' co-founder, majority owner and Associate Artistic Director and David Maurice-Interim Artistic Director at the Cocodaco Dance Project and choreographer of several of the eleven performances at this Saturday's 7th Annual Foster winter show and other strong Foster faculty members to continue the legacy of the late dancer and choreographer Ronn Stewart and tradition of Foster Dance.

Although Foster Dance is located in the relatively small city of Evanston [population about 75,000 and much of that Northwestern University related], it’s influence on the world of dance is huge. That has been due to the late Ronn Stewart taking up residence there about six years ago with his wife Sarah Goldstone.

Much of tonight’s show with Jana is to give the viewers a sense of Jana’s background, history and rapid dance, instruction and managerial skill development that enable her to play an instrumental role in the growth and continuation of Foster as a significant avantgarde player in the world of dance.

Ronn had begun to transform the dance world from his base in Santa Fe, New Mexico prior to coming to Evanston, but that impact was amplified dramatically at Foster, as Ronn worked intensively there, at the Joffrey Ballet and elsewhere in and around Chicago, continuing to develop his already strong dance and choreography skills and inspirational leadership skills.

With wife Sarah Goldstone, Ronn spearheaded a movement that combined the best of classical dance and strong technique with improvisational and interpretative dance.

When working with Ronn and Sarah, dancers were not instructed by choreographers but collaborated with them to produce a whole that was much greater than the sum of the parts. Individual dancers were not cogs in a machine but lovingly involved in the creation of a performance that jumped off the stage into the audience and back onto the Stage.

As Ronn said, “Remember why you are here,” “Keep going all the time,” “Listen to the dancers around you,” “Suspend judgment of colleagues until you understand,” but most of all    “Do it with love.” These principles are about as distant from the old approach to choreography and dance of “Dictate-Follow,” as one can get.

Ronn and Sarah were doing choreography that was not a sterile series of physical movements but a living embodiment of the dancers’ feelings, emotions, interpretations and classical discipline.

The dancers, under the vision and direction of the late Ronn Stewart and Sarah Goldstone, sought spiritual movements that were guided and elevated by joyful and soulful emotions and music that suffused their entire bodies.

With all of that spirit and transcendant vision,  physicality was never minimized at Foster. You can still hear the echoes at the 70,000 square feet of the three studios on the first floor of the Dance House that Ronn, Sarah, Kathryn and Sally built in 2011 out of a dormant physical structure and that continues to spring to life, daily, from the dancers within, aged 2 to 70.  [915 Foster St., Evanston, IL]

Those loud echoes you hear are of the late Ronn Stewart saying in the last year of his 42, “Look, I can still kick my leg above my head.”  And his dancers, now the dancers of Foster’s Jana Schneider and Cocodaco’s David Maurice get “On the ground,”—as low as you can go—when they are not airborne.

Foster is not your “Grandmother’s,” modern contemporary dance company.

For more about the substance of tonight’s Public Affairs TV show featuring Foster artistic director Jana Schneider and getting tickets for this Saturday's 7th Annual Foster Dance show, Together Unique, at 2 and 7 pm at the Music Institute at Nichols Hall in Evanston, please visit here.

You can watch the Schneider show 24/7 by clicking here:

And, the show airs this week:

--Tonight in 24 of Chicago's north and northwest suburbs at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Ch. 19 or Comcast Cable Ch. 35, as indicated, below:

Comcast Cable Ch. 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, parts of Inverness, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and on

Comcast Cable Ch. 35 in  Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.

--Every day this week in Evanston at 8:30 am and 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Ch. 6

--Tomorrow in Highland Park and Highwood at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Ch. 19

--tomorrow and Saturday in Aurora and surrounding areas at 6 pm on  Aurora Community TV (ACTV-10) on Comcast Cable Ch. 10

-- This Thursday in Rockford and surrounding areas  at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Ch. 17.

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