On Pointe with the Nutmeg Ballet: A unique collaboration

POSTED: 10/08/14, 8:12 PM EDT |
Submitted photo: The Nutmeg Ballet students visit the Five Points Gallery 
on Torringtonís Main Street. 

This time of year, the view of the Litchfield Hills is spectacular from The Nutmeg Ballet’s third-floor Premiere Studio. The rich autumn-colored foliage sets a unique and inspiring stage for the dancers who hail from near and far. There’s no denying it’s fall in New England and it’s already shaping up to be a fabulous one.

Torrington’s Main Street arts corridor is truly on its way to creating something magical in what was once a mill-town harnessing water power from the Naugatuck River. While Downtown Torrington maintains the charm of days gone by, the innovation fueling the arts renaissance is subtly resetting the scene in the very best way possible. The most recent collaboration between Five Points Gallery and The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory is the perfect example of this emergent synergy.

There’s no denying that Sharon E. Dante, Executive Director of The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, and Judith McElhone, Executive Director of Five Points Gallery, are at the forefront of the arts resurgence movement in Torrington. A recent collaborative effort between the two arts organizations highlights the importance of well-rounded and evolving arts education opportunities.

Interns representing a consortium of colleges including University of Connecticut/Torrington Campus, Northwestern Connecticut Community College, and Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, are participating in an innovative docent training program sponsored by Five Points Gallery. Beginning this Friday, Oct. 10, and during subsequent gallery exhibits which change every five weeks, docent interns will discuss and explore the works exhibited at Five Points Gallery with the students of The Nutmeg Ballet’s academic program.

This week, trainees of The Nutmeg Ballet will be learning about artists Susan Finnegan, Charlotte Evans, and Harriet Caldwell with the guidance of Five Point Gallery’s college intern docents. “Our students will benefit from this program by expanding their exposure to and knowledge of the discipline of visual art,” said The Nutmeg’s Academic Director, Donna Mattiello.

“This program is designed to foster a creative relationship between the visual and performing arts,” said Judy McElhone, Executive Director of Five Points Gallery. “The goal of this program is to foster a dynamic exchange of ideas. Dedicated, talented students discussing art with each other. It’s the perfect collaboration.”

This valuable educational partnership will be further enhanced Dec. 5 when Five Points Gallery and The Nutmeg Ballet co-sponsor a very special reception in honor of The Nutmeg’s 45th anniversary in conjunction with The Nutmeg’s Nutcracker performances at The Warner Theatre, Dec. 6-7. This exhibit will feature the work of artists Ann Scoville, Sal Gulino, and Don Perdue, each of whom has a very special relationship with the history of The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory.

Stay tuned for updates on this newly formed arts collaboration including details regarding The Nutmeg Ballet’s 45th Anniversary reception Dec. 5 at Five Points Gallery generously sponsored by Brooks, Todd & McNeill.