An important message from DK

Dance Kaleidoscope is devoted to spreading the message of hope, unity and beauty through diversity that is the art of dance. The horrific loss of black lives and the subsequent protests have magnified DK’s passion to be inclusive, highlight the contributions of the black and brown communities to this art form, and to stand with our dancers, staff, patrons, neighbors and community to acknowledge and eradicate racism in all forms.


Virtual Birthday Party for David

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On May 1, we threw a Virtual Birthday Party for our beloved Artistic Director, David Hochoy. During this time of so much uncertainty, we all need somthing to celebrate with love and laughter. So today, we invite everyone to honor David with a birthday greeting or a favorite memory. Below you'll find messages and a poem (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). You'll also find a video with lots of heart-felt (and wonderfully silly) messages for David. Plus, we're streaming David's delightful Merry Mozart to showcase his talent and the beautiful dancers.

"Happy birthday, David!!!!  And many more!  You are a delight and a gem in the world of dance!"
—Janet Rapala

"Here’s a little song and dance to help you continue to stay strong and healthy dear David! You inspire dancers everywhere...Carry on! Happy birthday!
—Carol Tharp-Perrin And Larry Gindhart

"Happy Birthday my dear Friend. I’m sure you are surviving in this terrible time. Take care and stay well. All my love."
—Norman Walker

"Happy Birthday - in absentia. Hope things will improve sometime in the near future and IOU a birthday dinner."
—Dorit Paul

Anita Sipes
—Anita Sipes

“Happy Birthday David! Dance Kaleidoscope has been blessed with your Artistic Leadership for more than 2 decades. Even though I have not been around DK for that long, it is obvious that YOU have been an innovating and wonderful influence to the company and to our community. I am thrilled to wish you a Happy Birthday and Many More!”
—Bobbi K. SamplesDavid Birthday photos 1

“I’m so appreciative of our friendship that has grown over the years. You inspire me in your cooking; your love for your Shay-Shay, Emi, and Kookie; in your excitement over your garden; and in your boundless creativity in dance. I’m so happy you’re in my life!”  
—Rita Spalding

“How lucky we are that you have chosen to make Indianapolis your home. Thank you for your artistry, sensitivity, dedication, and friendship. Happy Birthday!”
—Cheryl & Jim Strain

“Amy and I wish for you a wonderful birthday David. You unceasingly celebrate the best in others. It is only fitting that on your birthday, you are celebrated. Happy Birthday!”
—Clay & Amy Robbins

“Happy birthday, David! Thank you for all of your love and dedication through the years!”
—Mariel Greenlee

“Happy Birthday, David, have a memorable day filled with wishes coming true . . . remotely!”
—Janie Halteman

"David! We wish you the happiest of birthdays! Sending a big virtual hug. And thank you for all the beautiful art you put forth into the world. We need it more than ever."
—Jan & Tim Lucas

"Happy Birthday David! And many, many more! Love, Light and Laugher."
—Eve Earley

Watch this beautifully goofy video of birthday greetings from the dancers, some of the choreographers who have worked with David recently, and a handful of others who love David. 
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“One of my happiest memories is of zipping through downtown Indy after a late dinner at the Cantebury. In my red Saab with the sun roof open, I was taking you and Richard Ford back to your car—with Sable, my German Shepard in the back seat. You were in the back with Sable, who was alternately poking her head through the sunroof and nuzzling the back of Richard's neck. And we were all laughing uproariously. Thanks, David, for the many nights of pleasure and delight.”
—Sarah Barney

“David, I will never forget the first time I attended a DK performance and saw you and your glittery jacket talk about the show and choreography. Since that first performance I was hooked and happy to now call you my friend. Your spirit, your vision and your passion drives us all.”
—Geovani Bonilla

“Happy Birthday, David!”
—Beverly Lang

“Dearest David, for many years  you have danced into our hearts. Our emotions. Our imaginations. You have set and realized the most beautiful and uncompromising artistic standards for DK. You have been courageous and a heroic visionary. You are an inspiring light for all of us ...whether we dance or these complicated times. Happy, Happy Birthday.” David Birthday photos 2
— Marianne Tobias

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAVID!! Cathy & I wish you best for your birthday. This may be the longest “social distance” greeting you receive. Anyway, have a great day.”
—George & Cathy Korinek

“Here’s wishing you an amazing Birthday and a terrific year!  While the upcoming year is sure to be full of challenges, I know that it will also be full of triumphs for both you and DK!  Best wishes.”  
—Rick Kissel

“We wish you every joy on your birthday. You radiate kindness and thoughtfulness to all, as well as inspiring the dancers and devoted followers of DK. May you have many more birthdays in better times than these.”
—Freddie & Anne Kelvin

“Enjoyed all your work all these years. Stay well!”
—Terry and Margaret Yen

“David, you are an inspiration to all of us. You have touched our hearts and our spirits by sharing his talent and vision. We raise a toast to you on your Birthday.”
—Sherrie & John Knighton

"Dan & I wish you a happy birthday even in these times of disruption. Keep inspiring us with your  beautiful works & keep us laughing! I hope we can see them in person safely & sooner rather than later."
—Kate & Dan Appel

"I am reminded of when you arrived in Indy in August(?).  Richard Ford raved about you and told me to see DK at Penrod.  I was hugely disappointed. (Sometime later I realized you would have not had time to influence that production.) Tangential to that, Richard was either going or coming from a party to welcome you to Indy and was in a car accident. Sometime later, Richard invited me to attend your first DK production. (Somehow I seem to remember it was on the upper stage - but.....???). It was fabulous! I went immediately and purchased a season ticket and have done so every season since. Thank you Richard and thank you David!"
—Gay Burkhart

Watch this performance of David Hochoy's brightly funny piece, Merry Mozart. This video will be available for free streaming on DK's YouTube channel until noon on Monday, May 4, 2020. 

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"We wish you a very happy birthday!!!"
—Kristine Beckwith

"Greetings David, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY.   They do have a way of accumulating. (May is also sort of birthday month in my family: my mother, sister, brother and me.) Celebrate it  well.  Isn’t life a wonderful gift.  And do be able to dance one’s way through it.  Icing on the cake. Friends of mine named Andahazy had their own studios and company in Minnesota.  I once thought I had a chance to teach near there.  I contemplated, in spite of two left feet, taking their adult beginners’ class.  But the teaching job never materialized.  A great lost opportunity I still sometimes regret. To compensate, I come to as many dance performances as I can squeeze into my schedule. 

"Dance Kaleidoscope has been a great delight for me for many years now.  Am I not lucky that years ago Chuck Snyder gave Sister Stella and me a pair of comp tickets. I have maintained a pair of season tickets ever since.  (As well as “season” tickets for Butler Ballet.)   Many thanks to you not only for my pleasure, but also for the great benefit you and DK have been to the Indianapolis community.  What a treasure for any city. So, again, Happy Birthday, and many more. Peace and all good."           
—Fr. Leopold, R. Keffler, O.F.M. Conv.

"Wishing you a very happy and joyful day."
—Kay Baker 

"Just wanting to send you a happy birthday wish. Thank you for all you do to enrich the arts in Indianapolis. We’re very lucky to have you.  Sending love from Florida."
—Joyce & Maj Sheldon

"Sending warm wishes your way for a very happy birthday David!"
—Sherris Johnson

When honoring your birthday the following thoughts come to mind…
You have led Dance Kaleidoscope through these many years
With a dedication and devotion that mastered any fears
Whether creating choreography that suits emotion to the letter
Or telling the great Misha that he can do better
The foundation you have built to support modern dance
Will establish your legacy and not leave it to chance
Your heart and your mind have created such joy
So that today we celebrate the birthday of David Hochoy
—T.A. Shula

“Your birthday is a perfect time to celebrate YOU, for all that you bring to the world.  Your energy, drive, and talent continue to make a great impact, both here, locally, and beyond.  You are an incredible man, and I wish you the happiest of birthdays!”|
—Jim Anthony

“Happiest of Birthdays, David! You have helped to make Indianapolis a destination city that can value all types of art and entertainment. Thank you for helping to open my eyes to the treasures found in dance and the dance community. Enjoy your special day!” 
—Kim Donahue  David Birthday photos 3

“David! Have the happiest of birthdays…albeit a simple celebration but full of wonderful messages, inspiring moments and amazing friends. Know that you are blessed and that we feel blessed calling you friend!
—Lynn Webster

“Happy Birthday, David. Even during these slightly less than normal times, you remain a bright light and leader. Your generous heart helps us all get through these days.”
—Paul Hansen

"Thank you for your guidance and inspiration as you continue to Keep On Dancing."
—Cindy Oler

"Happy Birthday!"
Jamie Gibbs and Paco Argiz

"Dear David, have an awesome birthday & keep repeating for many more years. Hugs virtually/love in real time."
—Rita Kohn

"I just finished watching your virtual party and I am overwhelmed and happy with all that your friends said/did/shared. Wow are you loved and how I love having worked with you for going on 25 years.  Memory...when I first joined the company you always bought me shoes from Oregon.  Loved the shoe story shared by Bob.  I love you and am so proud of you. I am so fortunate to have you as my partner in these times leading DK. We will emerge! Love you."
—Jan Virgin

“I can't think of a better way to celebrate your birthday than with a gift to DK. A collective toast from your many friends is in order. I send you my love and hugs for a joyous birthday, David.”
—Anne Scheele

Watch this Thank You video from David Hochoy. 

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The people listed below have made donations to DK in honor of David Hochoy's Birthday. We will update this list as new donations come in. If you would like to make a donation now, use this link. You may also mail donations to Dance Kaleidoscope marked "David Hochoy's B'day" on the memo line to Dance Kaleidoscope, 4603 Clarendon Rs., Ste. 32, Indianapolis, IN 46208. Thank you! 

Donate in Honor of David's Birthday with this secure link. 

Peter Amster, Kay Baker, Sarah Barney, Frank & Katrina Basile, Jeff Berman, Amy Bixler, Jenny Bizzoco & Hector Rosa, Geovani Bonilla, Michael Camp, Rex Camp, Sarah Cannon, Babette Coffey Fisch, Mark Chestnut, Peter Chira, Stuart Coleman, Luis Colon Pieretti, Ian & Natalie Cruz, Laurie Cutsinger, Lea Davis, Scott & Clara Deal, Doug Dilling, Gregory Disney-Britton, Simone-Thérèse Dominique, Jan Dunn, Cheryl Eiszner, Jennifer Farquhar Greenlee, Douglas Feller, Lisa Furr Coleman, Lisa Freeman, Kevin Fyffe, Ted Givens, Chuck Goad, Edward Godby-Schwab, Greg Goessner, Laurel Goetzinger, Bob Gowen & Virgil Chan,Mariel Greenlee, Gloria Greisinger, Janie Halteman, Paul Hansen & Kenyon Brown, Liberty Harris, Olav Haug, Carole Hochoy, David Hochoy, Kuiyin Hochoy, Beulah Holder-Lewis, Brian Honigbaum, Jeff Hutson, Dorothy Ilgen, Tim Jeffers, Jen Johansen, Erin Kem, Rick Kissel, Sherrie & John Knighton, Larry Krauser, James Kuester, Michael Lamirand, Jeremy Antón Linberg, Jess Livinghouse, Stephanie Martinez, Stephanie Martinez, Stephen McCoy, Jessica McTighe, Andre Megerdichian, Ricardo Melendez, Theresa Mohr, Bill Moldenhauer, Deena Nystrom, Jackie Nytes & Michael O'Brien, Phil O’Malley, Maryanne & Patrick O’Malley, Tim Ottinger, Gail & Brian Payne, Amy Perry, Judith Peters, Kate Peterson, Cynthia Pratt, Aaron Rambo, Jim Ream, Jessica Reckamp, Linda Rees, Sandy & Bob Reiberg, Miriam Resnick, Emily Ristine Holloway, Clay & Amy Robbins, Dennis Ryerson, Bobbi & John Samples, Sherrie Sawyer, Janie Sawyer Legendre, Anne Scheele, Rosalind Schrodt, Ellen Sebahar, Michael Sells, Anindita Sen, Malcolm Smith & Heather McPherson, Ann M. Stack, Idriene Steiman, Kathy Steinberg, Steven Stolen & Rob MacPherson, Cheryl & Jim Strain, Peter Subers, Thomas Sullivan, Cindy Tibbits Frey, Margo Tucker, Mark & Ann Varnau, Mary Varnau Brooke, Jan & Joe Virgin, Lynn Webster, Robert Williams, David Wu, Sarah Young Powers, Jeanne Zaremba

DK Senior Dancer Jillian Godwin

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September 23, 2019

Now in her 17th season dancing with Dance Kaleidoscope, Jillian Godwin is the senior dancer. This is a respected and important position because she helps pass the company's traditions and work ethics on to the younger dancers. 

This is a special time in my career. As I watch the newest dancers in the company, I realize that one day it will be time for them to take on my role. So, I want to show them every day what a dedicated, driven artist looks like.

I’ve seen quite a lot of change in myself since I started back in the early 2000’s. I was still just trying to find out who I was then and how I wanted to dance and express. I’ve come to realize that I am now dancing with my spirit to the fullest.

Jillian senior photo pullquoteThe only thing that has changed for me is the faces I see every day at work. I’ve seen a lot of dancers come and go for one reason or another, but I’ve seen lots of growth in the caliber of dancers.

We have heathy bonds with each other inside and outside the studio. And everyone has had open arms to the new dancers.  We want to work together to create a cohesive unit.

I was definitely mentored a lot by Liberty Harris and Kenoth Shane Patton as well as André Megerdichian. They pushed me to be the best I could be.

Artistically, we have grown as an organization with David Hochoy’s leadership, with guest choreographers coming in and with the dancers creating new works. 

Today, my role is to be present, to still be moldable, and to help where I'm needed. I don’t give out little corrections or thoughts as often because I believe we get better by doing.

I want to pass on the importance of the spirit of a dancer. You may have the most beautiful body, extensions, lines and jumps. But all that is nothing if you don’t infuse your dancing with your life experiences and imagination – even revealing the broken pieces of your heart you’ve put back together and the light that lives inside you. That is being an artist.
     —Jillian Godwin

Here are thoughts from three of DK's newest dancers on what it's like to join the company.

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Being a newbie, we are always hearing about effort and the things we demand of ourselves. Watching Jillian Godwin, it is apparent that she demands only greatness of herself. She inspires me daily.
     —Kieran King

As someone new in the company and someone fairly new to the Graham technique, I look to my colleagues for aesthetic and inspiration. They’re always there to answer my questions and coach me. I’ve felt myself become a part of the group seamlessly.
     —Aaron Steinberg

Coming into Dance Kaleidoscope, I was both nervous and excited. The amount of kindness and generosity the other dancers have shown me is immeasurable. Jillian Godwin was one of the first dancers I talked to, and she immediately helped me feel at home by sharing her expertise, experience and passion.
     —Sarah Taylor

DK is grateful to the following 2019-20 season sponsors:
Sponsoring Jillian Godwin - Miriam & David Resnick
Sponsoring Kieran King and Aaron Steinberg - St. Vincent Sports Performance
Sponsoring Sarah Taylor - Cheryl & Jim Strain

Photos of Jillian Godwin, Kieran King, Aaron Steinberg, and Sarah Taylor by the talented Chris Crawl.

Missy Thompson & Paige Robinson: On the Marquee

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Photos of dancers Missy Thompson and Paige Robinson have been in all the ads and signage for this weekend's performances of Women Sublime at Indiana Repertory Theatre. We thought we'd do a Q & A with them, so you can learn more about these two talented, beautiful women. If you're reading this before October 20, get tickets to see them in Women Sublime here.

Q: What was your first reaction when you saw this marquee at Indiana Repertorie Theatre?
Missy (M): I think it’s pretty awesome! It’s definitely a career milestone for me, and such an honor to represent the company in that way.
Paige (P):
It’s really weird to see myself larger than life, literally. I love the picture and think it looks beautiful but definitely weird to see myself up there.

Q: What does it feel like to see your photos all over town in ads for the show? Have friends or family contacted you after seeing the ads?
It’s a pretty cool feeling, seeing yourself in ads and on posters, but it also adds a feeling of responsibility to the company and to the integrity of the show as a whole. This show has some pretty serious content that tackles some very important issues. I feel humbled to be a part of this, and I know my family is proud.
I had a student come up and tell me she saw me in the mailer and in her mom's email. The look on her face was pretty priceless. My students are some of my favorite fans.

Q: Now on to the more important questions. Cats or dogs?
M: Dogs! Cats and kittens are cute, but I have always been a dog person. I love how loyal they are and what great companions they make.
Cats! I have two right now named Ellie and Maya.

Q: What are you reading right now?
M: I enjoy reading, but I pretty much stick to my favorites that I read over and over such as Jane Austen novels and classics like "Breakfast at Tiffany’s."
P: I love to read. I just finished reading "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng. Now I’m reading "The Goldfinch."

Q: Are you superstitious?
M: I’m not superstitious. I’ve never really gotten into that.
P: Not particularly but before shows I have some habits and rituals.

Q: At the theater, what do you do 30 minutes before a show begins?
M: I’m usually finishing up my hair and makeup and keeping my body warm backstage. I don’t have any habits or rituals that I do—I like to keep my mind in the moment and be  prepared for anything that could happen in the show.
P: When we get our half hour call, I like to be almost done with my hair and makeup. I always put my costume on first then my lipstick. Once I get up to the stage I have a few things I have to do physically before every show, some of which warm me up and some of which just center my mind. I always have my headphones in and I have a pre show playlist I listen to. I don’t like to talk to people, I need to be alone to focus. 

Q: Do you get nervous? What do you do to stay calm before the curtain goes up?
M: Sometimes I get butterflies just before the curtain opens, but once I’m onstage those go away. I love to get lost in the moment onstage. There is a beautiful energy and freedom in performance that you can’t experience anywhere else. If I had to call it anything, I would say I get a rush of excitement.
P: Of course I get nervous. I get less nervous the more experience I’ve had but I have a trick. My figure skating coach told me to take deep breaths and to breathe all of my nerves and anxiety into the audience, towards my mom specifically, so that she would hold all my nerves till I was done. I think of that and take big deep breaths before every show. 

Q & A with Stephanie Martinez

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Chicago choreographer Stephanie Martinez is much in demand—many people have said her "star is on the rise," including Dance Magazine. For Dance Kaleidoscope's performances of Dance is a Contact Sport (June 1-4 at IRT), Stephanie has created a marvelous dance/theater piece that has taken both her and the DK dancers out of their comfort zones.

In ten words or less, how would you describe your new piece?
A look into the sports world told through an abstract point of view.

Stu Mariel Steph whiteWhere did the idea for your new piece come from?
The idea came from my first time in Indy when I was creating on the company. I was walking around downtown before my  premier and was struck by the passion and enthusiasm the fans had for their sports teams. I feel that way about dance and thought what a great opportunity it would be to merge them both together.

Did you and your assistants work on the piece before traveling to Indianapolis?
Yes, my assistants and I did quite a bit of pre-prep and research before we came to DK. This is not an ordinary ballet. It took months to conceptualize a clear idea and the music design was a whole other beast to tackle. The movement vocabulary also needed to be created beforehand.

How much did your vision for the piece change once you were in the DK studio?
As far as the work and my vision, I really allow for any new creation to take true shape in the room. We plan but allow things to unfold. That’s the magic of process. The work actually evolved and exceeded my expectations.

How would you describe the DK dancers?
The DK dancers are incredible people and artists. They truly can take ideas, material, and concepts and bring them to life. This was not an easy subject because it could have been perceived as literal and perhaps a bit corny. I really wanted the dancers to amplify the love of sports through a fans eye and they embraced the challenge, evolving in front of my eyes.

What was most surprising from your time in the studio, creating this piece on DK?Marie Cody sm
The most surprising thing that came out of this process was finding out how much personality the dancers have individually and as a group. They were incredibly open to new ideas, unafraid to make mistakes, and able to laugh at themselves when beautiful mistakes did happen. The fun and energetic ballet you are about to see is a direct result of the willingness and playfulness they had with me in the room.
What’s next for you?
I will be spending time at home in Chicago preparing for my upcoming commisions for Ballet Memphis, Cincinnati Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Charlotte Ballet, and a world-premier for the Joffrey Ballet.

Get Tickets to see Stephanie's new piece for DK here.

Black and white photos by Chris Crawl, color photos by Freddie Kelvin.