Top youth dance ensemble headed to East Bay Center for the Performing Arts

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West County residents will often travel to Oakland or San Francisco to see performances by the Shawl-Anderson Youth Ensemble (SAYE), but for one night on Saturday a show will occur in their proverbial backyard.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, SAYE will perform along with professional dancers at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11​​ St. in Richmond. It will be joined by a performance by Richmond-based dance company Visceral Roots and other professional companies.

Admission is $15 or $10 for students and seniors. Online tickets can be purchased here.

Founded in 2006, SAYE — a program by the 59-year-old Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley — is a nine-member, pre-professional modern dance training program for high school students. It’s the only program of its kind in the East Bay. The selected teens work with professional choreographers and dancers as part of a unique training ground.

Ensemble members train weekly in modern dance and ballet, rehearse with guest choreographers, and perform throughout the year in various festivals and events around the Bay Area.

The 2016-2017 season features youth dancers Lily Gee, Bobbi Finkelstein, Bennett Fleming-Wood, Lydia Macy, Natasha Marder, Ella Miles-Urdan, Odessa Newman, Mackenzie Nye, and Ixchel Ramirez in choreography by ​Crystaldawn Bell, Abigail Hosein,​ ​Rogelio Lopez, Randee Paufve, Karla Quintero. 

“These technically gifted and artistically committed young dancers shine in a wide variety of modern movement,” organizers said.

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