Ariella Brandon, a junior at Seabury Hall, has been accepted into the summer dance programs of the Boston Conservatory and The Joffrey Ballet's New York City program. Brandon, who started dance relatively late at age 11, has blossomed into one of Maui's finest young performers. She distinguished herself last year as a sophomore in Maui OnStage's "Cats." This year, she was one of the stars in Seabury's dance showcase.
"Ariella Brandon is an exceptional young dancer who has helped to set the highest standards of excellence for the Seabury Hall dance program over the past 6 years," said David Ward, director of dance at Seabury Hall. "In my many years of teaching, I have rarely come across a more passionate or gifted young performer. Participation in a world-class summer dance intensive would offer this bright, talented student just the kind of inspiration that could help her reach her dreams of a professional career in the amazing world of dance."
Brandon has also been giving back. She and Seabury senior Kelsey Greenway founded Art with Heart, an organization of Seabury student artists who put on two gallery shows and performances to raise funds for a school in Africa under the U.K.-based Build Africa.
Ariella Brandon, a junior at Seabury Hall, has the opportunity to participate in summer dance programs at the Boston Conservatory and The Joffrey Ballet’s New York City program. If you have the desire and means to help, go into any branch of American Savings Bank and donate to the Ariella Brandon-Kainrath account… or call her mom.
Photo: Makena Gadient
Recently, Art with Heart decided to provide a catchment tank for an orphanage in Uganda that was experiencing typhoid fever because of a lack of clean water. Art with Heart also provides services to homeless children here on Maui.
In fact, a public service announcement about Art with Heart won an award from the Clarence E. Ching Foundation for Seabury, Brandon and Greenway. Brandon gave her prize money to Art with Heart.
And her accomplishments continue. Last week, Brandon received the Harvard Book Award, was inducted into the Cum Laude Society, was awarded the Mayeda Scholarship in the Performing Arts, and she and her fellow Art with Heart founder Greenway were given the Rowe Community Service Award.
"Dance has been my passion since my first ballet class when I was 11," Brandon said. "It is my way of expressing everything I feel, question and hope for. It is the art form through which my creative angst is met and through which I can find peace of mind and joyful movement of the body."
Brandon added, "I was never quite sure how far I could go with dance--if it would just be a high school hobby or something I'd continue to pursue in college and after. In the last two years, however, this uncertainty has become more clear and I've discovered something within myself that needs to keep dancing and hopefully dance professionally one day."
The Joffrey and Boston Conservatory summer programs are great opportunities for Brandon to study with well-known dancers. These include Desmond Richardson, founder and artistic director of Complexions Ballet Company, who appeared on Maui in 2010 as well as with Maria Kowroski, one of the principals of the New York City Ballet and a winner of the Grace Kelly award in 1994. In Boston, she will work with Tamas Geza Moriscz, who performed with the famed Frankfurt Ballet under the great innovator William Forsythe.
After her training, she has her eye on both the Avin Ailey Company in New York and Alonzo King Lines Ballet Company in San Francisco.
Brandon has enough for her airfare, but does not yet have a resource for the $6,000 tuition, which includes room and board.
Anyone who would like to contribute to help Brandon study in Boston and New York this summer can go into any branch of American Savings Bank and donate to the Ariella Brandon-Kainrath account, or you can call her mom, Catherine, at 876-1432 to get specifics about how to donate to this most deserving and gifted young lady.