Roberta on the Arts
A Spotlight on Christopher Mohnani, Artistic Director/Founder, Dance Theatre of Tennessee
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A Spotlight on Christopher Mohnani, Artistic Director/Founder, Dance Theatre of Tennessee

- Offstage with the Dancers

www.TutusDivine.com

Artful Ballet Tutus,
Costumes, and Stagewear.
For the Ballerina or Danseur, for Performance or Competition.
Meticulous, Finest
Fabrics and Handiwork.
Detail to Embellishments,
One of a Kind!

4N065 Walt Whitman Rd.
St. Charles, IL 60175
(630) 513-6321
balletnanna@aol.com

A Spotlight on
Christopher Mohnani
Artistic Director/Founder
Dance Theatre of Tennessee
and Youth Ensemble
www.dancetheatretn.org

2710 Old Lebanon Rd., 25B
Nashville, TN 37214
615.391.5500

With Company Costumes by
www.TutusDivine.com


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 23, 2011


I recently heard about Christopher Mohnani, from Makati City, in the Philippines, Founder and Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Tennessee, from Paula Drake, Founder and Owner of Tutus Divine, the elegant costume design company for ballet artists and companies in St. Charles, Illinois. Dance Theatre of Tennessee, founded in 2004, is called the “performance arm” of the Asian American Performing Arts Society. Mr. Mohnani was a Principal Danseur with Nashville Ballet as well as a soloist and principal with Ballet Manila and Krasnoyarsk State Opera and Ballet Theater of Russia.

Some of Mr. Mohnani’s acclaimed performance roles were Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), Snow King (The Nutcracker), Conrad (Le Corsaire), Prince Desire (The Sleeping Beauty), Albrecht (Giselle), and he performed in a variety of George Balanchine’s ballet’s, such as Four Temperaments. He is impassioned about celebrating Asian American arts and artists, and thus he created (2004) the Asian American Performing Arts Society. He has seen his students compete and win in world ballet competitions. Mr. Mohnani was awarded Career Transition for Dancers 2008-2009 Sono Osato Fellowship Award.

The Dance Theatre of Tennessee and Youth Ensemble is the official home of the Academy of Performing Arts, "a progressive arts studio located in the heart of the historic Donelson/Hermitage/Opryland area of Nashville. It offers world-class instructors, numerous performance opportunities, and a warm, nurturing environment for its students". (DTT Website) One of Mr. Mohnani’s projects is a school outreach program, bringing his ballets and performers to local children and audiences. About 3,000 children and adults have experienced the exhilaration of Dance Theatre of Tennessee and its Youth Ensemble on numerous school stages, and it was recognized as a top dance school in Metro Nashville in 2009, shortly after the Academy's formation.

Dance Theatre of Tennessee has just announced its 2011 Summer Intensive Program, June 27 – July 30, 2011. Dance students, ages 12-22, can study in Mr. Mohnani’s Program for three or five weeks. In the Professional Senior Summer Intensive Program, the development of “proper technique” is emphasized in both sessions, with performance and audition opportunities available in the five-week session. Mr. Mohnani will be joined by guest teachers, currently on faculties of Royal Ballet, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Lines Ballet, Nashville School for the Arts, Texas Ballet Theatre, and Ballet West. Other guest teachers are a ballet author and a Hip Hop choreographer.

In the Junior Summer Intensive Program, children can experience three-week sessions in ballet, jazz dance, hip hop, and musical theater. There’s also a program called Tutus & Tiaras Tiny Tots, ages 2-6, and a seven-week, full-day, arts immersion Summer Day Camp, with dance, music, theatre, and field trips. Dance Theatre of Tennessee also offers After-School and Pre-School dance enrichment programs. You can contact Dance Theatre of Tennessee for more information on any of these programs or projects at 615.391.5500. You can also click here for their upcoming dance performance schedule.

Paula Drake, Founder and Owner of Tutus Divine, has been furnishing Dance Theatre of Tennessee with elegant, unique, and long-lasting, custom-made costumes from her home-based shop in St. Charles, Illinois. You can view samples of children’s costumes, classical costumes, contemporary costumes, custom headpieces, men’s costumes, rental costumes, and lovely, refurbished costumes. Paula travels widely to acquire only the finest of bridal quality trims and laces, and she even sews with Swarovski crystal beads. Competition and Company costumes are always one-of-a-kind, and she matches arm ruffles to the dancer’s tutu. Paula will work from sketches, designs, photos, and conversational images. Tutus Divine is the destination for exquisite, career-quality dance costumes. You can reach Tutus Divine and Paula Drake, seven days/week, at 630.513.6321. You can see Dance Theatre of Tennessee performing in costumes by Tutus Divine below.



Pas D' Action from "La Bayadere" (Gamzatti's Wedding)
Dance Theatre of Tennessee,
Christopher Mohnani Artistic Director
Gamzatti - Jennifer Drake
Solor - Brian Williamson
Handmade Costumes by: Tutus Divine
Courtesy of Martin O'Connor

"Chopiniana" ("Les Sylphides")
Dance Theatre of Tennessee,
Christopher Mohnani Artistic Director
Handmade Costumes by: Tutus Divine
Courtesy of Martin O'Connor


"Chopiniana" ("Les Sylphides")
Dance Theatre of Tennessee,
Christopher Mohnani Artistic Director
Mazurka: Marian Faustino
Handmade Costumes by: Tutus Divine
Courtesy of Martin O'Connor


"Chopiniana" ("Les Sylphides")
Dance Theatre of Tennessee,
Christopher Mohnani Artistic Director
Poet: Brian Williamson
Waltz: Jennifer Drake
Prelude: Ea Torrado
Courtesy of Martin O'Connor

"The Nutcracker"
Dance Theatre of Tennessee,
Christopher Mohnani Artistic Director
Sugar Plum Fairy: Jennifer Drake
Dew Drop Fairy: Marian Faustino
Handmade Costumes by: Tutus Divine
Courtesy of Martin O'Connor

Snow Scene from "The Nutcracker"
Dance Theatre of Tennessee,
Christopher Mohnani Artistic Director
Handmade Costumes: Tutus Divine
Courtesy of Martin O'Connor


Snow Scene Pas De Deux from "The Nutcracker"
Dance Theatre of Tennessee,
Christopher Mohnani Artistic Director
Snow Queen: Jennifer Drake
Snow King: Mykl Rodriguez
Handmade Costumes by: Tutus Divine
Courtesy of Martin O'Connor

Sugar Plum Fairy Pas De Deux from "The Nutcracker"
Dance Theatre of Tennessee,
Christopher Mohnani Artistic Director
Sugar Plum Fairy: Marian Faustino
Sugar Plum Cavalier: Brian Williamson
Handmade Costumes by: Tutus Divine
Courtesy of Martin O'Connor

Sugar Plum Cavalier from "The Nutcracker"
Dance Theatre of Tennessee,
Christopher Mohnani Artistic Director
Cavalier: Brian Williamson
Handmade Costumes by: Tutus Divine
Courtesy of Martin O'Connor


Reed Flutes from "The Nutcracker"
Dance Theatre of Tennessee,
Christopher Mohnani Artistic Director
Handmade Costumes by: Tutus Divine
Courtesy of Martin O'Connor



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net