Dance group mixes things up for the holidays • Brooklyn Paper

Dance group mixes things up for the holidays

Gail Kroog, the director of the Brooklyn Dance Ensemble, performed at her group’s annaul holiday showcase in Bensonhurst on Sunday.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

“The Nutcracker” wasn’t the only holiday dance show worth seeing this Christmas.

The Brooklyn Dance Center performed flamenco, modern dance and classical ballet to a sold-out crowd as part of its annual holiday concert at IS 281 in Bensonhurst on Dec. 17. The show, “Illuminations of Christmas,” showcased a diverse group of original works by members of the Gravesend center’s dance ensemble, and music from the band August Michael and Friends.

The center’s director, Gail Kroog, said the show succeeded in mixing things up for the holidays.

“We wanted to do something new,” Kroog said. “There was something for everyone.”

The show included choreographer Phil Stambaugh’s “Ghosts of Christmas Past,” as well as “Infinite Grace,” a crowd favorite set to the popular anthem “Amazing Grace” that was choreographed and performed by Daniel Ferrante.

Kroog founded the dance center on W. Sixth Street at Avenue U in the mid 1980s to give dancers a place to hone their craft.

“It was always my lifelong dream to create a space where people can grow as dancers,” said Kroog, who studied modern dance and has a background in ballet, tap and gymnastics. “The community needed a place for artists to get together.”

The center offers rehearsal space and year-round instruction in 12 different dance styles — including belly dancing and hip-hop — as well as yoga, pilates and zumba classes. The center’s ensemble performs at venues throughout the city.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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