A French Success Story: Carole Alexis

Port Chester, March 10, 2021

We invite you to watch the latest episode in the series French Success Stories published by the Consulate General of France in New York: https://newyork.consulfrance.org/french-success-story-carole-alexis.

In this interview, the founder of Westchester’s Premier Dance Company, Ballet des Amériques, explains her background, what drew her to New York, the idea behind the “Ballet of the Americas” and her latest project, the revival of the Dancing Caravan:

The Dancing Caravan

Once upon a time, there was a King who loved to dance. They called him the Sun King. He had a brilliant friend who led a theater company – an actor, a writer and a lover of dance. His name was Molière. Together with a fine fellow named Beauchamp, the first to set down the five dance positions of the feet and arms, and Lully, the renowned composer and choreographer of the Paris Opera, they established the comédie-ballet, the original dance troupe.

Once upon a time, dance left the palace for the stage, and even the King himself, a fine terpsichorean, would occasionally take a turn.  

Once upon a time, because everyone needed beauty, needed to laugh, to be transported, comédie-ballet took to the road, giving performances for all the people on stages far removed from the palace and the court.

Once upon a time, three hundred fifty years ago, the Dancing Caravan was born!

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

In this time, our time, more than ever, we need beauty, we need to laugh, we need to be transported.

We need the Dancing Caravan.

The challenge of surviving the pandemic with our physical and mental health intact has required separation. Most of us have been unable go to work, or church, or enjoy any sort of get-together. No concerts, movies, plays or dance performances had been permitted except those that are virtual – two-dimensional.  

But we live in a three-dimensional world. As useful as streaming on the screen has been, it is not the same as real performance, particularly when it comes to dance. 

We need depth.  

During the pandemic, the director and choreographer, Carole Alexis, has made it her mission to bring live dance to the people safely. With masks and social distancing, she has developed an itinerant company that displays the beauty of her all-world choreography, on stage, in public venues, throughout the New York Metropolitan area.  

They bring the performance to the people outdoors, under the open sky or under a tent, or even indoors in the right setting, with social distancing and mask requirements that protect both the audience and the performers.

With the city skyline as a magnificent backdrop, they performed in a Long Island City park for a seated audience of fifty and three hundred more standing nearby or watching from neighboring buildings.

Under a tent in Rye, with the Long Island Sound at sunset providing another gorgeous setting, they presented an array of Carole Alexis’s provocative dances for another socially distanced audience.

In December, Carole found a brilliant solution to presenting her multi-colored Nutcracker in a mansion with audiences of no more than twenty at a time moving through the rooms while maintaining their distance, on a unique visit with Drosselmeyer and Marie.

In addition to a portable stage that can be assembled in no time and a music system that is cutting edge, the Carole Alexis Company aka Ballet des Amériques – the Dancing Caravan – brings the most important element of all to each community, the experience of Art with a capital A.

Art for the People.

Dance that embraces Hip-Hop and Nureyev.  

Brilliant dancers of diverse backgrounds representing all of us.

Cultural influences from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and the Americas.

Carole Alexis draws from the full palette of color and texture. She has an ear that hears the drumbeat of tympani and the melody on the wind. Her music comes from the island, the jungle and the conservatory. Her dances blossom like exotic flowers and take us beyond ourselves.

In a time when life has become a cycle of repetition with so little variety that one is never sure what day it is, Ballet des Ameriques brings us a vibrant, life-affirming opportunity to once again engage with beauty and its creation.

Once upon a time, in the 17th Century an itinerant company raised the spirits of a people who had endured the Great Plagues of Europe.

Today, Carole Alexis brings us the Dancing Caravan to raise the spirits of a people who have been kept apart.

Every community needs this company, this beauty, this Art.

Carole Alexis will bring it to yours.

A gift for the people, fit for a King!

Contact us at info@balletdesameriques.com or 718-309-0437 for more information.

You suggest a space with a solid level surface and an electrical outlet, and we will bring our portable sprung dance floor, sound, lights, dressing-room tents, and chairs – and, of course, the art of dance.

Ballet des Amériques is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization – 16 King St., Port Chester, NY 10573

About Ballet des Amériques School & Company, Inc.

Under the direction of Carole Alexis, Ballet des Amériques School & Company combines ballet training, dance education and performance. Students of the School receive intensive training in classical ballet, in modern and in contemporary dance as well as a well-rounded dance education (with classes in music, dance history, anatomy) in a comprehensive and integrated curriculum-based pre-professional program. The professional dancers of the Company of Ballet des Amériques perform original choreographies throughout the greater New York City area and increasingly throughout the world.