As an urban designer and architect, I commend the Ordway Center for again providing our St. Paul, Minnesota community with its Summer Dance Series in 2012. This summer-long, weekly outdoor event is an exceptional example of community building. People from all over gather downtown in a public plaza and dance the night away to every sort of music type and ethnicity. All ages from the very, very young to teens and much, much older have a wonderful dance experience with free lesson prior to the featured live band performance. For-profit and nonprofit dance groups lead the lesson, building audience and patrons for their venues. Food, drinks, tables, chairs - every detail for a fun evening on a summer night has been well thought out - a splendid urban event that brings people together. Thank you, Ordway Center.
The summer of 2010 the Ordway Theatre provided a vibrant, fun, evening outdoor dance series in a downtown plaza, featuring live music, dance demonstrations and dancing by all to follow - all free to whomever wished to attend. Dances included the tango, country western / cajun, disco, ballroom, latin, etc. People of all ages and cultural backgrounds danced, watched while sipped beverages from outdoor seating / tables and enjoyed these wonderful summer events far into the evening. The following night the St. Paul Public Library featured an outdoor film of the same dance theme featured by the Ordway the night before. As the Ordway dance series progressed, people increasingly dress the part and local dance clubs / organizations provided true inspiration for mastering each dance. The Ordway Dance Series was successful on many levels - and - most importantly, as a great community builder for our lovely city, St. Paul, Minnesota. Thanks you, Ordway!
In the spring of 2010, my Engineering Graphics and Design class collaborated with students/faculty from Macalester and the dance troupe Diavolo through the Ordway's Campus Connections program. The Ordway staff created opportunities for my students that were beyond anything I could have hoped for. My students, mostly freshmen engineering students, were given the chance to design with and for dancers. We received so much help and support from the Ordway that, despite the ambitious nature of the project, it was truly a great experience from start to finish.
My first experience at the Ordway featured the most talented high schoolers in St. Paul. The Ordway also hosted a luncheon, for me and others in the African American community, desiring to better connect our artistic heritage. By outreaching to St. Paul’s future artistic community, the Ordway assures its sustainability and remains a forward thinking organization.
The Ordway is a fantastic organization! I was highly involved there last Spring, both as an intern and a participant in the Campus Connections Program. As an intern in the Education Department, I saw firsthand how much effort was put into providing schoolchildren with the opportunity to attend world-class performances. I saw lots of kids awed by the beautiful theater and cheering wildly for musicians and dancers they would have never been able to see otherwise. The Education Department also does an excellent job of supporting teachers by providing them with guides to weave the performance into their curriculum.
I was simultaneously involved with a residency sponsored by the Ordway's Campus Connections program. The Ordway brought an amazing dance company, Diavolo Dance Theater, to collaborate with students at three local colleges to create a piece. I was one of three lead dancers chosen to coordinate the production. As a college student, working with a professional company developed my work ethic and technical skills, and coordinating so many dancers was a crash course in leadership. This was an immense project, and I am grateful to the Ordway for letting me be a part of it!
I love taking my classes to the Ordway, to witness their minds and hearts open up to experience new vistas in the arts. They write about their trip to the Ordway as profound moments in their college lives when they connected to something greater than themselves, and feel very grown up for having attended something they can discuss intelligently with their peers.
When Ordway artists come to our campus, I see our students beam with joy at receiving a special program related to a concert at the Ordway, tailor-made to their studies.
This organization is a cultural cornerstone of our community!
A night at The Ordway is always a night to remember. I have seen a variety of shows there, both big and small, theater and concerts, and every time I leave with a contagious smile. If you go to a show be sure to take advantage of the pre and post show presentations if offered, they are always insightful!
The magic that surrounds me when I walk into the Ordway is unlike anything I've experienced at an arts center. In the winter, Ordway shows like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat always leave me feeling warm in the coldest of Minnesota weather - the lights outside in Rice Park make the evenings seem endless. In the summer, performances like Singing in the Rain or South Pacific give me an extra spring in my step and a smile on my face.
The energy and life that has been thriving at the Ordway center for decades always resonates with me for days and weeks beyond my visit. My friends, family members and colleagues all seem closer to me as we share the experience. The Ordway is one of the few gems that will always keep me coming back for more!
We love the summer activities at the Ordway. Our girls look forward to the Flint Hills Children's Festival every year and had a great time this year dancing on Thursday nights. Looking forward to more great memories at the Ordway.
I attended August: Osage County at the Ordway and it was one of the best cultural events I attended in all of 2010. Such terrific caliber of work that the Ordway brings!!
I teach political science at Macalester College and while teaching about South African politics, I brought my students to the Ordway Theater for a concert by anti-apartheid musician Vusi Mahasela. The staff at the Ordway made this event a success by inviting us to meet with the artists and by accommodating our limited class budget. Students recalled this event as a major highlight of the semester. I plan to enhance my political science teaching again in the future through partnering with the Ordway.
We have been attending events at the Ordway Theatre since our arrival in Minnesota in 1994; beginning with performances of the MInnesota Opera and most recently attending a contemporary dance program. What I appreciate most about the Ordway is its diversity in programs. One look at the brochure let's a potential audience member know that they are presenting a wide variety of artistic programming for a wide variety of audiences. The outreach inherent in these program choices is palpable and much appreciated.
Our children have especially enjoyed the holiday season musicals the past couple of years. There seems to magic in the theatre at that time of year for our kids and for the adults.