Fran Spector, with her choreography on my composition, Opus XVII, has braught a wonderful new dimension to the piece. She has extraordinary talents in decifering music, uncovering visuals in it and bringing the whole to ethereal dimensions. Her dancers are such beautiful messengers. Christiane Boesch
Spector Dance has been a fantastic school of ballet and dance that we would highly recommend. Our daughter has taken ballet at several local schools, and Spector Dance has been by far the most impressive.
Spectordance is an incredible organization which is promoting dance arts in Monterey County and beyond. They bring exciting choreographers to the community and establish workshops so that professional and developing dancers, alike, can enjoy an enriching experience. This organization is led by an incredibly talented, energetic individual who has established a truly professional organization and oopportunity for the youth of our community. Accolades to Fran Spector! Joan McHenry, President Colleagues of the Arts
Spector Dance has fantastic opportunities for young and old to appreciate and enjoy the art of dance. My daughter is learning so much in her age-group classes and also has a chance to perform with artists of all ages at the bi-annual performances.
My involvement with Spector Dance is primarily as an appreciative member of the audience when I am fortunate enough to be able to attend the events and performances. From this vantage point I am especially happy to see the works of ‘Emerging Choreographers’ and the dance projects choreographed by the director, Fran Spector relating to local culture and points of interest in the Monterey area. ‘Emerging Choreographers’ brings new and innovative works from artists both from Northern California as well as from all over the globe. These events provide a level of performance offerings that match anything that could be found in the performance centers of NY or LA in terms of new ideas and innovative execution. Obviously the sophistication of large company programs cannot be matched in the intimate setting of the Spector Dance studios but I inevitably see something new and valuable and feel personally fortunate and fortunate for our entire community that such enriching experiences are made available. Local culture oriented dance projects may not push the envelope of creative dance but often capture local sentiment and heritage that supports the feeling of community in our area. I mention the “Red Pony” based on Steinbeck’s short story as my personal favorite. However the “Corn Saga” detailing the importance of this crop to the Indian populations long gone as well as its demonstration of the plight of the current farm workers in our area is of major significance. This work utilizes art to provide honor and dignity to the labors and lives of migrant workers not only in our own county but throughout the western hemisphere. I look forward to the day when its message can be presented to a much larger national audience. In closing I know that my performance tickets and the occasional raffle tickets I purchase can not pay for the work involved in the offerings I am able to enjoy. I feel fortunate to have Spector Dance in our community and can only hope the value of Fran Spector’s contribution will be recognized by the larger world in the future.
I presented work in one of the Spectordance produced Emerging Choreographer's showcases, a vital contribution to the field. Hearing about Fran's newest work I am excited to view her upcoming season, knowing she is presenting the very best in South Bay dance.
I am currently a teacher at La Paz Middle School in east Salinas, and I'm helping coordinate an outreach program sponsored by SpectorDance in partnership with the National Steinbeck Center to bring their performing arts magic to LPMS students, and to bring the students to the Sunset Center in Carmel for a performance. This enriches our literacy curriculum greatly, particularly since this program is interpreting John Steinbeck's The Red Pony and Grapes of Wrath. There is just so much to love about SpectorDance.
SpectorDance is a treasure on the Monterey Peninsula,I have been involved with SpectorDance for over 15 years as a board member and a dancer. SpectorDance has as state of the art 5000 sq. foot dance facility and an intimate performing space. SpectorDance artistic director, Fran Atkins illuminates the path of contempoary dance and ballet for young dancers and adults. Fran personally invites students to present their light and voice to each class and performance. Her choreographic talents collaborate projects that include dance, music, text and visual design. SpectorDance company performs locally, in the bay area and will be perfoming internationally this year. SpectorDance annually presents a week long Summer Dance festival which brings master classes and guest artists to perform which is a highlight for students to experience. SpectorDance presents undiscovered choreographers in the Emerging Choreographers showcase each summer. This event brings an interested audience and is an innovative concept and lots of fun.
SpectorDance does some of the most powerful work I have seen in the world of dance performance and choreography. Its pieces bridge modernity and history for a dynamic, rich interpretation of the human experience. The fact that the pieces are story-based rather than abstract "pure dance" is a strong-point; so much "pure dance" leaves me with a feeling of meaninglessness. SpectorDance manages to make its richly storied pieces simultaneously artistically edgy and visually fascinating, employing many of the elements of contemporary pure dance style. The result is something at once philosophical and artistic, nostalgic and forward-looking, rather like a Steinbeck novel.
Fran Spector Atkins & the SpectorDance crew are doing what I perceive to be some of the most important type of work being done today in the field of Contemporary Dance. They provide a venue for emerging (and established) choreographers to get their work out and into the world. There are TOO few opportunities out there that truly foster artistic growth. There are no words to describe just how tough it is in the contemporary dance world today. SpectorDance is an oasis in what I've experienced to be a very, very, very, very, very, very dry desert. I know the two times we participated in their emerging choreographers showcase it was an off the chart positive experience. A high degree of excellent with the process from start to finish. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I have been able to take my work to a new level because of my interaction with SpectorDance. The confidence it instilled in me by being chosen to be a part of the programs, the people I met, the joy it brought to my dancers lives. It was the first opportunity I had to take my work out of town. This is such an empowering step for an emerging (or established) choreographer. Everyone in my dance community was charged with inspiration, knowing that someone from their community was chosen to be a part of the showcase so it not only effected us but many, many, many people living in my local community. I've maintained connections with fellow choreographers I met at the showcases which is part of Fran's intent - to build community. Excellent job in this regard! In fact, I just met with one of the choroegraphers I've stayed in touch with when in NYC to take work to the COOL New York Dance Festival, we are beginning the process of creating a collaborative work. So, the experience goes beyond those weekends there for the show, the impact continues to be there. If you are a choreographer seeking an AMAZING experience - APPLY APPLY APPLY when it comes time to apply for the showcae. If you are a prospective funder - supporting SpectorDance holds the potential to be one of the most rewarding things you've ever done. Our planet needs its artists out there making and presenting work. Fran and her crew - gosh - they rock!
The National Steinbeck Center has had the great privilege of working closely with Fran Spector and the SpectorDance Company on collaborative art projects since 1998 when we co-sponsored “Trilogy”, a dance performance by SpectorDance, inspired by three literary masters of the Monterey Peninsula. Included in the program were two works inspired by John Steinbeck’s Red Pony and Sweet Thursday. This innovative dance performance also included interpretations of Robinson Jeffers’ Ocean…Rock…Bird…Sky…and the life of Henry Miller. These pieces were an integration of dance, music, text, visual design and technologies to create an original blend of performance art. This year we are working in collaboration with both the SpectorDance Company as well as with the Sunset Center on a program entitled “Classroom Connections”. This program integrates our Steinbeck Young Authors program, an innovative writing curriculum, and the visual and performing arts. Through the program, students are introduced to the works of John Steinbeck, and are given opportunities to explore the excitement of creative expression through writing and the visual and performing arts. Students interact one-on-one with community mentors, (people who use writing in their everyday lives), and with professional artists and participate in parts of the artistic process. Then they are invited to attend a performance by SpectorDance, where the artistry they shared in the classroom is presented in a state-of-the-art theatre. The inclusion of the art component to this project has helped the National Steinbeck Center reach students in a different way and to expand their perspective. Fran Spector’s work is intelligent and exceptionally creative. She is exceptionally successful at blending artistry and scholarship in her work. Often inspired by the landscapes and people of Monterey County, her choreography is artistically beautiful, even as she explores complex issues such as social justice and coming of age in a violent world. Fran’s commitment to collaboration is heartfelt and sincere and the quality of her collaborative work is of the highest caliber.
Spector Dance is an invaluable asset and contributor to both dance art and education on the Monterey peninsula. Their contributions to youth development are exceptional.
My daughter Cindy has been taking dance lessons at SpectorDance for 4 years now starting at the age of 5. I appreciate Fran's ability in bringing the best out of Cindy and many other dancers whose life she touched. Fran and her staff are tallented, gentle, and dedicated. We are extremely fortunated to have this top-notch dance organization right here at our own back yard.
Fran Spector Atkins has a vision and she works tirelessly to bring others into it. She takes dance, music, the arts, and interpretive theatrical movement into the community so people who wouldn't otherwise experience the emotions and joy her talent brings, can! I have two children who are learning wonderful things under her guidance and encouragement. She is able to pull performances out of her dancers that I'm sure they didn't know they had in them! I love watching the younger dancers take chances with abandon under her watchful and encouraging eyes - they know it is safe to do so - so they do and it is beautiful. Fran teaches her pupils to believe in themselves, take healthy chances, follow through on commitments, respect each other and enjoy life!
Spector Dance is an organization that has changed my life. Both the school and company have brought me opportunities to express myself in dance arts and offer others enjoyable and educational expriences in dance. Under the amazing leadership of Fran Spector Atkins, dancers are coached and supported in physical, emotional and intellectual growth through the art and beauty of dance. In the coming weeks, I will be participating in one of our outreach programs taking dance performance and education to several schools in our county. Fran Spector Atkins is a passionate and generous director with an exciting and strong vision of Spector Dance's contribution to our community. I am pleased to dance for her and hope we are able to share the health and joy of movement with everyone we encounter.
SpectorDance is a great organization that teaches people life lessons whether it be by watching them dance or dancing with them. Fran Spector-Atkins is a wonderful teacher who embraces and brings out beauty in all dancers. We are involved in many outreach programs that teach children both about movement and understanding what is important in life. I have never danced with a company that is so supportive and that expands my horizons as a dancer.
I am a visual artist who relocated to the Monterey area in 2003. My daughter has been a student at SpectorDance since she was 5 years old and the growth that she has had by participating in this rich dance community is immeasurable. Spector is a top-notch organization that brings world class dance to Monterey- not only as a presenting organization, but also as a local company and school. It has everything we could hope for and we are forever grateful that this organization exists in our small community!
I began at SpectorDance as a 15 year-old. The training is fabulous and the atmosphere is very positive. I went on to dance in college and professionally, for which SpectorDance prepared me well. Students received a lot of individual attention, and they are very enthusiastic. I highly recommend SpectorDance
There are many wonderful reasons why you should bring your child to SpectorDance. SpectorDance offers world class ballet instruction in a state of the art studio. My daughter has blossomed with self-confidence, self-discipline, grace and poise. She has developed these skills through ballet classes, rehearsals, and performances at SpectorDance. I have been particularly impressed with the way students here at SpectorDance work together to support and help one another to become the best they can be. From a mother with a strong dancing background, SpectorDance is the complete package.