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The original item was published from 3/19/2018 4:00:16 PM to 3/21/2022 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: March 20, 2018

[ARCHIVED] DDC to Perform in Italy

The Downtown Dance Conservatory is set to embark on its third international performance tour next week across Italy.


The dancers were selected and have confirmed performances in the Uffizi Art Gallery in Florence and Frascati, a hill town located just outside of a Rome.


The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most important Italian museums, and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world, and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.


Today, the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence and one of the most visited art museums in the world. The Uffizi hosted over two million visitors in 2016, making it the most visited art gallery in Italy.


The group has also booked two performances in the hill town of Frascati.


Frascati is about 15 miles from central Rome and is one of several attractive, historic hill towns to the south-east of Rome. Frascati is noted particularly for its local white wine and is a very popular excursion for residents in Rome both on weekends and also trips out for dinner in the evening. 


The first performance will be in the Piazza Del Mercato (Market Square) where they will perform in the open air prior to moving to the Mura del Valadier (Valadier Walls). The space, within the old city walls, has been converted to a museum/performance venue. There is currently an exhibition at the site dedicated to women's history.


Dancers were auditioned in the spring of 2017 and are all current members of the Downtown Dance Conservatory’s Upper School of Dance Education under the direction of Linze McRae.  The new works are a series of neoclassical movements were created and choreographed by McRae to adapt to the environment in which they are performed. DDC faculty Krystin Baird and Laura Thrasher also contributed to the staging and choreography. As former students of the Conservatory, Thrasher and Baird performed in DDC’s tour of London and Paris in 2014 and remained on staff to chaperone the 2016 tour of Scotland. The dances are also introduced in each venue to the audience with live original music from Ryan McRae.


Dancers performing are Elyssa Simpson, Emily Snow, Maggie Ayres, Emalie Albert, Anne Roberts, Rebecca Ayres, Sara Catheryne Freeman, Catherine Haynes, Annsleigh Hamme, Emma Kamran, Azalea McRae, Casey Rickles, Morgan Strain, Tobi Akisanya, Sarah Clayton, Callie Robinson, Emily McDaniel, Samantha Lacy, McCain Foster, Emma Catherine Martin, Kate Kiani, Kelsey Durham, Ellie Parris, Zoe Morgan, Lindsey Cotton, Stella Day, Caroline Partridge, Joanna Rayburn, Clare Goodwin, Gabby Kiani, Mallory Lacy, Rachel Wilson, Lauren Maroney, Ansley Wilborn, and Grace Cotton. 


The DDC, located in downtown Gadsden, Alabama offers quality dance education and performances serving over 500 students weekly. The Conservatory, under the direction of Artistic Director Linze Rickles McRae, operates under the auspices of the Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation and Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts. More information about the GCAF and the DDC can be found at


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