The very name of this dance company is derived from its’ founder/artistic director Chet Walker. WALKERDANCE is one of the companies under the umbrella of 8 And Ah 1 Productions.  Walker’s optimistic philosophy expresses the importance of finding in every ending, a beginning. Walker, who conceived and reconstructed the choreography for the 1999 TONY Award winning musical FOSSE and is the Director of the jazz program at The School At Jacob’s Pillow, is committed to the preservation of the rich history of musical theater. WALKERDANCE is dedicated to the advancement of dance in musical theater as an art form. WALKERDANCE creates new works and preserves the rich traditions. It explores and redefines the possibilities inherent in this uniquely American art form.



It is WALKERDANCE’s commitment to broaden this art form into a world view. All kinds of dance styles appear in the choreography of musical theater and not only ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. For example, Jerome Robbins found inspiration for the choreography for parts of The King And I in Siamese classical dance and likewise, Agnes de Mille used this same representation of national identity to create dances for the Scottish fantasy Brigadoon. Chet Walker has traveled to Buenos Aries, Argentina and has created another branch of WALKERDANCE. Compania Internacional Teator Musical had its’ opening Calor nationally televised in the autumn of 2002, followed by the sold out production of Fever in 2004.  In 2005 yet another branch of WALKERDANCE was established in Oslo, Norway with Bardar Akademiet to open The Dancing Man  to rave reviews. In the fall 2006 this company will embark on a two year European tour.   WALKERDANCE has plans to create new branches in Greece,  France and England. After these new companies are established, it is WALKERDANCE’s dream to mix and match the repertory and performers to create a truly world cultural art experience.


 

WALKERDANCE has also created a mentoring program, where seasoned already established artist assist and nurture the young emerging artist onto the road of creative advancement. Thanks to WALKERDANCE’s guidance the fledgling dance company WABI directed by Caroline Leadikus was able to have its’ first public performance at the Mazer Theater in the spring 2002. The mentoring program provides developmental progress reports to the individuals and includes not only Americans but students from the providences of Argentina, Greece, France, Norway, Columbia and England sent to study the art form.


WALKERDANCE is much more than a dance company. It is a performing arts organization in the truest sense and it investigates every aspect of musical theater. This company goes beyond the normal limitations of dancing, singing, and acting to encompass to composition, history, and future of the art form. WALKERDANCE not only seeks to keep the rich, multicultural and informative legacy of musical theater alive but it also seeks to explore its very definitions and possibilities for generations of artists and audiences to come.