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Everett’s Company was founded in 1986 and quickly gained national recognition for its theme-based concert works. These original works use dance, theater, and video to explore themes ranging from science to labor to family. Works include Home Movies (2004), Somewhere in the Dream (1999), Body of Work (1996), The Science Project (1992), Pandora Restaurant (1990), and Flight (1989). Everett’s concerts have toured to sites such as Dance Theater Workshop, New York; Spoleto Dance Festival, South Carolina; and Walker Arts Center, Minnesota.
Everett has received national recognition from in publications such as Dance Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Village Voice. Elizabeth Simmer writes in The Village Voice, “Everett Dance Theatre’s Somewhere in the Dream…triumphed at Hostos College. Until you have seen the Wilis represented by rolling panels of chain-link fence, you will not understand the transformative nature of art.”
Everett’s works have been commissioned by the Besse Schonberg/First Light commissioning program, Alverno College, Contemporary Dance Theatre, Dance Theater Workshop, New World Theater, and the National Performing Network Creation Fund. Support for the creation of Everett’s works has been provided by the LEF Foundation, Mardi Gras Fund, National Dance Project, National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, Rhode Island Foundation, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Everett develops educational programs based on concepts researched for their concert works. Their programs integrating science principles and the arts have been heavily utilized in schools, museums, and community centers, at tour destinations including the American Museum of Natural History, New York; Liberty Science Center, New Jersey; Museum of Natural History, Ohio; and the North Carolina Arts and Science Museum.
Everett’s Written in the Air uses performance and interactive improvisational techniques to address issues such as tolerance, diversity, and conflict resolution. This program has been used for team building and leadership development at teacher and principal retreats and by schools for a range of purposes such as freshmen transition and health programs.
Everett received the Jabez Gorham Award for Unwavering Commitment to Excellence (1992); a Bessie, New York’s Dance Choreography and Creator Award (1996) for its Body of Work concert; the first annual Rhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts (1997); the Meeting Street Center’s Visionary Award for an Outstanding Level of Concern and Commitment for Rhode Island’s Children and Adults with Disabilities (1997); and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Award (2000). Artistic Director Dorothy Jungels has received four Choreographers Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Rhode Island Foundation Fellowship and four fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. The Carriage House School received the City of Providence Citizens Citation for Outstanding Youth Program (1995) and was recognized four times by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Coming Up Taller Awards.
In 1990, Everett incorporated and founded their Stage and School. The company transformed an old carriage house, located in the heart of an ethnically diverse neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island, into a studio/theater space. The School offers ongoing classes in the performing arts to inner-city youth. These classes are taught by company members and other professional artists and include: ballet, breakdancing, creative movement, improvisational theater, choreography, hip-hop, filmmaking and Polynesian dance. Everett builds long-term, strong relationships with youth through professional mentorship, which includes the opportunity to create and perform original work and assistant teaching positions.
The Stage provides an intimate setting for the presentation of local, national, and developing artists. The Stage supports two main programs, Friday Night Live, a weekly comedy improv series, and Open Stage, a monthly forum for a broad variety of local performing artists.
The Stage and School programs have been supported by Americorps*VISTA, Amica, Ford Foundation, June Rockwell Levy Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Rhode Island Foundation, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and Textron.
A Legacy: The Memory of Lidia Pettine
Lidia Pettine, wife of U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Pettine, ran her ballet school for 40 years. She was called the grand dame of Rhode Island ballet; she produced and choreographed many dances for the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. She graduated from Wheaton College in 1934 and the Charif School of Ballet in 1936.
She was a past president and member of the board of directors of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, she was honorary president of Rhode Island Festival Ballet, which was founded by her famous student, Christine Hennessey.
Lidia, in her warm and generous spirit, would give the Jungels family free classes when they moved to Rhode Island in 1963. Dorothy would do her first teaching at Lidia’s and Rachael became a teacher at the Ballet Center when she was 14.
When Lidia closed her studio in 1980, Dorothy, Rachael, and Therese began teaching at the third floor studio of their home at 349 Hope Street. In 1994, they opened the Carriage House School at 9 Duncan Ave in Providence. The Jungels children had literally grown up at Lidia’s, and her spirit, her warm and welcoming ways, would be a model and inspiration for the family as they went on to establish their own school.
Our Namesake: Everett Weeden
In 1986, Dorothy Jungels created Everett Dance Theatre and named it after her friend Everett Weeden. Dorothy and Everett had worked together in the mid 70’s when they toured a show to nursing homes and senior citizen sites with their two partners: percussionist John Belcher and tap dancer Brian Jones. It was a program called Arts and the Elderly and was sponsored by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.
The new company with Everett’s name consisted of John Belcher and three of Dorothy’s children, Therese, Aaron and Rachael. Everett used to always say, “Frankly, I could make you stars overnight.” After Everett’s death and in the first year of the new company, Everett Dance Theatre landed an audition at the prestigious Dance Theater Workshop in New York. With the attention garnered through Dance Theatre Workshop, Everett began touring their work.