BALAM Dance Theatre Returns to Putnam County in “Taking Flight, an Afternoon of Modern & Cultural Dances”

Carlos Fittante and Barbara Romero

(New York; September 16, 2022) — BALAM Dance Theatre (BALAM), a non-profit professional dance theatre company, once again joins the Putnam County Dance Project (PCDP) in a revival performance of Taking Flight, an Afternoon of Modern & Cultural Dances, Saturday, September 24th at 4 p.m.  The performance will be presented at Arts on the Lake, 640 NY-52, Carmel Hamlet in New York 10512.  A rain date is scheduled for Sunday, September 25 at 2 p.m.  Tickets ranging from $5 to $30, with open seating, may be purchased online at

This family-friendly performance presented along the magnificent Hudson River in eastern Putnam County, New York celebrates cultures and dreams.  The program highlights the true story of one woman’s journey from refugee to record-breaking pilot and world ambassador for STEM education.

BALAM Dance Theatre’s cultural dances, especially curated for this program, feature Balinese, French and Spanish techniques.  They include the scintillating Balinese dance duet, Oleg Tambulilingan (Love Dance of the Bumblebees), performed by BALAM’s Balinese Artist Nani Devi, and the zippy 19th century Spanish Escuela Bolera duet, Pandaderos de la Flamenca, with BALAM’s artistic director Carlos Fittante and Spanish dance expert Barbara Romero.  In the last piece, Fandango (circa 1786), Fittante performs his choreography fusing French Baroque and Spanish Escuela Bolera dance techniques accompanied by Period musician Ryan Closs on live Baroque guitar.

Inspired by “Fly Girl Fly”, a biographical children’s book written by Nancy Roe Pimm, this program references the true story of Shaesta Waiz, who grows from a small child escaping Afghanistan to become an inspiring American pilot flying solo to five continents around the world.  A role model to young people everywhere, Waiz’s remarkable accomplishment encourages youth everywhere, and especially girls, to pursue education and their own dreams.

Ryan Closs 

Other New York guest dancers will present dances from around the world, including West Africa, Argentina, Bali, Egypt, India, Israel, and Japan.  Salma Khowaja, a local Putnam County resident of Afghan heritage, coached the PCDP dancers in some traditional steps of the “Attan” dance and helped them to create their own performance version of this national dance of Afghanistan.

About BALAM Dance Theatre

Founded by choreographer and movement researcher, Islene Pinder, BALAM Dance Theatre offers a new vision of contemporary dance that is rooted in the dazzling opulence and magical aura of Balinese theatre.

The New York City-based dance/theatre company creates a unique entertainment experience that has universal appeal.  Audiences of all ages and backgrounds enjoy BALAM’s innovative movement alchemy where dynamic athleticism, detailed skills, and movement techniques from around world and time periods are fused and enhanced by eclectic music, striking masks, vibrant costumes and fantasy stories.

The company educates the community about dances and cultures featured in its repertoire.  Through its Out & About Series, free and affordable performances, workshops and creative events at the grassroots level are made available for families, children, students and community residents.

BALAM has been featured at numerous festivals and venues including First Night New York; Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors; Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; Downtown Dance Festival; and has also appeared throughout the United States and internationally. The company has received praise from the New York Times and Village Voice, the Governor and people of Bali and the Indonesian Consulate of New York, as well as others.

For further information, call 646-361-9183 or visit BALAM Dance Theatre on its blog,  Follow the company on Facebook,, and check for updates on Twitter @BALAMDance.

Nani Devi
Nani Devi


• Nani Devi performs the enchanting Balinese Oleg Tambulilingan (Love Dance of the Bumblebees).  Photo Credit: Julie Lemberger

• BALAM Dance Theatre’s Carlos Fittante and Barbara Romero will perform Pandaderos de la Flamenca.  Photo Credit: Barry Proctor Bonacc

• Musician Ryan Closs  Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ryan Closs

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