Darien Arts Center dancers back for 12th show of 'So We Think We Can Dance,' Eagle Scout honors and more

Dance showcase returns for 12th year

"So We Think We Can Dance," a student-run showcase of dance talent, is returning to the Darien Arts Center for its 12th year.

Produced by the arts center's dance students ages 12 to 18, the show will be held in the DAC Weatherstone Studio, 2 Renshaw Road, behind Darien Town Hall, with performances at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 and 2 p.m. Feb. 5.

Eight DAC student choreographers with 18 dancers will manage all stages of creation and execution, and choreograph and perform about 11 pieces that encompass different styles of dance.

"So We Think We Can Dance" was the brainchild of past DAC students who envisioned using the skills they had developed from years of dancing at the DAC to express their individuality in their own dances.

DAC dance students Sophia Condon, Sarah Jackson and Mackenzie Maier are producing the 2023 show. 

Tickets for "So We Think We Can Dance 2023" are $20 each; the show runs for about two hours. Purchase tickets at darienarts.org or at the door.

For questions, call the DAC at 203-655-8683.

DAC accepting scholarship applications

The Darien Arts Center is accepting applications for the Ginny Wright Scholarship, a $2,000 scholarship to a high school senior in Darien who will continue their study of the visual arts or design in college.

Applicants are not required to be a declared art major, as long as he or she plans to take art courses.

The award is given in memory of Virginia Wright, a talented artist, dedicated volunteer and generous benefactor. All applications, including artwork, artist's letter and a letter of support, must be received at the DAC by April 7. All submissions will be digital.

The winner will be announced later this spring.

For application forms and more information, visit darienarts.org. For questions, call the DAC office at 203-655-8683 or email vadirector@darienarts.org. 

East Coast Contemporary Ballet to perform

The Darien Arts Center is hosting "Dance is in the Air," an all-new program from East Coast Contemporary Ballet.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the evening of dance features four neoclassical and contemporary love duets and a world premiere. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 and 2 p.m. Feb. 12 in the DAC Weatherstone Studio, 2 Renshaw Road, behind Town Hall.

Founded in 2019 by Claire Mazza, DAC dance director, and Alejandro Ulloa, East Coast Contemporary Ballet is a Connecticut-based dance company that performs seasonally in Connecticut and New York. Producing entirely original works, the company is committed to reaching diverse audiences and producing art that audiences can relate to and be inspired by.

Tickets for "Dance is in the Air" are $35 each and are available at darienarts.org. Darien Arts Center students may attend the performance for a discounted rate of $20, visit the DCA office to purchase these tickets. For questions, call 203-655-8683.

Troop 53 honors its Eagle Scouts

Darien Scouts Troop 53 joined together Jan. 8 to honor Pace Flaherty, Connor Blenke, Khrystos Yica-Nacarino and Christopher Cope, who all earned the highest rank of Eagle Scout over the past year.

Family, friends and fellow Scouts attended the Eagle Court of Honor, where the four each received commendations from state Sen. Bob Duff, state Rep. Tracy Marra, and Darien First Selectman Monica McNally.

 A requirement for earning the rank of Eagle Scout is to design, prepare and lead others in completing a large service project to benefit a community organization.

For their projects, Blenke led the creation of raised garden beds at the Mather Homestead; Cope led the installation of an apiary wildflower garden with a protective perimeter at the Mather Homestead; Flaherty built large cabinets that hold three shelves of books that are free for public enjoyment for both Weed Beach and Pear Tree Point Beach; and Yica-Nacarino renovated a storage area into an office space for the Darien Depot.

For more information on Darien Scouting, visit www.darienscouts.org

Geary Gallery opens February exhibit 

The February exhibit at Geary Gallery of Darien is "Joyous Spirit," featuring the bold and colorful naturescapes of artist, Mireille Duchesne of  Goldens Bridge, N.Y.

Her work will be on display through Feb. 25.

Duchesne, a native of Normandie, France, received her formal education at the Lycee of Le Havre and a master's degree from the University of Rouen; when she came to the U.S., she took classes at the Pastel Society of America and The Art Students League in New York.

She has received numerous awards for her pastels as well as her oil paintings, among others, at the Pastel Society of America, the Salmagundi Club and the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. Duchesne is a teacher at the Katonah Art Center.

The show is free and open to the public.

The Geary Gallery, 576 Boston Post Road, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. For more details, call 203-655-6633 or visit  gearygallery.com

Engagement announced

Eileen Begert Bergmann of Norwalk and Oliver Bergmann of Stamford are announcing the engagement of their daughter, Charlotte Annelies Bergmann, to Patrick Austin Reed, son of Jan and Michael Reed of Menlo Park, Calif.

The couple were college sweethearts and dated for nine years before their engagement.

Charlotte Bergmann grew up in Darien, graduated from St. Luke's School in New Canaan in 2012, and graduated cum laude from American University in Washington, D.C., in 2016 with a bachelor of arts degree in public relations and strategic communication, a minor in Spanish language and a certificate in Spanish translation. She is a public relations professional at IBM in New York City.

Patrick Reed grew up in Menlo Park, graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School in 2012, and graduated magna cum laude from American University in 2016 with a bachelor of arts degree in international studies, with minors in computer science and Russian language. He was part of the American University Honors program and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Reed also graduated from the New York University School of Law in 2021 with a juris doctor degree and was admitted to the bar of New York State in 2022. He is a second-year associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City.

The couple will wed in October.

Dean's List honorees from town

The following Darien residents have made the Dean's List or a comparable honor at their college or university. 

Lauren Fisher, Coco Jepsen and Ted Brennan were named to the President's List at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Only students ranked in the top 3 percent of undergraduate students within each division for the fall semester 2022-23 were named to the President's List recognizing academic excellence.

Sarah McLaughlin, Keely O'Shea, Tyler Strub and Katherine Wolters were named to the fall 2022 Dean's List at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. To qualify, students must pass four or more letter-graded courses with no failing grades during the semester and earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Susan Urstadt and Sophia Larizza were named to the Dean's List for the fall 2022 semester at the University of Vermont in Burlington. To be named to the Dean's List, students must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better and rank in the top 20 percent of their class in their college or school.

Charlotte Alexander was named to the Muhlenberg College Dean's List for the fall 2022 semester at the college in Allentown, Pa. Students with a term GPA of 3.50 or higher are recognized for the academic achievement.