West Virginia Dance Company at the Opera House, (3/19/16)



I recently talked to Toneita Akers Toler about The West Virginia Dance Companies upcoming performance at the Pocahontas Opera House.

Toneta Akers-Toler:

“The West Virginia Dance Company is a touring entity that consists of six performers and we have many chorographers because we are a repertory company, and we actually do bring in some international chorographers, sometimes too, to add to our program, but it is not just about entertainment. Although the performance is very eclectic ,so  it is  very entertaining, but it also has some depth.”

I asked Ms Akers-Toler, how the west Virginia Dance Company got its start?

Toneta Akers-Toler:

“A group of artists that all worked at Theatre West Virginia, many, many years ago, loved working together and were very creative, and we decided to try to start a professional dance company in the state, because there wasn’t one. I personally wanted to live in the state where my family was, and in the state that I love, so we started the West Virginia Dance Company”

The West Virginia Dance Company has now been operating for 39 years, and they have traveled to all the counties in West Virginia, and have worked with many of the schools throughout the state. They have also traveled to fourteen other states and Brazil.

Toneta Akers-Toler:

“We’re very excited about performing at the Pocahontas Opera House. That particular area, and the surrounding area, is very culturally oriented, and in our after performance questions, and conversations, we just get the best conversations going there. We’re really excited about going this time, because we are doing a piece about Pearl Buck, and I know her West Virginia Homestead is nearby. It is a piece that we reconstructed, that was created for her hundredth birthday celebration, and we are doing a lovely piece that’s actually choreographed by a pretty well known chorographer in this area, Carli Mareneck, and it is a solo to original music by Mark Davis. Who is a member of Bare Bones vocal group and he also happens to be the Art Supervisor for Kanawha County schools.   It’s a beautiful piece that everybody really loves. We are also doing our newest creation called, Mountain Speaks. A very exciting part of the program is-Jake Krack, who is a state fiddle Champion, and he has recorded some of the music we are dancing to for our entire tour, and he will also be playing at The Pocahontas Opera House live with us, which he has done several times. We always love to have Jake Krack with us. There is also a workshop in the afternoon, on Saturday. If anybody is interested they can contact the Pocahontas County Opera House.”

The West Virginia Dance Company will perform at the Pocahontas Opera House on March 19,2016, at 7:30 pm with special guest Jake Krack.

Story By

Dwayne Kennison

Dwayne is the Station Coordinator for WVMR. He was born in Maryland and has split both his childhood and his adult life between West Virginia and Maryland. Dwayne is a published writer, poet, actor and musician. Dwayne currently plays drums and sings, with the rock band COLD ETHYL, performs character poetry as “Uncle Edward Wabbit”, and began volunteering as a DJ with AMR in 2014, hosting “It’s 5 O’ Clock Somewhere” on Saturday afternoons. Dwayne currently lives in Pocahontas County with his wife and two adult children.

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