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Hamptons Life

May 16, 2019 11:35 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Dancer Jose Sebastian Brings Professional Ballet To The East End With Hampton's Dance Project.

HDP launch party hostess Lisa Towbin (left), Artistic Director Jose Sebastian and Committee Member and producer Samantha Brand. ROCHELLE BRODIN
May 16, 2019 11:35 AM

Over the years, the East End has served as muse to many artists—including Jose Sebastian, a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Despite the proliferation of arts events available on the East End in the summer, Mr. Sebastian has found there are few opportunities to experience dance in the area. For that reason, he has created The Hamptons Dance Project (HDP). On Monday May 6, the project was celebrated in a New York City launch party at the Fifth Avenue home of Bob and Lisa Towbin, noted patrons of the arts with deep ties to the Hamptons community.

The Towbin’s guests included Mr. Sebastian, who is HDP’s artistic director, and the project’s dancers, all of whom are from ABT, including Isabella Boylston, Thomas Forster, Carlos Gonzalez, Sung Woo Han, Blaine Hoven, Erica Lall, Cassandra Trenary, Tyler Maloney, James Whiteside, as well as two of the HDP’s featured choreographers, Gregory Dolbashian and Gemma Bond.

“My connection to the Long Island’s East End began at age two when my mom adopted me out of New York City’s foster care system,” said Mr. Sebastian in a statement. “We spent our first summer together—and the rest of the summers of my childhood—in East Hampton. Some of my earliest memories are of jumping and running along that endless beach; it’s where my love of movement began.”

Mr. Sebastian also traces his role as a dance with ABT to his magical childhood summers.

“The Hamptons will always be a place of dreams and ultimately, of possibilities for me,” he added. “The beaches of the Hamptons brought me to dance. Through the Hamptons Dance Project, I am bringing dance to the Hamptons. I hope you’ll join me in August for this exciting new dance experience.”

HDP will debut with two dance performances at Guild Hall in East Hampton on August 10 at 8 p.m. and August 11 at 7 p.m. In addition to founding the organization, Mr. Sebastian is also one of its dancers. The choreographers are masters working in a variety of dance styles, and the evening will feature some world premiere HDP-commissioned works that explore a wide spectrum of ballet from contemporary to classical.

“The Hamptons Dance Project fills a void in an area that’s known for the exciting quality of its arts scene,” observed Lisa Towbin. “Bob and I are so proud to help introduce such an ambitious, original dance event to the Hamptons. We look forward to this becoming an important annual celebration of movement and dance.”

Tickets for the Hamptons Dance Project at Guild Hall are $35 to $150 at guildhall.org. For more information on HDP, visit HamptonsDanceProject.org.

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