Dance company tries a ‘mini tour’ of New England

Brenda Siegal’s IBIT troupe stretches out, just in time for annual fundraiser

BRATTLEBORO — Although it was formed a few years ago, it took some time for the Brattleboro-based Intrinsic Beauty of Invisible Things (IBIT) Dance Company to mount a tour.

This week, IBIT director Brenda Siegel, who co-founded the company with choreographer Amy Softic, said her company will try a three-date “mini-tour” in New England, with stops in Northampton, Mass. on Thursday, March 27, and Cambridge, Mass., on Friday, March 28, before returning to Brattleboro for a performance the Latchis Theatre on Saturday, March 29, at 4:30 p.m.

The performance at the Latchis will be followed by a formal cocktail party and silent auction fundraiser at the River Garden to raise money for the company's training programs scholarship fund.

“This is a black-tie affair; formal dress is required,” says Siegel. “There will be delicious appetizers, live music, and an amazing silent auction.”

Siegel says that more than 95 percent of IBIT's students receive some sort of scholarship. “We never choose students because of their ability to pay,” she says. “And benefits like this one at River Garden is how we can afford to do that.”

Tickets for the performances will be available online and at the door. Tickets for the cocktail party and silent auction must be purchased in advance and will be on sale at

The fundraiser ticket includes a performance ticket for the afternoon performance at the Latchis.

Located in downtown Brattleboro, IBIT is the only company of its kind in the area.

Specializing in Modern and Contemporary Dance, as well as Composition, IBIT says on its website that the company's “main goal through dance is to offer an outlet for artistic expression and an awareness of body movement as well as a place for students with strong dance aspirations to train in a professional environment.”

The goal of the program is to provide high-school-, college-, and adult-level dancers with the training and experience necessary to get into college-level dance programs as well as dance companies inside and outside of college.

Siegel is dedicated to the company's professionalism and general excellence. She received her bachelor's degree in dance and composition from Hampshire College. She also serves as the executive/artistic director of the Southern Vermont Dance Festival, which had its successful first season last year and will be returning to Brattleboro this summer, July 17 through July 20.

She believes that the company offers something for dancers at several different stages of their development.

IBIT Dance Company offers a pre-professional training program for dancers at two levels of training.

The high intermediate/advanced level of modern and contemporary dance program includes training in modern dance, contemporary dance, and repertoire. The low intermediate level of modern and contemporary dance includes training in contemporary dance, modern dance, and ballet.

Both programs include a professional alignment assessment and individual work with students when in preparation for an audition or performance.

One reason Siegel is excited about the mini-tour is to show off what her students have learned in such a short time. Clearly proud of what IBIT has accomplished, she says, “We perform serious modern dance at IBIT. What we do can be arduous and difficult, but the students rise to the challenge.”

“When I started the school I couldn't have imagined it turning out to be this incredible of an experience,” she adds.

“Students have many more opportunities to learn than one would think would be possible around here,” Siegel says. “They have had extensive coaching, had visiting instructors, gone to workshops and lectures, and attended master classes at such prestigious places as Smith College.”

IBIT's 15 students range in age from age 12 to 25. No matter what the age of her dancers, however, Siegel insists on the rigor of discipline that is so important for success in dance.

“Although some are quite young, we insist that they behave like ladies, not little children,” she says. “We stress that they must not miss class or come late. What they learn here will benefit them, not merely in the world of dance but in life in general.”

Siegel is also excited about the opportunity for all of IBIT's students to perform together in one show. Even Siegel herself will be dancing in her own work, “Exhibit A.”

“This is a rarity for me, because I seldom perform anymore,” she explains. “Nowadays, I focus my energy on teaching and helping others make their way into dance.”

While all of IBIT's students now are female, Siegel does not rule out the possibility of that other gender joining her company.

“I would love to have men in IBIT!” Siegel emphatically exclaims. “They would be a vibrant addition to a really incredible group of people I have the honor to work with.”

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