This Saturday night, dozens of Connecticut dance ensembles will gather in Hartford to celebrate the memory of Hartford dancer and choreographer Ted Hershey.
Hershey spent 14 years as a principal dancer with the Hartford Ballet, but he also loved modern dance, and co-founded Works Contemporary Dance. Tragically, Hershey died of AIDS at the age of 40 in 1998.
Ted's wife, choreographer Laura Glenn-Hershey, said his death was a blow to the Hartford arts community. "When Ted died," she said, "it made a hole in all of our hearts. I thought, this is a person who so many people loved, that I know that we will all gather easily under his memory."
Looking for a way to bring together many of the people touched by Ted's art and spirit, Laura decided a dance marathon would be a fitting tribute. "Ted was fascinated with, and loved dance," she said. "He loved people, and he loved dance, and if this doesn't have people and dance, nothing does."
Now in it's 16th incarnation, the annual Ted Hershey Dance and Music Marathon is a whirlwind of 27 dance ensembles, over 100 performers representing ballet, modern, African, Caribbean and other ethnic dance styles, all performing in one night. The event begins Saturday night at 7:00 pm at the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford.