County Fare: Berkshire Pulse dancers perform at Baltimore Theatre Project

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Antonius Louw and Zenith Limon, 14-year-old students in Berkshire Pulse's Dance for Boys program in Housatonic, were invited to perform their original piece, "Limitless," as part of "In the Company of Men ... Part III," an evening of dance art embracing themes of masculinity, life, love, social awareness and human-ness, at the Baltimore Theater Project in Maryland on March 30 and 31.

The boys performed their piece to music by Croatian cello duo 2Cellos.

Antonius and Zenith, both eighth-grade students at Monument Valley Middle School in Great Barrington and residents of Housatonic, have participated in the Dance for Boys program at Pulse since its creation in 2012.

Inspired by their studies with Pulse instructors Tom Masters and Tom Truss, as well as visiting teachers like Shawn Ahern of the Pilobolus dance company and their own experiments with movement on a trampoline, the two boys created "Limitless" to depict the connection they have as friends, and their common appreciation for experiencing life and learning through the physical and artistic journey of dance.

"In the Company of Men" is curated by Vincent E. Thomas, an award-winning choreographer, founder of VTDance and professor of dance at Towson University in Maryland.

Thomas learned about Pulse while in residence at Jacob's Pillow for the past two summers. His extensive work in dance for men and boys in Baltimore and beyond sparked his interest in Pulse's program and led to an invitation for the two boys to visit Towson University, participate in classes and perform their piece.

NASA INTERNSHIP

Lee Magadini, a life science teacher at Berkshire Waldorf High School in Stockbridge, has been awarded a yearlong internship with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, working with the Climate Change Research Initiative.

Magadini is one of four interns chosen from among thousands of applicants. As an intern, she will work directly with NASA scientists, lead research teams and develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curricula.

As an associate researcher at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a STEM education expert, Magadini will integrate NASA education resources and content into her classroom while improving STEM education within her community.

During the fall and spring terms of the research initiative, the research team of NASA Principal Investigators will lead graduate-level interns and high school educators to become immersed in a NASA science research area related to climate change. High school and undergraduate students will join the teams during the summer session.

As the primary life science teacher at Berkshire Waldorf High School for the past five years, Magadini has taught biology and earth science and led annual trips to study tide pool zoology on Hermit Island, Maine. She holds a master's degree from New York University in high school life science education, and also teaches at the Secondary School for Field Research, in partnership with the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and participating New York City public schools.

CUPCAKE WARS

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Berkshire County held its fourth Cupcake Wars fundraiser at Berkshire Hills Country Club on Feb. 1, with 250 in attendance. The event began with an Italian dinner prepared by UNICO of Pittsfield. After dinner, three judges sampled the confections prepared by bakers and bakeries vying for the best cupcake in various categories.

The contestants included Berkshire Pathways, a Program of Viability; Gould Farm; Linda's Pastries; Simply Sweet; Gimme Some Sugar; Sarah's Cheesecakes & Cafe; and Jennifer's Cookies, Cupcakes & Confections.

Simply Sweet was awarded People's Choice; Berkshire Pathways, Best Tasting; Gimme Some Sugar, Best Presentation; and Linda's Pastries, Most Creative.

About $15,000 was raised through the event, with all proceeds supporting the programs of NAMI Berkshire County, which provides information, referrals, classes, workshops, support groups and advocacy to family members and caregivers of people living with mental illnesses throughout Berkshire County.

For information about NAMI Berkshire County, visit namibc.org.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers.

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