New Vision draws on 'true collaboration' for performances

A dance and musical performance featuring current and former New Albany High School students will signal the beginning of a new residency at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

New Vision Dance Company, a nonprofit organization that was recognized as a resident artist at the McCoy in May, is gearing up for its inaugural performance, "Come Together," set for Nov. 4 at the McCoy. In addition to featuring the work of the dance company, the production will include the high school's a cappella choir and cast of "The Drowsy Chaperone" and classical pianist and New Albany sophomore Abhy Devalapura. New Albany High school alumnus Cody Westbrook also will perform.

New Vision artistic director Melissa Gould also serves as director of New Albany Middle School's musical-theater program and is involved with both the middle school and the high school. She said her ties to the New Albany-Plain Local School District inspired her to feature performances from current and former students.

The dance company, which features college graduates, current college students majoring in dance and retired Broadway professionals, historically has performed in downtown Columbus, Gould said. She said it made sense for the company to become an artistic resident of the McCoy, similar to the New Albany Symphony Orchestra and the New Albany Arts Council.

A second show is planned for November 2018.

The first act of "Come Together" features a variety of styles and performances, Gould said. The show's first half features all the guest performances, and music is represented from a variety of genres.

The NAHS choir will perform an a capella version of classic-rock artist Eric Clapton's "Change the World," providing live music for the dancers.

"It's like a true collaboration," she said.

The NAHS theater department will perform selections from its upcoming show, "Drowsy Chaperone," and Devalapura will perform a classical music selection on piano.

Gould said she became familiar with Devalapura's piano talent through her production of the district's middle school and high school talent shows, in which the sophomore has performed since the sixth grade.

"He is highly, highly skilled," she said.

Gould met another performer, Westbrook, through her work with the district's musical theater. She became acquainted with Westbrook, she said, through working with his younger brother, Aaron, a recent NAHS graduate who had worked with musical-theater students.

Westbrook, who graduated from NAHS in 2012, is a 23-year-old senior at Wright State University, majoring in musical theater. He said he's honored to return to the McCoy, where he will perform "I Chose Right," from "Baby the Musical."

"It's pretty much a love song," he said, in the style of the Beatles circa the 1960s.

The second act of "Come Together" will feature a 35-minute Beatles tribute performed entirely by Gould's company. Video projections will enhance the dancers' movements on stage for a "sound and visual extravaganza," Gould said.

"Come Together" will be held at 3 and 7 p.m. Nov. 4 at the McCoy, 100 W. Dublin-Granville Road.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are $40 for the 7 p.m. show and following VIP gala.

Additional ticket information is available online at