Academy of Music

SHOW Circus First Night Holiday Party

This year's First Night kick-off features two eye-popping performances with surprises galore. Come see amazing acts of derring-do by the SHOW Circus Studio Youth Troupe and their instructors. Thrill to acrobats tumbling, contortionists twisting and aerialists soaring using a variety of apparatuses including the Astounding Triple Trapeze. The show concludes in a crescendo of spectacular circus charivari. Then join the troupe's traditional celebration with the roving Expandable Brass Band under the marquee.

Noon-12:45 and 1-1:45 at the Academy of Music

The tinydance Project

The tinydance project creates sustainable dance art for small spaces. For the second year in a row, they will tow their 4' by 8' stage by bicycle to the walkway in front of the Academy of Music, where they will perform outside, barefoot, singing their own accompaniment. If you missed the annual "tiny tour" in August, this may be your last chance to see "still we climb", their newest and exciting work.

2:15 on the walkway at the Academy of Music

Afternoon of Dance, Part I
3-3:45 at the Academy of Music


The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School Dance Department presents Catalyst under the direction of Artistic Director, Felice Santorelli. In its 19th season, Catalyst performs student-generated choreography, work by guest choreographers and PVPA faculty of the highest caliber. The company is dedicated to versatility. After graduating from PVPA, Catalyst dancers go on to dance, choreograph and teach professionally with renowned companies, schools and arts organizations.

Crescent Dancers

Behold belly-dance magic with the Crescent Dancers. Their performances range from glittering, cabaret-style belly dances to village folk-dances, inspired by the rich music and dance traditions of the Middle East. Their captivating performances have enchanted audiences at Jacob's Pillow, the Springfield Museum of Arts and Café Lebanon.

Meridian Performance Company

Energy flowing through the body. A high point. A great celestial circle. Meridian Performance Company is the outreach teen performance dance company representing Ascendance Inner World Arts in Florence, MA. Embodying the values of community, collaboration, and connection, their work reaches into the heart and mind, and seeks to reveal the truths that bring us closer together.

North County Line Dancers

The North County Line Dancers have been twirling and stomping around Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont for the past 16 years. Now you can see them right here in your own backyard. Decked out in traditional Western attire the North Couny Line Dancers will get your feet tapping as they demonstrate both classic and current line-dancing moves.

Northampton School of Dance

The dancers performing at First Night Northampton are members of the Northampton School of Dance (NSD) team that has received numerous awards competing in regional dance competitions. NSD is honored to have been voted Best Dance Studio the past three years by the Daily Hampshire Gazette's Readers Choice Awards. Celebrating its twelfth year of business, Northampton School of Dance is under the direction of Jennifer Peterson and Nikki Zaccari.

Pineapple Dance

Pineapple Dance, located in North Amherst, is excited to present their five youth companies for their premiere performance at Northampton's First Night. Each company is unique: the Elektrik Boyz are a hip hop crew; Straight To the Pointe is a ballet company; JAM Dance offers Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop; Rhythm N Riff is a tap troupe; and Unity Ensemble does it all.

Wofa African Drum and Dance Company

Wofa is the West African Drum and Dance Company founded in 2009 by Alpha Kabisko Kaba at PVPA (Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School.) Wofa continues to be a source of inspiration for PVPA students to learn about the rich culture and heritage of Guinea, West Africa. "Wofa" is a Sousou word meaning "Let's Get Together," which expresses their vision to reach out into the community to share culture and art.

Afternoon of Dance, Part II
4-4:45 at the Academy of Music

Academy Youth Productions

The Academy of Music Youth Programs invites you to sing along with their lively musical theater performance featuring talented young artists who use the Academy as its home stage in the summer. Past productions have included Into the Woods Jr., The Phantom Tollbooth Jr. and The Music Man Jr. In March of 2017 Academy Youth Productions will present Singin' in the Rain Jr.

ADC Youth Ensemble

From dancing in the streets to bringing classical ballet to our local schools and community centers, Artistic Dance Conservatory (ADC) entertains and educates audiences of all ages. Its outreach efforts are diverse and many, as the organization shares a passion and love for dance with every segment of the community. Members of the ADC Youth Ensemble have become First Night regulars!

Celtic Heels

The Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company is a local performance group based out of Greenfield and Florence. The Celtic Heels perform traditional Irish Dance with a modern flair. Their toe-tapping tunes invite the audience to join in the fun of the jigs and reels of the Celtic nations.

Eclipse Dance

The Eclipse Dance Company brings a unique blend of modern dance and narrative to audiences of all ages. Under the direction of Jennifer Gamache-Dubilo, the troupe rehearses throughout the year to produce one full-length concert and several pieces for performance throughout the region. The company has been featured at the Brooklyn Dance Festival, The Massachusetts Dance Festival and the International festival of Arts and Ideas.

Lisa Leizman Dance Company

Celebrate with the Lisa Leizman Dance Company as they ring in the New Year! This resident company of the Northampton Center for the Arts delights in glorious music, lavish costumes and 25 years of dancing together.

Pioneer Valley Ballet

It's snowing on the Academy stage as Pioneer Valley Ballet (PVB) presents its Advanced Division dancers in a classic excerpt from The Nutcracker. Under the artistic direction of Thomas Vacanti and Maryanne Kodzis, PVB is dedicated to providing all children with the opportunity to experience the joys of movement through the study of classical ballet.

Sundarii Tribal Belly Dance

Sundarii Tribal Belly Dance is a professional troupe that performs throughout the New England area. Their style of belly dance uses a vocabulary of movements and cues that allow the dancers to communicate via gesture and eye contact. Under the artistic direction of Laura Murphy, Sundarii dances with ringing finger cymbals and smooth improvisational transitions.

Wofa African Drum and Dance Company (Reprise!)

Wofa is the West African Drum and Dance Company founded in 2009 by Alpha Kabisko Kaba at PVPA (Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School.) Wofa continues to be a source of inspiration for PVPA students to learn about the rich culture and heritage of Guinea, West Africa. "Wofa" is a Sousou word meaning "Let's Get Together," which expresses their vision to reach out into the community to share culture and art.

An Evening of Music

The Northamptones

For the first time in First Night history the Northamptones will be doing TWO shows. This Northampton High School a cappella group always fills the Academy, so a second performance has been added this year. First up at 7 pm, "Alumni Show Big and Bold" features Northamptones graduates singing their favorites, including a rousing rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody." The 8 pm show highlights the fresh, new spin of this year's outstanding group of singers. The Northamptones have appeared at the Iron Horse Music Hall, the Calvin Theatre and Fenway Park.

7-7:45 and 8-8:45 at the Academy of Music

The Suitcase Junket with Lula Wiles

Ever seen The Suitcase Junket? You won't believe your eyes! Matt Lorenz is a one-man band and self-described "artist, tinkerer, tunesmith, swamp Yankee" who plays a guitar he salvaged from a dumpster, while working a junk-percussion drum-kit that uses elements like a baby shoe hitting a gas can. The coup de resistance comes when he generates a sweet, raspy overtone whistle with his homemade throat singing. Couple this one-of-a-kind performing with excellent singing and composing, and you have one of the rising stars of indie-rock. As if that's not enough, treat yourself to opening act Lula Wiles, a thrilling young trio of Maine singer-songwriters who gather around a single microphone to create stunning harmonies together.

9-11 at the Academy of Music

Choose a venue for more details about performers and times.

All First Night performances are family-friendly, but these are especially suitable for younger children.