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    Forty Steps Dance to present anniversary concert

    Joe Puleo

    20 FOR 40: Sallee Slagle is the personification of the

    Sallee Slagle
    Forty Steps Dance performs a 20th anniversary concert at Nahant Town Hall 8 p.m. Saturday.

    endurance of modern dance.

    “Twenty years ago, I was living in Nahant, performing and teaching,” she said. “I had a craving to create my own choreography, to express my vision through dance.”


    So Slagle formed a dance troupe. And she said, “When I thought about a name, it was really obvious: Forty Steps, the most beautiful spot in our backyard.”

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    Forty Steps is a wooden staircase that leads to a Na­hant beach.

    Forty Steps Dance, of which Slagle is still artistic director, performs a 20th anniversary concert at Nahant Town Hall 8 p.m. Saturday.

    The program includes dances from the past and present, with excerpts from two new works.

    The demanding choreography is executed by a troupe of 10 lyrical and athletic modern dancers.


    In residence in the Serenity Room at the Nahant Community Center, Forty Steps Dance has been sponsored by the Boston Dance Alliance and recently incorporated as a nonprofit cultural heritage institution.

    Slagle also operates Dance Dimensions, a school for children and adults who want to learn hip-hop or ballet, as well as ballroom and fitness.

    Saturday’s performance begins at 8 p.m. It is partially funded by the Nahant Cultural Council.

    Tickets are $25; $18 for senior citizens, students, and members of the Boston Dance Alliance. Call 781-599-1476 or visit

    SUPPORTING STUDENT ART: “Nature of Ipswich” is the theme of the eighth annual Robin’s Art for the Arts Saturday at the Masonic Temple in Ipswich.


    This year’s theme honors the town’s natural and cultural heritage, according to Trina Schell, president of the event’s sponsor, the Ipswich Music, Art and Drama Association (IMADA).

    The art show and sale features work by many Ipswich artists, including acrylic, oil, and

    ”The Sanctuary” Dale Partiss Greene’s oil painting

    watercolor paintings; jewelry; woodwork; photography; ceramics; textiles; and multimedia pieces.

    A special addition this year is the sale of 6-inch commemorative disks stamped with the imprint of a Ben Staples photograph of the Ipswich Elm tree.

    The Dutch elm, which stood for hundreds of years at the corner of East and County streets, was removed by the town last July when it was clear the tree was dying.

    The disks were created by Ipswich Middle School art teacher Virginia Eaton and were constructed from wood saved from the tree.

    High school art students also used some of the wood salvaged from the tree as bases for sculptures, which will be for sale.

    Student musicians provide jazz and classical entertainment. There will be a cash bar, light appetizers, and a raffle.

    Robin’s Art for the Arts was named for longtime Ipswich resident and artist Robin Silverman, an energetic and passionate member of IMADA, who died in 2009.

    The money earned from sales at the fund-raiser benefits both the artists and the music, art, and drama programs at Ipswich middle and high schools.

    The event is open to the public and free. Visit

    AUTHOR’S CORNER: Science, technology, and adventure journalist Jeff Wise speaks about “The Upside of Fear” at 7 p.m. March 28 at the Peabody Institute Library. Wise, author of “Extreme Fear: the Science of Your Mind in Danger,” said people think of fear as an unpleasant emotion but it has evolved to protect and defend us. Wise is a contributing editor at Popular Mechanics and Travel+Leisure; he also writes for Time, The New York Times, Psychology Today, and Men’s Health, as well as other publications.

    IN LOCAL GALLERIES: Saltbox Gallery celebrates its 25th anniversary with an exhibit at the Topsfield Fairgrounds 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through next Sunday. The exhibit includes oil paintings, watercolors, etchings, pastels, inlaid woods, carved birds, pottery, and jewelry. A reception with the artists is 7 to 9 p.m. Friday. . . . The Young & Budding Artists Show, a professionally juried and installed show for artists in grades 1 through 12, is at the Newburyport Art Association through March 23. Awards and cash prizes are presented during a reception 2 to 4 p.m. today.

    Items can be sent to