Hartford-based Sonia Plumb Dance Company is a non-profit arts and cultural organization whose mission is to enrich, educate, and connect diverse audiences through innovative modern dance.

Why did you join the Hartford Chamber of Commerce?

SONIA PLUMB: We do a majority of our programming in Hartford—from performances at The Bushnell Performing Arts Center; Arts Integration residencies in Hartford Public Schools; and community outreach programming in the parks, libraries, and event spaces, such as Upward Hartford,” she explained.

Also, I’m personally launching a for-profit space for dance in the near future in downtown Hartford. I wanted to get a better understanding of the business community and begin building relationships. This seemed the most logical way to do just that.

What makes your business unique?

SONIA: What a great question! What makes Sonia Plumb Dance Company unique is the “business” is driven by the vision of the founding Artistic Director—me. After 30 years, I can now officially call myself a “brand.” That was not my intention and certainly never a word I even thought of in the beginning. I only knew, instinctively, that I had something to say as an artist. That my “something” was unique and I had to do it. A continual commitment to values of discovery, curiosity, collaboration, willingness to learn, desire to do better are the backbone of our programming.

From a business perspective, we have a professional troupe of contemporary modern dancers who perform and tour my work in Hartford/Greater Hartford, throughout Connecticut, and regionally. We provide arts integration programming in the Hartford Public Schools through Hartford Performs and we have just opened the Sonia Plumb School of Dance, which provides dance classes for training, professionals, and “hobbyists” who want to dance for fun for life.

How has COVID-19 impacted your business?

SONIA: Our dance troupe premiered Dance of da Vinci 2.0 this summer in the middle of the pandemic. You can purchase a stream now through the end of December. 

Why did you decide to open in Hartford?

SONIA: After graduating from Trinity, College I knew I wanted to dig deeper into the world of dance. There was an active dance community in Hartford. I had everything I needed in Hartford to do what I needed: opportunities to dance, take class, create, and present. I made the commitment to stay. There was plenty of arts and culture to fuel my curiosity and Boston and New York City were close by.

 Where do you see the future of Hartford?

SONIA: I see Hartford as a real leader in a new way of shaping how cities can thrive using creativity and cross fertilization at its core. There has been a major commitment from both profit and non-profit. We are much more than just a passthrough between Boston and New York City. We are making our mark now. It feels like a renaissance and for a renaissance you need multiple components: technology, biology, education, arts, science, health, investment, finance. All these components feed each other. The crossover of information fuels growth.

Learn more about Sonia Plumb Dance Company in a 2018 feature story with Innovation Destination Hartford Hartford-Based Sonia Plumb Dance Company.