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April 4, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU dancers will join nationwide National Water Dance Project

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Rock Falls Park, just south of Slippery Rock University, will be the local site for the National Water Dance Project, a nationwide, site-specific performance involving more than 80 organizations performing across the U.S., at 4 p.m., April 12.

SRU dance students are joining the simultaneously presented event, which will be live-streamed on the Internet.

Performances by SRU students majoring in dance, art, music and English will be offered throughout the park beginning at 2 p.m.

"By creating community awareness through the arts, this project will bring attention to environmental water issues, whether it is drought, pollution, or overuse," said Nora Ambrosio, SRU professor of dance.

The National Water Dance event, described as a "celebration of arts in action" is creating an opportunity for young artists to experience the power of art and performance as a vehicle for social change by collaborating on the formation of a nationwide movement choir. The program's goal is to initiate a national "water ethic" that can inform and inspire both participants and audience members to take responsibility for conserving and protecting the water that they use and enjoy.

Lauren McKee, an SRU dance major from Punxsutawney, is coordinating the project and created the dance that will be presented.

McKee and Ambrosio worked with Michael Stapleton, SRU associate professor of geography, geology and the environment, and Dean Denicola, SRU professor of biology, to help identify the most significant water issues affecting the community.

"McKee's research led her to create a dance the will allow audiences to experience the power of dance to effect social change and focus on the need to create a national water ethic," Ambrosio said.

Dancers will include Erik Cavannah and Melanie Dunbar, both from Pittsburgh; Kathryn Dickey, Cortland, Ohio; Patricia Kohler, Leechburg; Gregory Kompare, Glenshaw; Maile Landi, Oceanside, Calif.; Bethany Laslavic, Harmony; Emily Minter, Silver Spring, Md.; Darrin Mosley, York; Kelly Page, Buckhannon, W. Va.; and Jamie Walters, Cleveland, Ohio.

The National Water Dance is also part of SRU's Month of Movement activities celebrating the University's historical tradition of physical and health education. The University is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2014 with a yearlong series of events.

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