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 SRU dance department's 'Setting the Pace' opens spring series 




January 9, 2009

Contact: K.E. Schwab  




SRU dance department's 'Setting the Pace' opens spring series        


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University Dance Theatre will be "Setting the Pace" in their January program that opens the University dance department's spring semester concert series. The upcoming concert includes works by guest and student choreographers.

           Award-winning guest artist Camille Brown, who was in residence at SRU last fall to set her "Shelter of Presence" work, will have her piece included in the concert. 

           The dance, choreographed in 2003, was originally created for a group of male dancers who danced in various dance companies, including Ailey II, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence Dance Company and "The Lion King." Subsequently, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater asked Brown to create a work for its 50th anniversary season.  

           Brown has been honored with awards and fellowships, including being the first woman to win the Princess Grace Award in Choreography in 2006. She also earned a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Choreography, The Presidential Scholar of the Arts Award in Dance, NFAA Young Artists' Award, The Helen Tamiris Award and The Project Next Generation Award.

            "Her accomplishments - by age 27 - are impressive," said Ursula Payne, SRU professor of dance. "Camille is an upcoming presence in the dance world, both in her choreography and her performing.  I knew it would be inspirational to our students to work with a guest artist of their own generation, just a few years past graduation."  

"Working with Camille was both a blessing and a remarkable experience that made me realize that I love dance because it begins in the soul," said LaKeisha Mackey, an SRU dance major from Philadelphia, who performs in Brown's work

Guest artist Tania Isaacs, who was in residence at SRU last spring, will also have her work included in the concert. While at SRU, Isaacs created "Currents," an original work for 17 students that showcases her trademark fusion of Caribbean, hip hop and modern dance. Her residency was funded through a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Diversity Grant.  

The remainder of the diverse program will feature SRU student choreographers offering tap, hip hop, contemporary partnering, modern dance and dance technology.  

Choreographers in the program include Bailey Bretz from Hilliard, Ohio; Amie Davis from Carrolltown; Stephanie Frey from Irwin; Kayla Hersperger from Moon Township; Cara Hoover from Mayport; Darcey Karas from Baden; Katie Kelly from Monroeville; Eileen Martini from Merrittstown; Jill Michalsky from Chester Springs; Angel Streitman from Butler; and Christy Trotnick from McMurray.

              Performances are at 8 p.m. Jan. 29, 30 and 31 in Miller Auditorium. Tickets are available at the door, or may be purchased in the Morrow Field House Lobby from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Jan. 20, 22, 27 and 29. Prices are $10 general admission; $5, SRU students. For more information, call the Slippery Rock University dance department at 724.738.2036.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.

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