SRU's Dance Department hosting "Faculty and Guest Artist Concert" Oct. 22



The Pittsburgh-based Attack Theatre dance company will perform at the Slippery Rock University Dance Department’s Faculty and Guest Artist Concert at Butler County Community College’s Succop Theater, Oct. 22.

Oct. 5, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The full spectrum of the Slippery Rock University Dance Department - faculty, students and alumni - will be on display when it hosts its annual Faculty and Guest Artist Concert at 2 and 6:30 p.m., Oct. 22 at Butler County Community College's Succop Theater in Butler.

While each performance will have slight variances in programming, each show will feature a wide range of dance styles and genres, with more than 35 SRU dance majors performing works by faculty, alumni and guest artists.

Highlighting the event will be two performances choreographed by guest artists commissioned by SRU: Los Angeles-based choreographer Matthew Shaffer and Pittsburgh-based Attack Theatre dance company, the latter performed by members of SRU's Rock Dance Company.

"What's special about this concert is it shows the diversity of our department," said Jennifer Keller, professor of dance and director of the 12-member Rock Dance Company. "There is so much aesthetic diversity and each faculty member's work has a different focus. It's indicative of the training our students get there. They are getting a broad view of dance and they're getting a well-rounded education that is versatile."

Examples of the diversity include performances showcasing Afro-Colombian rituals and carnival dance, restaged by Melissa Teodoro, associate professor of dance, based on her research with eight SRU dance majors who traveled to Colombia last summer. Other segments include everything from classical Indian and Argentinian works to separate modern pieces featuring jazz, improvisation and street dance aesthetics.

"(The concert) is a chance for the faculty to perform and for them to set their choreography on their current students," Keller added. "And it's a great opportunity to bring in alumni who have careers in dance and bring in guest artists."

Tara Madsen Robbins, '04, and Ryan McMullen, '15, choreographed a piece called "FIRM" that explores music visualization and hints of the demands of the workplace.

Members of Attack Theatre were on SRU's campus, Aug. 23-26, for a residency to choreograph "Mobius," which will be premiered at the concert by the Rock Dance Company. The RDC is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a reception between the two shows for RDC alumni and other contributors.

Attack Theatre, which combines modern dance, original live music, multimedia and interdisciplinary art forms, will also perform separately as guest artists, presenting "Live Action Lecture," an artistic practice that encourages audience participation and interpretation by using a tiny jacket on stage.

The other commissioned artist, Shaffer, will have his presentation of "SocialLIEzation," an exploration of the evolution of social connectivity, performed by SRU dance majors. Shaffer, the author of "So You Want to be a Dancer," has collaborated on everything from Broadway shows to television and film, including an appearance on the Netflix series "Wet Hot American Summer," starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler.

Admission for each show is $15. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the Smith Student Center information desk at 724.738.4926 or by ordering online at

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |