SRU dancers, faculty, guest artists offer Oct. 18 concert

SRU faculty dance concert

Oct. 7, 2015

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. ¬- Dance interpreting Ugandan wildlife, street-style hip-hop, short films and choreography set to music by the rock band Queen will be presented during the Slippery Rock University Faculty and Guest Artist Concert at 2 and 6:30 p.m., Oct. 18, at Butler County Community College.

Six faculty, 30 students and guest artists will present the concert in BCCC's Succup Theater.

"This concert is one of my annual favorites, because it highlights how rich and diverse our dance program is," said Jennifer Keller, professor of dance. "You get to experience the creative research of our faculty, as well as the excellent dancing of our students."

Dancers will present a diverse range of genres.

Ursula Payne, professor of dance, will present a group work with students and a solo connecting her research and memories from her trip to Uganda last summer to teach and to dance. Payne said her work attempts to capture the treasures of Murchison Falls, Lake Albert and the Rwenzori mountains.

"The piece also reflects the sobering reality of peering into the past. I visited the war memorial in the Luweero Triangle, which is commonly remembered for the brutal killings, particularly of civilians, during the political war that marked a change in government leadership," Payne said.

Nora Ambrosio, professor of dance, will present "Bohemia," a jazz dance featuring music by Queen. One of the group's biggest hits was "Bohemian Rhapsody."

"Bohemia takes the viewer on a journey through a mythical place where dancers express freedom, love and sorrow," Ambrosio said.

Her second piece, "At First Glance" and featuring music by composers Philip Glass, Carl Lewis and Dorothy Lewis, is inspired by a painting called "Street in Venice" by Singer Sargent.

"The painting depicts a woman with downcast eyes quickly walking past two men who are huddled in a darkened doorway," she said. "The painting, both sinister and beautiful, calls to mind what we instinctively perceive when something is seen at first glance and how people react in these situations."

Keller will screen the film titled "Fragile."

"The film came out of my creative research on the topic of time displacement and the theme of decay," she said. "The result is a film focusing on a man and woman who are on fragile terrain, both emotionally and physically."

Teena Marie Custer, instructor of dance, will perform an excerpt from her work "My Good Side," an interactive, multimedia solo hip-hop piece. She said the work utilizes the street dance styles of "breaking," "waacking," "house" and society's relationship to social media.

"My work investigates where fantasy ends and reality begins in our attempt to curate our lives through technology," she said.

Custer is also featured in a short film titled "Down for the Count." The film, produced and directed by Erika Randall Beahm and Daniel Beahm, recently screened at the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema in Boulder, California.

Jaya Mani, instructor of dance, will present a classical Indian dance solo "Thillana," performed by SRU student Chalice Streitman, a dance and exercise science major from Butler. Streitman has studied bharata natyam at SRU and during a five-week program in India.

Andy Hasenpflug, SRU's dance musician, and his wife Robin Hasenpflug, will perform music by Ernst Bloch and Adam Hurst, in an arrangement for their electro-acoustic performance.

Guest artists include Luis Fernando Trouchon, an Afro-Colombian dancer who partners with Melissa Teodoro, SRU associate professor of dance; Lindsay Fisher performing "Scattered Accumulation" and Helen Simoneau presenting "Flight Distance."

SRU dance majors will perform "Flight Distance," a work that examines the space an individual places between himself and others.

The SRU dance department recently earned a national ranking of 16th in the nation among 322 public and private schools surveyed by Dance-Colleges.com.

Tickets, $9 for students and $13 for general admission, are available at the Smith Student Center Information Desk, or by calling 724.738.4926. Tickets will be available for cash purchase at the door.


MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 | gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu