Innovation and creativity come together for SRU’s Faculty and Guest Artist Dance Concert


Erika Randall performs at dance concert

Slippery Rock University’s Oct. 16 Faculty and Guest Artist Dance Concert will feature a variety of dancers, including Erika Randall, chairperson of the dance department at the University of Colorado.

Oct. 12, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Several genres of dance will come together for one special performance as Slippery Rock University dance faculty and students bring new choreography and music to life at the Oct. 16 Faculty and Guest Artist Dance Concert at Butler County Community College's Succop Theater. Performances are at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The event, which features original works crafted by SRU dance faculty, will include various interpretations on modern, Colombian, classical Indian and jazz dance styles.

"The department of dance continues to offer a multitude of diverse offerings for every audience and this year's concert continues that lineage," said Teena Marie Custer, instructor of dance.

Faculty who are dancing or presenting choreography in collaboration with guest artists are:

  • Melissa Teodoro, associate professor of dance;
  • Nola Ambrosio, professor of dance;
  • Nola Nolen, associate professor of dance;
  • Jennifer Keller, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts;
  • Ursula Payne, professor of dance;
  • Lindsay Fisher Viatori, instructor of dance;
  • Jaya Mani, instructor of dance; and
  • Andy Hasenpflug, dance department musician

The concert is intended to showcase professors' expertise in international dance.

Dance majors who participate in SRU's Afro-Colombian Dance Ensemble, directed by Teodoro, will present "Fandango" and "Pilanderas."

"Fandango," choreographed by Teodoro, describes the courtship of carnival participants, while "Pilanderas," choreographed by Luis Trouchon, an Afro-Colombian dancer who partners with Teodoro, pays homage to women who work in the cornfields of Colombia.

Select dance students will premiere new modern dance compositions by Ambrosio and Nolen. Ambrosio also created a solo, "Roll Up Your Sleeves," that graduating senior Emmalee Hallinan, a dance major from Altoona, will present. Hasenpflug will provide accompaniment with his composition, "Empty Bird House."

Hasenpflug will also offer a solo performance of his song "Norwegian Surf Bob (Extraction of a Lennon/McCartney Melody)." The piece was written for performance on drums, keyboard and vocalized organ.

Custer, Payne and Viatori will take the stage together to present "Cheating, Lying, Stealing" by guest artist Erika Randall, chairperson of the department of dance at the University of Colorado.

Other guest artists include: Michele de la Reza of Pittsburgh's Attack Theater and Gwen Ritchie, former dancer with Dance Alloy and dance director of Labco Dance in Pittsburgh.

Mani, who teaches classical Indian dance, will present one of her classical Indian dance works.

Dance students who participated in Nolen's "Repertory Class" last spring spent the semester researching the topic of love. They gathered scientific, anecdotal and literary sources that they used to inspire movement for two collaborations, "Through Common Ground" and "Passion No Doubt."

Student performers include:

  • Aliecia Anderson, a dance major from Pittsburgh;
  • Emily Armentrout, a dance major from Merrill, Michigan;
  • Logun Beck, a dance major from Commodore;
  • Tara Dubac, a dance a major from New Kensington;
  • Alyssa George, a dance major from Brunswick, Ohio;
  • Emilie McElhenie, a dance major from New Cumberland;
  • Olivia Nellism, a dance major from Shaler;
  • Melitta Parzyszek, a dance major from Dillsburg; and
  • Caroline Reedy, a dance major from Allison Park

Rosie Trump, a 2003 dance graduate and assistant professor of dance at The University of Nevada, will present her film "Gravity Angel."

Tickets, $12 for students and $16 for general admission, are available at the Smith Student Center Information Desk or by calling 724.738.4926. Tickets will also be available at the venue door at the time of the performance.

SRU's dance program, which recently launched a bachelor of fine arts in dance, has recently been ranked 5th in the nation from among 260 public and private schools as surveyed by

Succop Theater is located at 107 College Drive, Butler.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |