SRU hosting first dance concert in renovated Miller Theater, Oct. 23


Dance graphic

Slippery Rock University’s Department of Dance will host its annual Faculty and Guest Artist Concert, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 23, at the newly renovated Miller Theater.

Oct. 15, 2021

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University is ready to show off its shiny new digs with the first concert at the newly renovated Miller Theater inside the Performing Arts Center. SRU's Department of Dance will host its annual Faculty and Guest Artist Concert, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 23, at Miller Theater. The performance space, with a 2,600-square-foot-stage and seating for 753, was part of a recent $33 million expansion and renovation project of SRU's Performing Arts Complex.

"After extensive renovations, Miller Theater is open and we're excited to welcome people to this premier performing arts facility," said Nora Ambrosio, professor of dance, who is the concert production coordinator. "There has been much anticipation and excitement surrounding our inaugural performance in the new theater, and we are thrilled to be performing in this world-class facility."

The Faculty and Guest Artist Concert is an annual collaboration of SRU dance students, faculty and nationally and internationally known guest artists. This year's guest artists are Teena Marie Custer and Cameron McKinney.

Nora Ambrosio


Custer is a street dance theater artist based in Pittsburgh and a member of Ephrat Asherie Dance in New York City. She was commissioned by SRU to create a hip-hop dance, titled "The Shade," that will feature SRU freshman and sophomore dance students.

"This dance features our newer students and we are thrilled to be able to give them an opportunity to work with an established artist such as Custer," said Jennifer Keller, professor of dance and department chair.

McKinney is a New York City-based choreographer and the artistic director of Kizuna Dance. McKinney was commissioned to create a dance, titled "Furrowed," for junior and senior dance majors.

"This dance was created for the upperclassmen, and it is thrilling to see them all back in the studio and working with a choreographer who has given them a great challenge," Keller said.

Other program highlights include two historic dances choreographed by modern dance pioneers. "Serenata Morisca" by Martha Graham, is being restaged by Jesse Factor, SRU instructor of dance, and "Bushasche Etude" by Pearl Primus, is being restaged by Ursula Payne, SRU professor of dance. Factor and Payne are certified to recreate these productions and skills from these renowned choreographers and they will set the pieces for SRU students to perform.

Contemporary dances by SRU dance faculty will also be featured, including those from Factor, Payne, Keller, Ambrosio and Lindsay Viatori, associate professor of dance. There will also be a musical performance by Andy Hasenpflug, SRU dance musician.

Additionally, the Palenque Colombian Dance Ensemble, will present two dances, "Fandango" and "Mapalé Negro." Palenque is directed by Melissa Teodoro, SRU professor of dance.

Tickets can be purchased for $15 at the Smith Student Center information desk, online at or by calling 724.738.4926.

More information about the SRU Dance Department is available on the department's webpage.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |