SRU dance majors and minors take stage for fall concert
Nov. 25, 2018
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Select dance majors and minors at Slippery Rock University will take the stage to perform original dances at the Dec. 7 Fall Dance Concert in Swope Music Hall. There will be two performances at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The performance is under the artistic direction of Ursula Payne, professor of dance and chair of SRU's Department of Dance. Jennifer Keller, professor of dance, is the production coordinator.
Juniors and seniors submitted letters of intent to Payne earlier this semester to have their dances be considered for the concert. The dances are based on students' experiences and knowledge. Once approved, students showcased their work to underclassmen who then auditioned to perform the dance pieces.
Despite initial approval and casting, the students' pieces are not guaranteed a spot in either of the Dance Department's concerts. Students compete for spots in either the Fall or Winter Concert during an Adjudication Concert, where SRU faculty observe the progress of these performances through a private preview.
"We encourage auditions because the auditioning experience is very important for when they graduate and go into the field," said Keller. "There are certain skills that you need to do in auditions successfully and we are trying to prepare our students for that. Overall, there are things to learn on both sides as either the choreographer or dancer."
Of more than 40 auditions, 18 dances were selected for the Fall Dance Concert. Eleven pieces will be performed at each concert, providing audiences with a completely different experience for each of the Dec. 7 concerts. Dances will include solos, duets and group dances and feature modern, contemporary and other forms of dance set to a wide range of music.
One ensemble performance choreographed by Sarah Dietsch, a junior dance major from Russell, features military themes and concepts of chance procedure, a semi-improvisational form of choreography where the sequence is unknown until the actual performance by improvisation. While the technique was used to construct the dance, Dietsch used contemporary and modern techniques often integrated into partnerwork while also drawing upon previous dances from courses in dance composition.
"I took inspiration from my military background and the stories of family members and friends who have served," said Dietsch. "Not so much the fighting and bad experiences, but the friendships and connections they built together; they always talked about the units they were in. At the end, it goes back to the idea that they might not be always acting as best friends, especially when they're fighting and exhausted, but they still have that connection, a connection that not only a military experience builds, but that everyone builds."
The concert will also include a performance by Jaya Mani's World Dance Class. Mani, an SRU professor of dance, will have her group perform a Bharatanatyam dance, which is a classical southern Indian dance.
Bharatanatyam originated from ancient Hindu temples. The beauty and grandeur of the art is demonstrated by the dancer using repetitive metrical and intricate footwork, facial expressions to translate music and vivid hand gestures. This portrayal of music in visual form facilitates sharing rhythm, melody, mood and movement with the audience, ultimately seeking union with God.
A tap dance titled "YES, INDEED!" will be performed by 13 students. It was choreographed by guest artist Bill Evans, a choreographer, performer, teacher, movement analyst and founder of Bill Evans Dance. Evans' work has been performed by professional and pre-professional modern dance, ballet and tap dance companies.
Student choreographers and performers include:
● Reva Adams, a junior dance major from Vero Beach, Florida.
● Halle Angelo, a sophomore dance major from Indiana.
● Laura Ardner, a junior dance major from York.
● Naomi Bates, a junior dual major in dance and theatre from Slippery Rock.
● Erin Brod, a freshman dance major from Medina, Ohio.
● Ashlin Broody-Walega, a sophomore dual major in dance and psychology from Pringle.
● Alicea Chludzinski, a freshman dance major from Erie.
● Alyssa Colon, a freshman dance major from Clifton, New Jersey.
● Hannah Corey, a junior dual major in exercise science and dance from Sarver.
● Anna DeRubeis, a sophomore dual major in early childhood and special education and dance from Altoona.
● Sarah Dietsch, a junior dance major from Russell.
● Morghan Dyer, a sophomore dual major in dance and early childhood education from Stow, Ohio.
● Kathryn Eberhart, a freshman dual major in dance and early childhood education from Archbald.
● Jenée Ewing, a senior dual major in communication and dance from McKeesport.
● Kaitlyn Falce, a junior dual major in exercise science and dance from Pittsburgh.
● Colette Fischer, a freshman dual major in dance and business undeclared from Sylvania, Ohio.
● Rosie Franklin, a senior dual major in recreational therapy and dance from Milan, Michigan.
● Emma Greenwood, a freshman dual major in dance and exercise science from Ashtabula, Ohio.
● Emily Hayson, a sophomore dual major in exercise science and dance from Fombell.
● Autumn Hazelet, a junior dance major from Indiana.
● Sydney Heggen, a freshman dance major from North Huntingdon.
● Ella Hickey, a junior music therapy major from Hummelstown.
● Kathryn Hines, a senior dance major from Cranberry Township.
● Karin Hoglund, a junior dance major from Wilmette, Illinois.
● Derek Jenkins, a freshman dance major from New Kensington.
● Bethany Joyce, a junior dance major from Lancaster.
● Jessica Kintigh, a junior dual major in dance and history from Greensburg.
● Brenna Kloes, a junior dual major in early childhood and special education and dance from Sarver.
● Wenzday Koskey, a senior dual major in public health and dance from Tarentum.
● Grace Larson, a freshman dance major from Sugar Grove.
● Faythe Lewis, a sophomore dual major in recreational therapy and dance from Tipton.
● Kristina Lewis, a junior dance major from Stow, Ohio.
● Megan Long, a senior mathematics major from Doylestown, Ohio.
● Rachel Male, a freshman dance major from Columbia.
● Lauren McBarron, a senior dance major from Harrison City.
● Madeline McKissick, a senior dual major in dance and English writing from Johnstown.
● Skylar Morrell, a sophomore history major from Cochranton.
● Caitlin O'Halloran, a freshman dance major from Pittsburgh.
● Andres Ortiz, a freshman dual major in dance and management from Cochabamba, Bolivia.
● Alisha Pelkey, a senior dance major from Woodbine, Maryland.
● Alanna Rygelski, a senior dual major in dance and communication from Glenshaw.
● Alyssa Schiffer, a senior dance major from Slippery Rock.
● Ashleigh Schuler, a senior dance major from Williamsport.
● Austin Shaffer, a freshman dance major from Granville, Ohio.
● Olivia Shirley, a sophomore dual major in dance and psychology from New Kensington.
● Tiffany Shrom, a senior dance major from Quarryville.
● Kaylee Smith, a freshman dance major from Bridgeport, West Virginia.
● Leah Smith, a senior dual major in early childhood education and dance from Murrysville.
● Hayden Summers, a freshman dance major from Charleston, West Virginia.
● Mollie Sweeney, a senior dual major in early childhood and special education and dance from Freeport.
● Nechelle Trawick, a senior dance major from Philadelphia.
● Catherine Wheeler, a freshman dance major from Haskell, New Jersey.
● Kaitlin Yankovich, a sophomore dance major from Ridgway.
● Sophia Yocum, a freshman dual major in dance and communication from Hummelstown.
● Sarah Corinne Zeni, a senior dual major in exercise science and dance from Morgantown, West Virginia.
Tickets, priced at $10 each, can be purchased in advance at the Smith Student Center Information Desk, by phone at 724.738.4926 or online by clicking here. Tickets will also be available in the lobby of Swope Music Hall an hour before each performance.
MEDIA CONTACT: Lesa Bressanelli | 724.738.2091 | firstname.lastname@example.org