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DeSales University Dance Ensemble 2014
Nationally Renowned Choreographers Contribute to Desales Dance Concert
Guest artists Natalie Desch and Jeff Shade showcase original choreography
Featuring the original choreography of modern dance pioneer Michio Ito restaged by Kyoko Imura and Kumiko Komine
The annual Dance Ensemble Concert showcases choreography by DeSales dance faculty members and guest choreographers set on the department’s talented dance majors. Continuing its commitment to present historically significant masterworks, this year’s concert will feature restagings of the works by Japanese modern dance pioneer Michio Ito. Michio Ito (1893-‐1961) was an early advocate in the development of modern dance in America. A charismatic dancer, choreographer and teacher—who had been inspired by the works of Isadora Duncan, Anna Pavlova, and Vaslav Nijinsky—Ito’s long career brought him into association with a long line of great artists both within and outside the world of dance, including: William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, Isamu Noguchi, Ted Shawn, Martha Graham, and Lester Horton. One of Ito’s lasting contributions to dance were a series of short dance poems that he created which captured the essence of his artistic philosophy: that art is intended to inspire and uplift, to bridge cultural boundaries and to foster the brotherhood of man.
The DeSales Dance Department hosted a two-‐week residency with the Repertory Dance Theatre of Utah, the only professional dance company committed to the Ito repertory, as well as with Kyoko Imura and Kumiko Komine of the Doomonkai (Michio Ito Association in Tokyo), trustees of the Ito legacy. During the residency, a number of Ito’s most iconic dances were set on DeSales dance majors and those works will serve as the centerpiece of the concert.
“The DeSales Dance Department is known for its commitment to exposing our dance students to the great choreographers and masterworks through history,” says John Bell, head of the Division of Performing Arts. “The restaging of the Ito dance poems in this year’s concert continues that long line of artistic heritage. I have always believed that performing arts programs should look back and mine the great lessons of beauty and grace of the pioneering geniuses that came before us. Therefore, I take great pride in our Dance Department and look forward to this year’s concert.”
The Dance Ensemble Concert will also feature works choreographed by full-‐time dance faculty member Angela Sigley and adjunct instructors Janet Peck and Lynn Wiener, as well as guest choreographers Natalie Desch and Jeff Slade. Beyond the Ito works, the overall program will feature a fascinating range of dance style including ballet, contemporary, jazz, and modern dance. Inspiration for the various works is taken from such topics as an individual’s place within community, the flocking patterns of birds in flight, and a piece set to modern blues music that is “Leave it to Beaver” meets “The Good Wife.”
DeSales University Dance Ensemble Concert 2013
Alumni dance concert to highlight weekend of festivities
Center Valley, PA – (February 13, 2013) – The Division of Performing Arts at DeSales University is pleased to announce a three-day celebration marking the Dance Department’s 30thAnniversary. The showcase event of the celebration will be the annual Dance Ensemble Concert featuring world premier dances created by alumni from the program and performed by current dance majors as well as a senior dance major piece choreographed by a guest artist. In addition, a special Alumni Concert will be held featuring choreography and performances all executed by former dance majors. This concert features a unique opportunity for current dance majors to marvel at work created by alumni who, just a few years ago, were students themselves.
“This special weekend of dance and memories will serve two valuable purposes,” says John Bell, head of the Division of Performing Arts. “On one hand we’ll be welcoming home our alumni and turning the stage upon which they trained over to them to demonstrate how they have grown and developed into their dance careers. On the other hand, it will be a marvelous legacy event, showing our current students the power of the training they are receiving and the endless potential that lies ahead for them.”
The Dance Ensemble Concert will feature works choreographed by alumni Krista Armbruster, Kim Camacho, Shannon Dooling, Courtney Andrews Kay, Francesca Marinaro, Becky Moyer, and current Assistant Professor of Dance and alumna Angela Sigley. The senior dance majors will be showcased in a piece by a guest artist—Washington D.C. –based choreographer Christopher K. Morgan.
The program will feature a fascinating range of dance styles including ballet en pointe, contemporary jazz, and modern dance. Inspiration for the various works is taken from such topics as train travel and notions of physical and psychological impact to stories of desperation and perseverance. The Dance Ensemble Concert runs Friday March 15 and Saturday March 16 at 8:00 PM; and Sunday, March 17 at 3:00 PM. There is a morning matinee on Friday, March 15 at 11 AM.
Tim Cowart, chair of the Dance Department says, “For 30 years the Dance Department at DeSales University has been bringing high caliber dance performance to the Lehigh Valley and has been cultivating the growth of aspiring artists. This year’s Dance Ensemble Concert is a formal recognition of the community that has developed here and it is a celebration of our strengths. There is something special about a DeSales dancer. There is an indelible quality that informs the artistry of their creative endeavors which is seen in the dedication they bring to their craft, and in the generous spirit of each individual.”
The Alumni Concert, a one-time-only event to be held on Saturday, March 16 at 3 PM, will feature works from alumni Toni Duncan, Heather Fleischman, Alyson Jacques, Kathryn Luberecki and from DM Dance Company, New Street Dance Company, CoExistdance, MarDelDance, and the Vada Dance Collective—all regional dance companies being led by DSU alumni.
Founded in 1983, the Dance Department is home to sixty talented dance majors pursuing careers as professional dancers, choreographers, teachers, dance therapists, and dance studio entrepreneurs. Over the past thirty years nearly 350 dance artists have graduated from the program spreading the beauty of dance and the DeSales reputation regionally, nationally, and internationally. Under the leadership of chair Timothy Cowart, the DeSales University Dance Department is a thriving undergraduate dance program specializing in training dancers in performance, dance composition, dance education, and dance on film. Ideally situated in close proximity to New York and Philadelphia, the Dance Department regularly hosts nationally renowned dancers and choreographers for master classes and residencies.
Performances of the 2013 Dance Ensemble Concert are Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16 at 8 PM; and Sunday, March 17 at 3:00 PM. There is a morning matinee performance on Friday, March 15 at 11 AM. The Alumni Concert will be a one-time-only event on Saturday, March 16 at 3 PM. All performances will take place on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets for the Dance Ensemble concert are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. Admission to the Alumni Concert is free; however, tickets are required. Tickets are available by calling the Labuda box office at 610.282.3192 or online at www.desales.edu/act1.
The Labuda Center is fully accessible and equipped with a brand new listening enhancement system. Special seating is available for our patrons using wheelchairs or requiring other assistance. Please inform the box office of your needs when ordering tickets.
DeSales University Dance Ensemble Concert 2012
Nationally Renowned Choreographers Contribute to Desales Dance Concert
Guest artists Camille Armstrong, Allen Kaeja, and Jody Sperling to showcase original choreography
Center Valley, PA – (March 15, 2012) – The Division of Performing Arts at DeSales University is pleased to announce the Dance Department’s upcoming Dance Ensemble Concert opening on Friday, March 16 and running through Sunday, March 18, 2012. Hosting some of the finest guest artists in the country, the Dance Department’s premiere concert showcases original choreography by nationally renowned choreographers and the talented DeSales University dance faculty.
Performances are Friday, March 16 at 8 PM, Saturday, March 17 at 8 PM, and Sunday, March 18 at 3 PM. There is also a matinee performance on Friday, March 16 at 11 AM. Performances take place on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts in Center Valley, PA.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors for all performances. Tickets are available by calling the Labuda box office at 610.282.3192 or online at www.desales.edu/act1.
This year’s Dance Ensemble Concert will feature works set by three prominent guest artists. Internationally recognized and award winning choreographer and filmmaker Allen Kaeja has set his work “Turbulent Flow” on eleven DeSales dance majors. Kaeja says that this world premiere piece was “inspired by the insatiable thirst for knowledge and eternal search for humanity.” The piece breaks barriers of male/female partnering with an unpredictable, volatile momentum, “propelling the architecture of the human spirit in a physical crossing of borders.”
Guest choreographer Jody Sperling’s “Ghosts Revisited” expands on Sperling’s decade-plus of work inspired by the great late 19th century and early 20th century dancer/choreographer Loie Fuller who combined choreography and costume to breathtaking effect. Sperling says her piece “starts simply as the dancers trace geometric forms in the air. Gradually, it grows in complexity as they begin whirling, Dervish-like, through intricate formations. Weaving through each other, the dancer’s silk wings arc and cut folds into the space. At the finale, the five women spin gloriously forming a series of striking vortices suggestive of tulips or tornadoes.”
A former member of the off-Broadway production of STOMP, guest choreographer Camille Armstrong brings her dynamic brand of hip hop and body percussion to “Switch Up.” A percussionist herself, Ms. Armstrong is a master at the art of body percussion, a form of music and movement that allows dancers to explore the musical landscape of their bodies.
The residencies of Allen Kaeja and Jody Sperling have been made possible by an ongoing partnership between the Dance Department of DeSales University and DanceNow/NYC.
“Our dance program believes very strongly in the notion that our dance students should encounter the highest professional standard,” says John Bell, head of the Division of Performing Arts. “When we bring in these nationally-acclaimed artists, the guest choreographers are always surprised and impressed by our dance majors. It is terrific reinforcement for the work our dance faculty is doing with the students.” In addition, the Dance Ensemble Concert will feature dances created and staged by DeSales Dance professors Tim Cowart, Angela Sigley, and Trinette Singleton. Chair of the Dance Department, Tim Cowart, has created a dance titled “Interference” in which the laid-back sounds of jazz guitarist John Scofield are set against a turbulent modern dance turf war that is somehow both graceful and impertinent.
The Dance department’s newest faculty member, Angela Sigley, presents “The Art of Merging,” a story about compromise. Accompanied by a mélange of musical selections, a septet of women explore what it means to reconcile differences and make changes in the way they relate to others on the road of life. Says Sigley, “tales of merging are told in snapshot form as the dance sweeps through a spectrum of human interactions.”
Adjunct professor Trinette Singleton has created “Moments,” a ballet set to music by Ravel. Singleton has collaborated with voice instructor Megan Durham whose student Caitlin Rebuck will sing live, accompanied by pianist Patricia O’Connell. Singleton, a former principal ballerina with the acclaimed Joffrey Ballet, says the each section of the ballet represents universal moments in a life from joy, tenderness, and friendship to anger, loneliness and flirtation.
The Labuda Center is fully accessible and equipped with a brand new listening enhancement system donated by Frank and Kathy Whitley. Special seating is available for our patrons using wheelchairs or requiring other assistance. Please inform the box office of your needs when ordering tickets.
Mary-Jean Cowell performed with the Katherine Litz Company and in her own work, produced at Clark Center and Dance Theatre Workshop. Since then, she has choreographed more than 50 works which have been presented in New York, Hawaii, Tokyo, and more recently in St. Louis and other midwest venues. In Tokyo, Cowell taught and choreographed for the Kobo Abe Repertory Company. Her work often evades genre distinctions: for instance, she appeared in the St. Louis production of performance artist Ping Chong’s Angels of Swedenborg, and she scripted, choreographed, danced, and acted in “Komachi” and “Research,” and “For Robert: On Orders.”