News & Notables from the Division of Performing Arts

DeSales Dance Season Opens with “Accelerate”

by Roseann Damico Schatkowski | Oct 10, 2013

The Dance students of DeSales University open their 2013-2014 dance season with “Accelerate,” a premiere program of new dances in which student choreographers examine the concept of acceleration as it relates to movement, rhythm, and momentum.

The Division of Performing Arts at DeSales University is pleased to celebrate the opening of the Dance Department’s 31st Season with its annual Emerging Choreographers Concert. The concert is entirely student-run from the choreographers and the dancers to the designers and stage managers. “Accelerate” is slated for four performances in the intimate Schubert Theatre in the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the DeSales campus from November 8 to 10, 2013.

"One of the great qualities about our Dance Department is that the students get training as performers, dance teachers, and choreographers. And it is especially in this last arena—as choreographers—that our students always surprise,” says John Bell, division head. "I am a firm believer that there is no greater testament to the belief a teacher can show to a student than to turn the stage over to the student. That’s what this concert does. The dance majors get to spread their artistic wings by choreographing world premiere of dances of vision that, up to this point, have only lived in their imaginations,” says Bell.

Presented in the three-quarter-round Schubert Theatre, the audience gets to experience these dances up close and personal. “The Schubert Theatre is a marvelous space for dance. When the theatre is full, it bursts with an audience energy that is only compounded by the dance energy on stage. Hearing the dancers breathe and hearing their feet work the floor reminds us all of the immense training and hard work required of those who devote their lives to dance” says Bell. “This year, each choreographer was asked to consider the concept of acceleration as it related to movement rhythm and momentum. Not an easy task when choreographing for a small stage. I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with.”

The program features six world premier dances in genres as diverse as ballet, tap and modern dance. Senior Jesse Florance’s “Affinity” uses ballet and a blues-inspired score to move the audience through a whirlwind of connections and interactions, which accelerate as the piece develops. Junior Samantha Jones’ “Frayed” features a cast of three dancers who maneuver in and out of close entanglements symbolically represented an ever-evolving entanglement of malleable ropes.

Senior Liz Shemory’s “Off the Wall” catapults five characters into a world in which their hidden thoughts and feelings are suddenly thrust into the spotlight. Featuring quirky movement and comedic timing, this piece explores those moments when words fail. Senior Cristina Siegel’sA/B Line” heats the stage with rhythmic choreography, transporting audiences to the underground tracks of the inner city. Sharp movements connected by smooth spatial patterns create a universal scene of chaos and rush. 

Everything is not always as it appears to be in junior Amanda Urbanski’sFace Value”
The dance explores the danger of superficial exteriors. The dance is a playful riff on the game of “Clue.” With lots of dark secrets and unanswered questions, Face Value” is sure to accelerate heart rates until the suspenseful conclusion. Senior Maggie Vaccaro’s “Velocity” is inspired by the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

Performances are Friday, November 8 at 8 p.m., Saturday, November 9 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, November 10 at 2:00 p.m. and take place in the Schubert Theatre in the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the DeSales University campus. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors for all performances and can be ordered by calling the Labuda box office at 610.282.3192 or online at www.desales.edu/act1. Group discounts are available.

The Labuda Center is fully accessible and equipped with a 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.


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