2017 Dance Ensemble Concert Features a Major Historical Reconstruction and a Slate of World Premieres

by Roseann Damico Schatkowski | Feb 22, 2017



The division of performing arts at DeSales University is pleased to announce the capstone event in its 2017 dance season, the Dance Ensemble Concert, running Friday March 17 to Sunday, March 19 on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts.

The DeSales Dance Ensemble showcases a spectacular slate of original choreography by nationally renowned guest choreographers as well as the esteemed choreographers on the Dance Department faculty. And, continuing its commitment to historically significant masterworks, this year’s concert will feature a restaging of legendary choreographer’s José Limón’s “Concerto Grosso.”

Choreographed in 1945, “Concerto Grosso” is set to music by Antonio Vivaldi. Originally choreographed for a cast of three—one man and two women—our Dance Ensemble will be presenting a version for nine—three men and six women—reconstructed by former Limón company member Sean Sullivan. “The DeSales Dance Department's commitment to historical reconstructions offers our students the opportunity to physicalize the history of our art form” says Julia Mayo, Artistic Director of the 2017 Dance Ensemble Concert.  Colin Connor, Artistic Director of the Limón Dance Company says Limón’s “Concerto Grosso” is three-part choreographic invention that is “the promise of a world, and a way of living, we have yet to see.”

The Dance Ensemble Concert will also feature works choreographed by a number of guest choreographers. Jonathan Campbell and Austin Diaz have choreographed “WANDA,” a darkly playful landscape created for eleven women, set to electronic music and the vocals of country diva Wanda Jackson. With no narrative, the piece is highly athletic, vulnerable and laced with a bit of sarcasm.

Paul C. Ocampo’s “Here I Am” investigates of the power of human spirit, an exploration of the human threshold. Presenting the interconnectivity of experiences and influences of mankind and the strength behind it when harnessed collectively, “Here I Am” aims to voice out societal concerns and aspirations for a calm, spiritual and peaceful existence.

Joshua L. Peugh’s “The Bluebird of Happiness” is inspired by Betty Friedan's “The Feminine Mystique,” which became a best seller when published in 1963, paving the way for the second-wave of feminism. Friedan opened her book by describing "the problem that has no name.” “The Bluebird of Happiness,” inspired by the women in the cast and the current state of women in our country, meditates on the mid-century American culture that continues to affect people today.

DeSales dance faculty member Angela Sigley Grossman will present “Flight Risk” in which a trio of astronauts investigates the physical and psychological effects of living in a zero-gravity environment. Crewmembers experience hallucinations, separation anxiety, sleep deprivation, and an urge to destroy the ship and the rest of the crew during long voyages into the cold and mysterious darkness. As the dancers navigate the dangerous cosmos through twisting, contorted movement and flight-inspired partnering, we have to wonder if they’ll make it back to Earth in one piece. And Assistant Professor of Dance and Artistic Director for the Dance Ensemble Concert Julia Mayo offers “Lagniappe,” a lively contemporary ballet inspired by the energetic music of composer Kenji Bunch. Full of spirited twists, leaps, and turns, this piece for six dancers celebrates the joy and beauty of dance.

 The Dance Ensemble Concert runs Friday, March 17 at 11:00 AM and 8:00 PM, Saturday, March 18 at 8:00 PM, and Sunday, March 19 at 3:00 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 $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors for all performances Tickets may be purchased by calling the Labuda box office at 610.282.3192 or online at www.desales.edu/act1.

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Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications

610.282.1100 x1219

DeSales University
2255 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034