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DeSales Dance Season Opens with “Electrify”

by Roseann Damico Schatkowski Oct 11, 2019

The dance department at DeSales University opens its 2019-2020 dance season with “Electrify: Emerging Choreographers Concert,” a premiere program of new dances featuring the department’s most talented student choreographers. This season’s choreographers showcase dances using “electricity” as inspiration for their physical action and choreographic research.

Under the artistic direction of dance faculty member Julia Mayo, the Division of Performing Arts at DeSales University is pleased to celebrate the dance department’s 37th season with this annual concert showcasing our emerging student choreographers. From the choreography to the performers, designers, and student managers, the concert is a mostly student-run affair.

The Emerging Choreographers Concert is slated for four performances in the intimate Schubert Theatre of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, DeSales University. Performances are Friday, November 1 at 8 p.m., Saturday, November 2 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, November 3 at 2:00 p.m.

Artistic Director Julia Mayo will host a Prelude Conversation with the choreographers and the assembled audience at 1 p.m., prior to the Saturday, November 2, 2:00 p.m. performance. The conversation is free of charge and open to the public.

The program features six world premiere dances in a variety of genre. Junior Danielle Curtin’s “Spectrum” focuses on the topic of autism and how it affects the individual and those who love them. Junior Alexa Fahs’ “Read My Lips” shines a light on the ideas of oralism in the deaf community. Oralism is defined as “the system of teaching deaf people to communicate by the use of speech and lip-reading rather than sign language.” This piece explores what those in the deaf community have experienced in their schooling and throughout their lives. 

Senior Maria Murray’s “Πράγμα (Pragma)” focuses on the longstanding love between Greek god and goddess, Adonis and Aphrodite. The timeless lesson of compromise is embodied in the tolerance and patience of these lovers. While our world often exerts too much energy on “falling in love,” Pragma teaches us how to “stand in love.”

Senior Alex Seybolt’s “In Retrospect” explores the idea of false memory as it applies to everyday life. This piece examines both differing and shared false memories among individuals that are either partially incorrect or that are completely fabricated without the intention of falsity. Junior Amanda Salvo’s “Pulse” focuses on the anatomy and physiology of the human heart and how its many unique features, when looked at by an artist, might be said to move in a dance.

Lastly, senior Kyra Robinson’s “Last Breath” centers around her grandma, Gale Ford, who was called to Heaven this August. The title Last Breath originates from her final day and journeys through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It acknowledges that everyone grieves differently, but asks if we truly reach a place of acceptance, or if we are stuck in one of the previous four stages?

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students, and $6 for DeSales and LVIAC students for all performances. Tickets are available by calling the Labuda box office at 610.282.3192 or online at