Thursday, April 28, 2011


Hello Everyone!

Well the time has finally come! After all of our hard work, the performances of Cinderella are upon us! Everyone is looking forward to the performances this weekend. This week has been very busy as we put in our final hours of rehearsal in the theater. Last night was the dress rehearsal for the Friday and Saturday evening cast, which include our seniors Nicole Lyons as Cinderella, Jessica Borowczyk as the Fairy Godmother, and Claire Hinde and Sarah Grace as the Step-sisters. There were still a few glitches to work out but I think after our second dress rehearsal tonight for the Saturday and Sunday matinee cast everything will look great! The matinee cast includes Sophomore Olivia Boyd as Cinderella, Junior Kristina Weimer as the Fairy Godmother, and Juniors Haley Bradstreet and Victoria Scott as the Step-sisters.

Our performances will be Friday, May 29th at 4pm, Saturday, May 30th at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday, May 31 at 2pm. Hope to see you there!

"Then come the lights shining on you from above. You are a performer. You forget all you learned, the process of technique, the fear, the pain, you even forget who you are. You become one with the music, the lights, indeed one with the dance."

-Shirley Maclaine

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Midterm time!

Hello Everyone!

Its been a busy couple of weeks here in the dance department but it seems as if things are finally coming together. Cinderella rehearsals are running full time now and we are beginning to rehearse entire acts. Everything looks so good we can't wait for you to see the production!

Midterms were also this past week so everyone can finally relax a bit and focus simply on getting back into the swing of classes and normal everyday life. Everyone seemed to do wonderfully and I'm sure all the midterm grades will be splendid.

We also had a guest teacher come in for a residency a couple weeks ago, Ms. Cameron Basden, Director of Dance at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Cameron Basden has had a career in dance spanning more than thirty years. She brings passion and spirit to her art, as well as a keen sense of organization and integrity to the projects she undertakes. Ms. Basden served as Ballet Master and Co-Associate Director for The Joffrey Ballet from 1993-2008. She was a muse for Gerald Arpino and now stages his works. She worked on the PBS filming of The Joffrey's production of Billboards, and oversaw the filming and staging of the ballets in Save the Last Dance. She is a noted lecturer and speaker on dance and dance related subjects. As a repetiteur, Ms. Basden has staged both historical and contemporary works. With The Joffrey Ballet, Ms. Basden danced in a variety of styles by such choreographers as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, John Cranko, William Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, James Kudelka, Laura Dean and Choo San Goh. Ms. Basden's television credits include the Dance in America series "Homage to Diaghilev" and "The Search for the Rite of Spring". In 2003, she portrayed herself in Robert Altman's movie, The Company. She serves on the board of The Gerald Arpino Foundation where she is also the main repetiteur.

In addition to Ms. Basden's residency we have had two early bird auditions for high school juniors that are interested in the department. This allows them to audition and get a head start in applying to the college as well as the department. The conclusions of these two auditions also concludes our audition season.

The department also participated in a couple events on campus in the past couple weeks. The entire department participated in a research study with the psychology department. In addition, the wellness fair was held this past week which is always an excitement for the department. As such active athletes, everyone in the department likes to go to the fair and learn about different ways to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally, as well as enjoy delicious and healthy food.
Finally, Mercyhurst had the pleasure of hosting Complexions Dance Company. The show was spectacular with amazing choreography by Dwight Rhodes and extreme and limitless dancing by the company. Here is a bit about the company from their website...

"It is artistic directors Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson’s lifelong appreciation for the artistic & aesthetic appeal of the multicultural that forms the cornerstone of Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s singular approach to reinventing dance. Founded in 1994, Complexions’ groundbreaking mix of methods, styles, cultures has created an entirely new and exciting vision of human movement over the past decade-and-a-half.

The company’s foremost innovation is that dance should be about removing boundaries, not reinforcing them. Whether it be the limiting traditions of a single style, period, venue, or culture, Complexions transcends them all, creating an open, continually evolving form of dance that reflects the movement of our world—and all its constituent cultures—as an interrelated whole.

It is Rhoden and Richardson’s unique career paths that have paved the way for them to re-define dance—as their multifaceted resumes will show, neither has ever been comfortable with his art being placed in a box. Instead, from E! to PBS to VH1, from Cirque de Soleil to the Joffrey Ballet to So You Think You Can Dance, the two have allowed the transformative power of their art to flow freely throughout the entertainment world—their creative vision restricted by nothing but the limits of the human body itself.

Together, Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson have created in Complexions an institution that embodies its historical moment, a sanctuary where those passionate about dance can celebrate its past while simultaneously building its future. In the 16 years since its inception, the company has born witness to a world that is becoming more fluid, more changeable, and more culturally interconnected than ever before—in other words, a world that is becoming more and more like Complexions itself."

Overall it has been an exciting and eventful past couple of weeks for the department and we can't wait to share the rest of the year with you!

“In life as in dance: Grace glides on blistered feet” - Alice Abrams