Thursday, April 19, 2012

Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal

This week Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal came to perform at the Mary D'angelo Performing Arts Center. It's always a privilege to have such a fantastic company come and perform here. On Monday they offered a master class for our students taught by Kevin Delaney, a member of the company. All of the students really enjoyed the class and were sore the next day!

The company performed on Tuesday and had a standing ovation from the audience. They opened the performance with Les Chambres des Jacques,choreographed by Azure Barton, which was a piece that toyed with the pedestrian movements of everyday life. The movements were tweaked and repeated in various ways that made for a very unique movement vocabulary. The choreography was inspired by the dancers personalities and imperfections. The music chosen for the piece was eclectic ranging from Vivaldi to Québécois folk music. Even with range of different music the piece as a whole was cohesive. The second piece they performed was a world premier titled, Night Box. This piece choreographed by Wen Wei Wang, was inspired by urban life. Lights and projections were used to recreate the feeling of an urban city at night. In the beginning of the piece it felt as if the dancers were all in a night club with the lights and pulsing music.

Overall the performance was spectacular and to watch dancers with such power and energy was inspiring. As an extra opportunity some of our dancers went backstage and met the members of the company after the performance!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life after graduation

It's the time of year where every senior at Mercyhurst is preparing for life after graduation. Whether a student chooses to go to grad school to continue their education or go straight into the job world, it's a scary and exciting time. For dancers it's especially nerve wracking because most of us have been dancing since we were three years old dreaming that one day we would become professional dancers. I remember seeing New York City Ballet for the first time when I was six and wanting nothing more than to go up on stage with all the dancers. Some dancers decide that they want to do a trainee program or audition for companies right out of high school, while some decide that a college degree is the right way to go. The great thing about going to college is that students get exposed to so many new and interesting things that can broaden their horizons. Four years can really change a persons perspective on what they want to do and I know that I have discovered so many aspects of the dance world that I never would have considered if I had not gone to college.

So now that graduation is about to kick us out into the real world, what are our options? Many people outside of the dance field don't actually know how many options a dance major has. I have had been asked countless times, "What can you actually do with a dance major?". A performing career is most likely on the top of most dancers lists. There are many different performing opportunities including ballet, modern or contemporary companies, cruise ships, broadway, or commercial dance. If dancing professionally isn't in the cards then a dancer can go on to teach at a dance studio or even open their own. Arts administration is also a quickly growing field where someone can stay connected to dance through the administrative end such as working on development or marketing for a dance company or performing arts theater. Another career field a dancer can go into is dance therapy. Dance can be very useful in emotional, cognitive and physical rehabilitation and therapy. There are so many different paths a dance major can take after graduation it just takes finding the right fit.

Our senior dance majors at mercyhurst have been extremely busy auditioning for companies and applying for jobs. One senior dancer, Victoria Scott has her sights set on the Rockettes. Currently she is in the top 10 for the Jump the Line contest for the Rockettes. Out of hundreds of videos, she was picked to be a finalist in the competition. The winner of this contest is flown to New York City for free and gets to jump to the front of the line of hundreds of dancers at the Rockette audition in May. We're asking everyone to vote and get her into the top 5!! follow this link:
and vote for Victoria Scott!!! It only takes a few seconds

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Well Easter is right around the corner, which means a few days off from school. We are right in the middle of spring term and it's a perfect time for a break from midterms and rehearsals. Many students are going home to spend time with family for the holiday or if it's too far to travel home then a few restful days on campus is always nice. Campus is gorgeous with blooming flowers this time of year and it's slowly starting to get warmer!

Trees are in bloom outside of the Hirt Academic Center!

Happy Easter!