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Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Dance Theater Company will present a Fall Dance Showcase combining various dance styles, themes and cultural inuences in Zink Hall Dance Studio starting Oct. 25, directed by dance professor Holly Boda-Sutton.
The variety of dances in this showcase range from ballet to ancient Japanese-style Noh.
“When I first found out we were doing a Noh dance, I was kind of scared because I knew of the intricate hand and ankle movements,” Kelli Pate (junior, communications media) said. Noh has been around since the 14th century, involves slow movement and combines dance, music and acting.
Other variations of dance in this showcase include modern, tango, clogging, jazz and others.
“We are really just trying to expose people to different types of dancing,” Cassandra Eagan (freshman, English education) said.
This is Eagan’s first show with IUP Dance Theater.
“We are at the studio 3 to 4 times a week, all different hours,” Eagan said. “It is a lot of hard work, but the product of that hard work is rewarding.”
“A lot of it is us getting together outside of rehearsal, too,” Christina Kawata (freshman, psychology) said. “This is my first time performing with a real company, which is such an important step in my dance career.”
Pate said the significance of this performance is being able to show people what she loves.
“I want to move the audience,” Pate said. “This showcase really has something for everyone, we are constantly switching up the vibe. There are pieces that will make you happy, others will make you sad and others will make you angry.”
Some routines are more fun and energetic while others take on a serious tone like “Empty Vessels.”
“‘Empty Vessels’ is more about our connection with God,” Kawata said.
“Empty Vessels” uses a pew as a prop to heighten the dancers’ sense of space.
“They have to be aware of where the pew is at all times,” Pate said.
The showcase also has some other serious pieces, including a piece collaborated with the Counseling Center and the Haven Project regarding abuse within committed, romantic relationships.
“The piece describes a domestic dispute,” Pate said. “It is intended to inform people and make them see that domestic violence is a real issue. If someone in the audience sees it and is in that sort of situation or knows someone who is, then maybe it might change their perspective and get help.
“I’ve seen a lot of that sort of thing occur so I feel for it,” Pate said. “If I have a bad day, for whatever reason, I take my anger out in rehearsal on this piece. I had a friend in this sort of situation, and playing this role just makes me feel better. Dance is my release.”
The Dance Theater Company warns that some thematic content may not be appropriate for young audiences.
“Go see it,” Pate said. “You will come out of it with a new perspective on at least something in life. It will move you.”
Tickets for the Fall Dance Showcase are available at the Hadley Union Building box office or at the door the night of the show.
Tickets cost $14 for regular admission and $9 with an I-Card.
The show runs Oct. 25-26 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 27 at 2 p.m.