Poet Charles Baudelaire said, “the dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.”
Proof of this claim is not hard to come by, but what’s greater is that every performance presents a unique and beautiful interpretation of the music.
Still not convinced? Come see the poetry of dance in action at the Spring 2017 Raw Edges.
Each semester, the Mercyhurst Dance Department Choreography III and Senior Seminar classes are tasked with producing and presenting their work at the Raw Edges event.
This includes choosing a topic or theme and researching, casting, creating, rehearsing and producing their own musical performance to fulfill the senior capstone thesis project for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
This year, the 19th year of the program, 16 talented students, overseen by Mercyhurst dance faculty Noelle Partusch, Mark and Solveig Santillano, will be presenting their final projects from March 17 to 19 at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.
The choreographers selected the performers for their projects through auditions in December of 2016 and have since been working rigorously to perfect the final product.
The program will consist of 16 separate pieces performed by 57 dance majors.
The 16 choreographers are as follows: Marleigh Bristol, Sara Clarke, Audrey Davison, Ragan Faulkner, Kathryn Galimi, Lacey Gigliotti, Elizabeth Hite, Matthew Huefner, Ashley Miltich, Victoria Morris, Veronica Plys, Sarah Ruesch, Kerry Schroeder, Celina Schroer, Danielle Garcia Silva and Makayla Sprague.
The subject matter of the pieces has a wide range encompassing mental illness, rainforests, infatuation, obsession and determination, death and grieving, and inspiration from paintings, poetry and the human condition.
Junior Lacey Gigliotti’s piece, entitled “Heartstrings,” “examines the complex matters of the heart in the simplest of times and the simplest of places” by exploring the lives of three characters seeking fulfillment while at a bar in a small town.
Other works were inspired by cultural references, such as films.
Junior Sara Clarke choreographed a piece called “Of Dust,” which draws inspiration from the 2000 film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and illustrates the progression of different chapters in a person’s life.
Raw Edges has something for everyone.
Audiences can expect a variety of musical genres including techno, country western, classical and contemporary.
Their work will be displayed in two separate parts of the Raw Edges program, so audience members are encouraged to attend more than one performance if they wish to experience all of the different pieces.
This year, the audience will also have the opportunity to participate in a “Talk Back” session during intermissions.
During this time, the audience will hear about the processes of choreography that students have undergone to put together the show as well as hearing from the senior thesis candidates on how they have come to realize their “artistic voice” through the “articulation of their colleagues’ embodied expression.”
The concerts will be performed at the Performing Arts Center on March 17 at 4:30 p.m., on March 18 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and March 19 at 2 p.m.
Tickets can be bought at the box office at $5 for Mercyhurst students, $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $5 for youth.
The program was made possible by The Mercyhurst Dancers and their partners LECOM and LifeWorks Erie.