Come see Raw Edges XXI


Photo by Mark Santillano

Gianluca Ianiro, Staff writer

The Mercyhurst University Dance Department will showcase works by a dozen cutting-edge student choreographers when it presents Raw Edges XXI in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.
The students have spent all year preparing their offerings, working with faculty mentors C. Noelle Partusch, Mark Santillano and Solveig Santillano.
The students are responsible for the entire process, from developing a theme and creating choreography, to casting fellow students in their works, to choosing costumes and musical accompaniment and more.
“This year’s topics are particularly exciting and relevant,” notes associate professor and co-director Solveig Santillano.
“For the past four years, these students have been formulating a response to the questions ‘Who am I as an artist?’ and ‘What do I want to say in the world?’”
“It is exhilarating to see such personal engagement and field related leadership,” Solveig Santillano said.
She said the students’ pieces are thoughtful, drawing inspiration from Greek mythology to sacred architecture, rock ballads to Broadway, human relationships and even dancing with horses.
She added that this year’s topics reflect broad social concerns such as cultural identity, the politics of shame, polarization, animal rights and gender representation.
Audience members will have the opportunity to hear from the artists during “Talk Back” sessions offered during intermission.
Each choreographer will discuss his or her process for creating, realizing and articulating a unique vision.
Raw Edges XXI will be performed in the Performing Arts Center on April 5 at 7 p.m., on April 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and on April 7 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $5 for youths 12 and under and Mercyhurst students. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 814-824-3000.