Dancers bring holiday spirit to campus with 'Tis the Season'

Contributed photo: “‘Tis the Season” is unique in that it is geared specifically to younger audiences.Contributed photo: “‘Tis the Season” is unique in that it is geared specifically to younger audiences.This weekend, the Mercyhurst College Dance Department will bring a festive holiday spirit to campus by presenting a new concert titled “Tis the Season.”

Consisting of three different pieces, “The Skaters,” “A Multitude of Angels” and “Santa’s Toy Shop,” the concert showcases the Mercyhurst dancers’ abilities in performing a wide variety of dance styles.

Opening the performance is “The Skaters.”

As its name implies, the number features dancers who will “skate” across the stage.

They will create various patters of duos, trios and ensembles ultimately creating an ambiance of outdoor holiday magic.

The second piece of the program will feature the Liturgical Dance Ensemble performing the spiritually based work “A Multitude of Angels.”

Dancers dressed in beautiful flowing skirts will create eye pleasing movement patterns and interesting formations.

Finally to close the production, the Mercyhurst Dancers will jazz it up in the colorful and cheerful work entitled “Santa’s Toy Shop.”

This highly entertaining number is complete with dancing elves, flying reindeer, tap-dancing soldiers, dolls and a cameo appearance by Santa Claus.

Needless to say, this is sure to be a favorite among the young and young at heart.

An interesting aspect about this performance is that the Mercyhurst dancers have been preparing for it throughout the entire fall term.

Inevitably, the dancers have been getting into the holiday spirit by rehearsing to Christmas music since September.

Nonetheless, performers such as junior dance major Emma Rishel are anxiously anticipating the first holiday concert.

“I love the fact that the show combines two of my favorite things, dancing and Christmas,” said Rishel, who portrays a flirtatious elf.

Rishel added that she enjoys dancing in “Santa’s Toy Shop” because it is amusing and requires a high amount of energy.

Though the majority of dance department shows are family-oriented, “Tis the Season,” is unique in that it is geared specifically to younger audiences.

According to Dance Department Chair Tauna Hunter, “‘Tis the Season” is our holiday treat for Erie,” she said.

“We’re excited to do something especially for children and their families that will highlight all the delights of the holiday season.”

Though the show may be geared to children, all Mercyhurst students and dance enthusiasts are invited and encouraged to attend this fun and exciting event.

Performances of “Tis the Season” will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m. in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

It will include a festively decorated theater lobby, holiday music and costumed dancers greeting the audience before and after each performance.

Tickets are $3.50 for students with a Mercyhurst ID and can be purchased from the box office by calling 814-824-3000.

A preview performance will also be offered Friday, Dec. 9, at 4:30 p.m. with limited balcony seating tickets available for $5.