'35 Years' honors Dance Dept. success

Exciting things have been happening in the dance space at Mercyhurst College: Alumni stream in and out and guest artists’ choreography shakes the studio. It is all leading up to the department’s end-of-term show.

The show is called “35 Years: A Celebration,” and includes choreography by guest artists Diego Salterini, Bill Evans, Sandra Baldwin and Bruce Marks, as well as guest appearances by Bill Evans and other dance department alumni.

Choreography by Mercyhurst Dance Department faculty member Christine Hay will also be featured.

The production will take place at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

When asked about the show, freshman Ashley Cook said, “We’ve all put in a lot of work, and I think all the students should come to support their classmates. It’s going to be a great show.”

The show marks not only the end of a term’s worth of work by the dance students, but also the 35th anniversary of the dance department.

“It truly is a time to celebrate the 35 years of excellence in dance education at Mercyhurst College,” department chair Tauna Hunter said in the press release for the show.

The department has gone through many changes in its 35 years.

Starting out in what is now the great room of the Hammermill Library, the department has its own space and received accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Dance.

“35 Years: A Celebration” is going to be quite the show. With pieces such as “Terra Mia,” a traditional Italian folk dance, and “Hard Times,” a modern piece about the Appalachian sub-culture, as well as “Déjà Vu,” which depicts the raucous ’60s, there is plenty of thematic and stylistic variety within the show.

“It’s a performance that has something for everyone. There are so many different cultures and ideas represented,” senior Danielle Feller said.

Beyond the array of exciting pieces, the performance includes dance department alumni. “I think it’s really great that the department decided to incorporate alumni into the performance,” senior Erin Alarcon said.

With ideas and artists coming from the past and present as well as all over the world to collaborate for the show, it is sure to be an incredible experience for all.

Tickets can be purchased at the PAC box office by calling extension 3000. Tickets are $1 for students with a Mercyhurst ID.