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Dance Ensemble Winter Concerts

December 19, 2017

Each winter, the Drexel Dance Ensemble and FreshDance present two wonderful concerts in the Mandell Theater. These performances provide Drexel students, regardless of their major, an opportunity to express their artistry through dance performance and choreography. This year, the two companies include 90 dancers, representing nearly 22 majors across all Colleges including Westphal majors in Dance, Entertainment & Arts Management, Graphic Design, Design & Merchandising, Fashion Design, Film & Video and Interactive Digital Media.

From February 1st to 3rd, the Drexel Dance Ensemble will present ten new works in their winter concert, Assembly, is inspired by public gatherings stimulated by recent political events. The final work of the concert, Throng, choreographed by Dr. Miriam Giguere, Director of Drexel Dance Ensemble and FreshDance and the Department Head of Performing Arts, will be an exploration of the concert’s theme for all 59 dancers in the Dance Ensemble company. This work, explores the ways in which large groups of people express social and political identity.

On February 9th and 10th, FreshDance will present New Explorations, this year’s inaugural performance for Drexel’s all-freshmen dance company. New Explorations features three professional premieres by Dance Program Director Valerie Ifill, faculty member Rebecca Arends, and the Dance Program’s newest full-time faculty member, Sandra Parks. Parks’s My Island, My Home is a response to her experience staying with the Yami people of Orchid Island, off the southeast coast of Taiwan. 

Assembly // February 1-3 // 8PM // Mandell Theater // Tickets 

New Explorations // February 9-10 // 8PM // Mandell Theater // Tickets

Drexel Dance Ensemble

The Drexel Dance Ensemble will represent four types of gatherings—mob, delegation, troop, and caucus in various locations of the Mandell Theater. This work is a collaboration by multiple Westphal faculty and staff including composer Christopher Farrell (Music and Dance faculty member), prop designer Chris Totora (Mandell Theater technical director), costume designer Jill Keys (costume shop manager) and lighting designer Dom Chacon (Theatre faculty member).

Also featured in Assembly is the work of guest choreographer and Ellen Forman Award Winner, Evalina “Wally” Carbonell, who is remounting her work Milk on the ensemble. This work, in the words of the choreographer, “deals with give and take, as it relates to the female body and motherhood. Using rhythm, breath, effort, and flow, the cast of dancers pour themselves into dance, relating this movement to motherhood.” Assembly will also feature a new work by faculty member Shannon Murphy, and seven student-choreographed works by Kate Alaine Algarme, Helen Cheon, Nicole DeRoux, Angelynn Hoang, Tanishq Joshi, Joseph Kindt and Kaitlyn Santucci. 

Fresh Dance

Parks has enjoyed working with an impressive new group of dancers, sharing, “Working with college dancers is a passion of mine because I enjoy creating work based on the students’ abilities and more importantly, encouraging them to reach their potential, step out of their comfort zone, and find their own voices within the work I create on them.” New Explorations will also feature the remounting of two student pieces by Westphal students, Gabi Montoya (Dance) and Destiny Bugg (Entertainment &Arts Management).