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Dance Perspectives

May 13, 2015

Through both group and solo performances, the Dance Ensemble’s spring concert mines a myriad of personal perspectives in presenting pieces choreographed by seven students and by Dance faculty member Valerie Ifill. “Perspectives” also features works by well-known Philadelphia dancer Meredith Rainey, a former principal with the Pennsylvania ballet, and Beau Hancock, the 2014 Ellen Forman Award-winner. Performances will take place on May 28th, 29th and 30th at 8:00pm in the Mandell Theater (33rd & Chestnut Streets). Click to purchase tickets.

Hancock’s piece, In the Companye of Sundry Folk, takes its name from a line in the Prologue to Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Chaucer’s stories serve as inspiration for the structure of this idiosyncratic dance in which individual solos are knit together by a traveling group, with each solo representing an intimate window into the story of that dancer. 

Mr. Rainey will present two pieces in the concert, including a solo work featuring Drexel senior Cara Slemmer, who Rainey first saw dance three years ago and has been waiting since then to have her dance this piece, entitled Caged. The second piece is a group work, Willy Nilly, danced to a live performance of a piano piece by Bach with accompanist Noah Farber. It takes a lighthearted look at contemporary ballet.

The concert also includes the presentation of the 2015 Ellen Forman Award, which honors the memory of Ellen Forman and her contributions to the dance community as a dancer, choreographer and educator. The Award is given annually to a local choreographer to set an original or reconstructed work for the Drexel University Dance Ensemble. This year’s recipient will be dance artist Shaness Kemp, a current company member of Kariamu & Company and Eleone Dance Theatre.