The Drexel Dance Ensemble and FreshDance to Present Winter Concerts Exploring Connection and Transformation
January 21, 2020
The Drexel Dance Ensemble and FreshDance kick off their 2020 season with two dynamic concerts in the Mandell Theater. These performances provide Drexel students, regardless of their major, an opportunity to express their artistry through dance performance or choreography.
On January 30th - February 1st, 2020, the Drexel Dance Ensemble will present their winter concert, Transformations. Each dance on this concert is inspired by the titular theme. Choreographers explored different forms of change. Head of the Department of Performing Arts and ensemble director, Dr. Miriam Giguere says, “some [choreographers] explored personal transformation, others looked at imperatives for social change.”
Transformations will feature four professionally choreographed pieces as well as six student choreographed pieces. Of the four professional choreographers, two are Drexel Faculty: Kalila Kingsford Smith, assistant director of the Dance Ensemble, and Jennifer Morley, Associate Teaching Professor and Director of Drexel Pilates. Drexel Dance also brought in New York independent choreographer Janice Rosario and Italian choreographer Antonello Tudisco. Tudisco visited from Italy for an intensive residency to create this new work focusing on the connection between dance and painting on Drexel dancers. Six of the ten choreographers on the program are Drexel dancers—Giguere says, “it is really the student vision of dance that guides these concerts.” This concert affords students the opportunity to speak on issues important to them and discover their relation to those issues.
On February 7th and 8th, 2020, FreshDance will present New Connections, this quarter’s performance for Drexel’s all-freshmen dance company. Being an ensemble made solely of freshmen, these dancers are “…making new connections with each other and with the art form of dance through these works,” says Giguere. This performance features professional and student choreographers alike. Out of the three professional choreographers, Rebecca Malcolm-Naib, is new to Drexel, and her piece is based on the idea of traffic—there is a traffic light on stage directing the dancers depending on the color of the light: red, green or yellow. Olive Prince is a Drexel faculty member, and her piece will open the second half of the concert. Cachet Ivey, from Kulu Mele African Dance and Drum Ensemble, is creating a work on the dancers honoring a trickster deity Orisha. “It’s a fun and lively challenge for the dancers to learn this African Dance vocabulary,” says Giguere.
The performance will also feature the work of two upper classman from Drexel Dance Ensemble: Hayley Beck, Dance major, and Joseph Kindt, English major and Dance scholarship student. The presence of upper classmen choreographers in this performance not only allows these upper classmen to hone their leadership and choreographic skills but also facilitates mentorship amongst the students.
Tickets for all concerts are $10 for general admission and $5 with a student ID, and they can be purchased at drexelperformingarts.com.