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Annual Festival To Present Gallery For Professional Dancers

Sept. 20, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Kim Mathie

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Khalea London
Khalea London, from the Senegal-based Khalea London/LAYERS dance company, will not only participate in the festival as a choreographer but will stay at SHSU after The Dance Gallery Festival for one week in-residence, teaching SHSU students. Submitted photo by Christopher Duggan

The Sam Houston State University Department of Dance and VON USSAR danceworks will present the third annual Dance Gallery Festival, featuring original works from emerging and renowned choreographers from around the country, on Oct. 5-6 in the James & Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theatre.

Performances will begin at 8 each evening.

The Dance Gallery Festival will include participation by members of 11 dance companies who will spend three days teaching master classes to upper class dance students and will give two public performances for the Huntsville and surrounding communities.

Founded to address the scarcity of affordable venues available for presentation of modern dance, the festival showcases the works of both established and emerging choreographers in a state of the art theater, according to Andy Noble, SHSU dance professor and associate artistic director of The Dance Gallery Festival.

The concerts will feature a diverse and international dance program from contemporary jazz and ballet, to Afro-Caribbean and modern dance, as well as a dance and technology piece.

The choreographers/companies featured in the festival will include Texas-based companies iMEE, NobleMotion Dance, and Revolve Dance Company; Florida-based Moving Current dance collective and Tim Glenn; the Washington, D.C., company S.J. Ewing & Dancers; and New York companies VON USSAR danceworks, Stefanie Nelson Dancegroup; and Metton Movement Collective; as well as international companies Celli Contemporary Ballet, from Italy, and Khalea London/LAYERS, from Senegal.

“It’s the next best thing to going to New York, except we’re bringing it here,” said assistant dance professor Dionne Noble. “Not only does our community benefit by having such world-class organizations here in Huntsville, but our students benefit as well.”

“This collaboration began in 2009 in a program that has proven mutually beneficial for students and the performers,” she said.

Students benefit immediately through a series of master classes, learning new skills and techniques directly from members of the visiting companies, but they also benefit in the long-term by capitalizing on their new connections to choreographers, dancers and directors, according to Dionne Noble.

“Several of our students have moved into different dance companies from past festivals either as interns or dancers,” she said. “It’s an incredibly unique opportunity.”

In addition, SHSU offers guest artist residencies to select participating companies, who, during their one-week residencies, introduce new work to SHSU’s upper-level students to be performed during their fall concert as well as teaching technique and choreography classes.

This year’s artists are Spender Gavin Hering and Andrea Dawn Shelley from Infinite Moving Ever Evolving, in residence Sept. 17–21, and Khaleah London, from Khaleah London/LAYERS, who will serve in residence the week following The Dance Gallery Festival.

Tickets for the concerts are $15 and will be available at the door, in pre-sale through the GPAC Box Office at 936.294.2339, or online at http://www.shsu.edu/academics/fine-arts-and-mass-communication/online-boxoffice.html.

For more information on The Dance Gallery Festival, contact Andy Noble at 936.294.3525 or amn008@shsu.edu, or visit www.dancegalleryfestival.com.



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