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‘Dance Spectrum 2019’ showcases Seton Hill students | TribLIVE.com
Theater & Arts

‘Dance Spectrum 2019’ showcases Seton Hill students

Candy Williams
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Seton Hill University students (front) Madyson Baer and (back row, from left) Alyssa Frank, Sydney Molter and Hannah Taylor rehearse “Vertigo” for performances in “Dance Spectrum 2019.”

Dance students at Seton Hill University have spent the current semester perfecting their skills and techniques in tap, contemporary and ballet – and now’s their time to shine in “Dance Spectrum 2019.”

The program April 26-28 at Seton Hill Performing Arts Center in Greensburg will feature original choreography by Seton Hill faculty members TaMara Swank, assistant professor of dance; Stefan Zubal, assistant professor of theater and dance, and Gerard Holt, adjunct ballet instructor.

Swank choreographed two contemporary pieces for the program’s three performances.

“Nocturnal Me” features a trio of dancers progressing through escalating movements during a restless night of sleep, while incorporating a required prop into their dance moves. Her other piece, “Vertigo,” is performed by five students and experiments with finding balance and giving in to gravity as it builds in tempo into the work’s faster movements.

Adjunct tap instructor Shadoe Brandt choreographed two pieces for the show: “Pop Danthology” and “Rainy Night.”

Students ‘ready for an audience’

“The students have dedicated much of their semester to the rehearsal process and they are ready for an audience, as performance is such an important part of their training,” Swank says.

Madyson Baer of Lewisberry, York County, is one of the dancers performing in “Vertigo.” A junior dance major at Seton Hill, she also is featured in the ballet, “Sleeping Beauty,” choreographed by Zubal and Holt.

“All choreographers and dancers worked really hard to make ‘Dance Spectrum’ happen,” Baer says. “There is a variety of different styles within the show, so there is something to suit everyone’s taste.”

Holt’s and Zubal’s work focuses on The Wedding Scene from Act 3 of “Sleeping Beauty” and features 12 dancers, including two young dancers from SHU’s Dance Academy. Dancing the role of Aurora will be Shelby Walsh of Moon , a sophomore dance major at Seton Hill.

Classical masterpiece

“It is among the oldest of the classical ballets, but a majority of the choreography remains virtually unchanged and requires a high level of technique and artistry,” Zubal says. “At this level of training it is important to experience and perform the classical ballet to help reinforce (students’) classical ballet technique.”

For Walsh, “Sleeping Beauty” is her first performance of a classical ballet, other than “The Nutcracker,” which her home studio staged during the holiday season.

“I have always dreamed about getting a job in a ballet company, so getting the chance to work on an entire act of a classical ballet will greatly prepare me for my future,” she says.

Baer says she hopes to spread her knowledge of dance by eventually teaching younger dancers after she earns her degree. She’s also interested in possibly working for a cruise ship line.

“Coming from a performing arts high school, I already had a strong foundation and this program at Seton Hill allows me to further my knowledge in dance every day,” she says. “I would love to become an owner of a studio and teach children the importance of dance.”

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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