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Kent Dance Ensemble Celebrates 21 Years with Annual Concert, Coming of Age

Posted Mar. 4, 2011

On April 1-3, 2011, Kent State University's School of Theatre and Dance will present the Kent Dance Ensemble's (KDE) 21st annual main stage concert, this year entitled Coming of Age. The pre-professional student dance company boasts 13 dancers from both the performance/choreography and dance education programs who will be performing new and revitalized works by KSU dance faculty members and guest artists from Washington, D.C. and Eugene, Oregon.

Kent Dance Ensemble 2011: Coming of Age performances are April 1 and 2 at 8 p.m.Kent Dance Ensemble 2011: Coming of Age and April 3 at 2 p.m. in the E. Turner Stump Theatre, Music and Speech Center, 1325 Theatre Drive in Kent. To reserve tickets call the School of Theatre and Dance Box Office at 330-672-2497 between noon and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit to order online. General adult admission is $16; $12 for seniors, KSU faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for students with a valid I.D. A free reception will take place on Saturday, April 2 following the performance to honor KDE alumni.

The concert opens with the entire Ensemble in Dance Director Andrea Shearer's Rainbow Concerto, inspired by and performed to music by Antonio Vivaldi. Following is KDE Artistic Director Kimberly Karpanty's new trio iron hand in a velvet glove, inspired by a recent trip to her grandfather's birthplace in Northern Italy. The title is a phrase listed under the definition of her family's Italian name "Pugno," which means "to fight." Accompanied by an aria by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi and projections of doors from Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Asti, the three dancers portray immigrant sisters reminiscing about their homeland while hoping for a better future in this country. Closing the first half is the mysterious Ashplay, choreographed by guest artist and former dance faculty member Melanie George. Images of France, Morocco, Audrey Hepburn, Leslie Caron, Beatniks, and Andy Warhol's Factory contribute to this new quartet where jazz, smoking and secrets combine.

Assistant Professor Joan Meggitt restages her 2007 the sky beneath our feet on the Ensemble, this season to live music. Lou Harrison's music for violin, piano and percussion will be played by Dance Music Director Bill Sallak, Assistant Professor of Theatre Jonathan Swoboda and School of Music student Nicolette Kocsardy. This reflective quintet explores the seemingly polarized sensibilities of form and flow. Ludwig van Beethoven's iconic "Moonlight Sonata" is score for a new duet by Barbara Allegra Verlezza about the shades and complexities of relationships. "Man is a knot into which relationships are tied," a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry also inspired this examination.

The evening closes with guest artist Brad Garner's athletic and dramatically layered dance for ten, Pages Missing. Originally created in 2005, the work is a reflection on a time in Garner's life when much of what he believed suddenly made no sense. It is a celebration of persistence in the face of disorder. The sound score is comprised of a re-edited version of John Cheever's short story "The Enormous Radio" read by Meryl Streep, a modernized cover of Beethoven's "Triple Concerto" by William Orbit, and Radiohead's "The Gloaming." What are the connections between the parts? Exactly.

Contact KDE Artistic Director Kimberly Karpanty for more information and on more of the Ensemble's upcoming performances and educational outread programs.

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For more information contact:
Kimberly Karpanty, Artistic Director, Kent Dance Ensemble, 330-672-0127