Dance Company to present spring concert

Marshall University Dance will perform its second annual Spring Dance Concert, "Innovate, Collaborate, Celebrate" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse. The performance is presented by the Marshall University School of Theatre and Marshall University Auditoria, and is free and open to the public.

The Marshall University Dance Theatre, MU’s performance dance company, is made up of 19 dancers from diverse styles and backgrounds in dance. Under the direction of Adjunct Dance Professor Leah Copley Summers, they will present a wide variety of styles from classical ballet to hip-hop.

"The concept behind the concert is to bring artists together to innovate, collaborate and celebrate the art of dance," Summers said.

The company will be joined by over 60 dancers from the Tri-State region, along with the MU Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jeff Wolfe, assistant professor of music, as well as John Porter, a student composer/musician under the direction of Dr. Mark Zanter, professor of music.

Companies joining MUDT this year are: Beckley Dance Theatre (directed by Jerry Rose); River Cities Dance Company (directed by Lauren Burgess and Emily Cantrell Stephenson); The Academy of Performing Arts at January’s (directed by January Wolfe); River Cities Youth Ballet Ensemble (directed by Michelle Raider); professional dancer Jessica Lynn Fox; Ultimate Dance Legacy (directed by Laura Phillips); the MU High School Ensemble (dancers from Arts in Action, directed by Joni Cantrell and Cookie Cantrell Samson); and Huntington Dance Theatre (directed by Meredith Cornell).

"The evening will prove to be a magical evening of dance and music from artists from not only Marshall University, but also artists from across the region," Summers said. "Some highlights of the evening will be the original works produced by regional choreographers and local dancers, MU’s New High School Ensemble, the innovative collaborations of the MU Dance Theatre and the School of Music, and, most of all, the enriching experience of creative artists working together to produce pieces that speak, inspire and entertain."

"If you love music and dance, you will have the chance to see the best in the area performing all styles of dance along with live music, spoken word and films that all enhance the richness of the artistic message," Summers said. "MU Dance hopes to continue to serve the community as a central center for artists to come together and share with the community their creativity, passion and talent."