SRU Hosts First Dance Concert in Refurbished Miller Theater | Lifestyles

Slippery Rock University is set to show off its shiny new digs with the first concert at the newly renovated Miller Theater inside the Performing Arts Center.

The SRU Dance Department will host its annual concert of professors and guest artists on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Miller Theater.

The performance space, with a 2,600 square foot stage and 753 seats, was part of a recent $ 33 million expansion and renovation project at SRU’s Performing Arts Complex.

“After extensive renovations, the Miller Theater is open and we are delighted to welcome people to this premier performing arts facility,” said Nora Ambrosio, dance teacher and production coordinator of concerts.

“There was a lot of anticipation and excitement surrounding our first performance in the new theater, and we are delighted to perform in this world-class facility. “

The Professors and Guest Artists Concert is an annual collaboration of dance students from SRU, professors and guest artists of national and international renown. This year’s guest artists are Teena Marie Custer and Cameron McKinney.

Custer is a Pittsburgh-based street dance theater artist and member of Ephrat Asherie Dance in New York City. She was commissioned by SRU to create a hip-hop dance, titled “The Shade,” which will feature first-year and sophomore students from SRU.

“This dance features our new students and we are thrilled to be able to give them the opportunity to work with an established artist like Custer,” said Jennifer Keller, dance teacher and department chair.

McKinney is a New York-based choreographer and the artistic director of Kizuna Dance. McKinney was commissioned to create a dance, titled “Crisscrossed,” for the junior and senior dance majors.

“This dance was created for the upper class students, and it’s exciting to see them all back in the studio and working with a choreographer who gave them a big challenge,” Keller said.

Other highlights of the program include two historic dances choreographed by pioneers of modern dance. “Serenata Morisca” by Martha Graham, is directed by Jesse Factor, SRU dance teacher, and “Bushasche Etude” by Pearl Primus, is directed by Ursula Payne, SRU dance teacher. Factor and Payne are certified to recreate these productions and skills of these renowned choreographers and they will prepare the pieces for SRU students to perform.

Contemporary dances from SRU’s dance faculty will also be featured, including those by Factor, Payne, Keller, Ambrosio and Lindsay Viatori, associate dance teacher. There will also be a musical performance by Andy Hasenpflug, SRU dance musician.

In addition, the Palenque Colombian Dance Ensemble will present two dances, “Fandango” and “Mapalé Negro”. Palenque is led by Melissa Teodoro, SRU dance teacher.

Tickets can be purchased for $ 15 at the Smith Student Center information desk, online at or by calling (724) 738-4926.

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