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ASU Herberger College MFA Dance presents Emerging Artists I

ASU Herberger College MFA Dance candidate Sara Malan-McDonald in Emerging Artists I, Oct. 24–26.

Photo by Tim Trumble

October 07, 2008

Embark on a voyage of discovery featuring the exciting thesis projects of ASU Herberger College Dance's extraordinary MFA students, Sara Malan-McDonald and Holly Wooldridge. Everything is a possible source of inspiration when these talented architects of inventive dance pull out all the stops.

ASU Herberger College Dance's extraordinary MFA students Sara Malan-McDonald and Holly Wooldridge find common ground in their thesis projects as they question: “Who gets to dance, how do we frame dance and how do we experience contemporary dance in four new works?”

The first happening of the evening addresses all three questions as performers and audience members interact in a movement experience titled, Common Ground. The audience then shifts their focus to the new work.

The Feeling of What Happens, set to the music of French composer Francis Dhomont, is an intimate journey that explores the complexity of human consciousness. Light, a key component in the piece, serves as a metaphor for a heightened level of awareness. It sculpts our focus, confronts the performers and defines the space we all inhabit.

You Are Here was created in collaboration with nine members of the Mesa Center for the Arts Off Center Dance Company in a site-specific piece set in a long hallway outside the Dance Studio Theatre. As the nine dancers manipulate their way in, out and through the space, they transform it from a campus hallway into an energetic, colorful space that shrinks and expands with the directional tug and pull of movement.

Sara Malan-McDonald strongly believes that everyone has a story and each story deserves telling. She explores and encourages storytelling through movement in two collaborative dance works:

Push/Pull is a collaborative, intergenerational dance project exploring relationships of power in the classroom and studio. This highly physical and emotional work offers an insider’s view of performers’ experiences in the roles of teacher and student and encourages audience members to examine alternatives to an authoritarian teaching model.

A Place of Crossing, choreographed by Mary Fitzgerald, ASU Herberger College Dance professor, is a physical exploration of Malan-McDonald’s personal spiritual journey. Accompanied by a chorus of individuals who have been present at places of crossing throughout her life, Malan-McDonald wrestles with making sense of her life at this time of turmoil and change. Watch for gestures inspired by Buddhist and Christian iconography.

Dance Studio Theatre 
Physical Education building east (PEBE) 132
611 E. Orange Street, ASU Tempe campus

Oct. 24, 6 p.m. pre-show reception, 6:30 p.m. curtain; Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.; and Oct. 26, 2 p.m.

Tickets are $7-$20 and available through the ASU Herberger College box office, 480.965.6447 or at

Public Contact
Holly Wooldridge
Graduate teaching assistant
ASU Herberger College Dance

The School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University provides a comprehensive range of courses in performance and directing; design and production; new work development; theatre and performance studies; film; and theatre for youth. Its Theatre for Youth program is nationally ranked in the top three and the dramatic writing/playwriting program is ranked 15th among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. To learn more about the School of Theatre and Film, visit

Media Contact:
Holly Wooldridge
Graduate teaching assistant
ASU Herberger College Dance