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ASU Herberger College Mainstage Dance presents “New Danceworks I”

Marielena Jacome and Leanne Schmidt in "Amaneceres" (plural for dawn). Choreographer: Rosa Lina Lima-de Jesus.

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

September 29, 2004

WHAT: ASU Herberger College Mainstage Dance presents “New Danceworks I,”
a modern dance concert comprising 11 pieces. This concert showcases the dazzling innovations and beautiful choreography as candidates for a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance stage their thesis presentations.

WHEN: Oct. 14-16, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 17, 2 p.m.

WHERE: Dance Theatre, PE East 132, 551 E. Orange St. on the ASU Tempe campus.

PRICE: $5-$15.

INFO, TICKETS: 480-965-6447;

Just who are these four choreographers? They have fascinating stories that are reflected in their work.

Aaron D. Fellenz choreographed the work, “The Dawn of the Red Moon Sun,” which is set on four dancers.

Fellenz, 34, is a self-described “problem teen” and a former Marine who served in Operation Desert Storm. Upon returning stateside, he went to college to play football – and watched his grades plummet.

“I took a dance class only with the hope to bring my GPA up,” Fellenz says. “I discovered it was my true passion.”

“The Dawn of the Red Moon Sun” is an atmospheric, surreal piece using real-time and pre-recorded video, multiple projections, poetry and text blended with the music and choreography.

The piece is inspired by his experience in war.

“The work is about sacrifice – what will you sacrifice for your cause?”?” Fellenz asks. “Would you die for what you believe in?”

Rosa Lina Lima-de Jesús is a native Puerto Rican whose three works are political in nature.

She dedicates “Confi(n)ada” to Puerto Rican political prisoners; “Picket Line” to Ada Lina de Jesús, a Puerto Rican woman who goes every Saturday to a picket line in a show of solidarity for political prisoners; and “Amaneceres” (plural for ‘dawn’) to Isabel Rosado, a 96-year-old Puerto Rican activist who says that she is born every morning.

“I try to portray some beautiful things and then, there are some that are painful or difficult,” Lima-de-Jesus says. “There are peaceful aspects and uncomfortable aspects to my work – but, there is always hope.”

Frances Goritsas has created the works “…lish” and “Kalligraphia” for this concert.

“They are connected works, based on concepts of Tai Chi. I was inspired by the desire to bring something from another culture into ours. My goal is to juxtapose Western and Eastern daily life.

“I enjoy bringing foreign spiritual practices into the art world.”

In addition to the two pieces she choreographed, a solo created by modern dance legend Ruth St. Denis, entitled “Lazy Nautch,” was reconstructed and set on Goritsas by Virginia Cotton.

Marielena Jácome created three pieces for this show: “In Search for Balance,” “Hey, Chico!,” and “In Pendulum’s Eyes.”

Jácome’s breathtaking choreographies will be performed to live music by her husband, Chris Burton Jácome. Chris is a nationally recognized flamenco guitarist and recording artist.

For this concert, the collaboration between these two artists focuses on the exploration of Flamenco and Afro-Brazilian rhythms.

“The live music provides another dimension, another energy on stage, that generates new feeling and meaning each performance,” Jácome says.

The other piece in “New Danceworks I” is:

  • A solo titled "Silent Dialogue," choreographed by Jennifer Tsukayama and set on Marielena Jácome.

The Department of Dance in the ASU Herberger College of Fine Arts is nationally ranked in the top 10 by Dance Teacher magazine. Its graduate program is ranked fifth and its undergraduate program is ranked ninth. The ARCO Performance Arts College Guide calls the department one of the “most highly recommended programs” in the country. To learn more about the Department of Dance, visit

Media Contact:
Megan Krause