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Valley dance community unites for a very special concert

March 25, 2003

PHOENIX, Ariz. – A unique and beautiful partnership culminates in a free dance concert for the Valley on April 6.

For the seventh year, the ASU Herberger College of Fine Arts Department of Dance has been bringing dance and movement classes to 7th- and 8th-graders in the Silvestre Herrera School for the Arts in South Phoenix. This year, award-winning New York choreographer Arthur Aviles was commissioned to create a new work on both ASU dance students and the students in the after school dance program at Herrera. The new work will premiere at the concert on April 6 at the Third Street Theatre in downtown Phoenix.

The dance concert highlights the choreographic and performance talent of dance and community groups from all over the Valley.

DART (Dance Arizona Repertory Theatre) is the community partnership dance company of the university. Under the direction of ASU dance faculty Jennifer Tsukayama and Mary Fitzgerald and program coordinator Jennifer Armstrong, the company has created a unique and important avenue for children from the Silvestre S. Herrera Elementary School and the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley Ladmo Branch (Tempe). They will share the stage with the following guest performers and choreographers:

Guest choreography:

  • The title piece, “A Community That Dances Together…” – a new work set by New York-based choreographer Arthur Aviles in collaboration with DART dancers and Herrera students, performed by DART and Herrera. 
  • “Nine Women Who May or May Not...” – A work set on DART dancers by guest artist Brent Schneider of University of Utah.
  • “Lapse” – A work set on DART dancers by guest artist Carley Conder of Scottsdale Community College, Instinct Dance Company and Scorpius.

Guest performers in the concert are:

  • Sonia Valle – solo "From Within.” Valle earned her master’s degree in dance from ASU in 2001 and directs the dance program at Paradise Valley Community College.
  • Venture Dance – a dance company formed by ASU graduates.
    Grupo Axe Capoeira – a performance group that promotes the history, music, art and culture of Brazil.

Claudia Murphey, chair of the Department of Dance, believes the language of movement allows for communication on the most visceral level. “Art-making experiences enable students to discover different modes of creative inquiry while further developing skills in leadership, collaboration, problem-solving, and a respect for each person’s individuality,” she says. “This partnership provides opportunities to engage these teens and their families in realizing their capacity to create a great community.”

Susan Bendix, dance coordinator at the Herrera School, says, “This partnership has given my students an opportunity to experience the powerful communication process inherent in the art form of dance. Dance is a cultural statement. It is a social statement. But, ultimately dance is a human statement. This collaborative experience has provided an opportunity for our children to express and explore themselves through movement.”

Dance faculty Mary Fitzgerald and Jennifer Tsukayama direct DART, which was founded in 1984. Community interaction has always been an important goal. DART provides training in community dance methodologies for ASU dance students while developing collaborative and creative partnerships with culturally diverse area schools and after-school programs, enriching the cultural life of the campus, community and region. The troupe continues to work with diverse groups in the area, integrating campus and community life. This community concert is an exciting high point for all involved.

WHAT: The modern dance concert, A Community That Dances Together… The concert is comprised of performances by DART (Dance Arizona Repertory Theatre), the community partnership dance company in the Herberger College’s Dance Department at ASU; children from the Silvestre S. Herrera Elementary School and the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley Ladmo Branch (Tempe); guest performers Sonia Valle, Venture Dance and Grupo Axe Capoeira. The concert features the choreography of guest artists Arthur Aviles, Carley Conder, Melissa S. Rex and Brent Schneider, who each set a new work on DART dancers this year.

WHEN: April 6, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Third Street Theatre, 1202 N. Third Street.

PARKING: Parking available in the lot north of the building. Do not park in the church lot.


FOR MORE INFORMATION: The public may call 480-965-1208.

Media Contact:
Megan Krause