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Graduate students present innovative dance projects with international flair

Collage of photos of ASU dance students.

The Dance Graduate Project Presentations concert will take place on Feb. 24–25.

February 14, 2022

Graduate dance students in Arizona State University's School of Music, Dance and Theatre will present eight pieces of original choreography showcasing a wide range of movement forms in the Dance Graduate Project Presentations concert, including Chinese folk dance, Bulgarian folk dance, Indian classical dance, hip-hop, contemporary modern dance and mixed genres. 

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24–25 in the Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre.

Students were encouraged to create pieces that speak to them for the show, which is broad in both the styles and themes of the projects, and includes solos, duets and group pieces.

“The program is rich aesthetically as each artist comes from different traditions and offers a unique perspective on contemporary art, whether it be experimental or classically based,” said Mary Fitzgerald, ASU professor and artistic director of dance in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre. “Audiences can expect to see an evening of thought-provoking choreography, dance films and interdisciplinary work.”

MFA dance student Siva Pooja Ramachandran, who is an international student from India, will be performing a duet with fellow MFA dance student Tanya Dimitrov in the show. 

Ramachandran is president of the ASU dance graduate student association and said she came to ASU because the program helped her access a variety of fields in dance, like pedagogy, choreography, production and research. 

“Coming to ASU enabled me to understand my strengths and weaknesses and what I wanted out of dance in the future,” Ramachandran said. “After I graduate, I want to go back to India and research more about how dance can relate to our everyday life.”

Ramachandran and Dimitrov worked together to create a piece that honors their heritages and explores how they are connected. 

“We are looking at the commonality between two cultures, Bulgarian and Indian, and at the common ground between them,” Ramachandran said.

She said she hopes after audiences see her piece as well as all of the other projects presented, they will leave the show better understanding the expansiveness of dance and movement forms.

“I hope they can see the multiple possibilities that dance can offer,” she said. “It can showcase something you’re going through every day, it can show little details, or it can talk about really big things happening around us.”

Audiences can purchase tickets to see the 75-minute dance concert through the Herberger Institute box office. Tickets must be purchased in advance; there are no ticket sales at the door.

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