'Something for every audience': 2022–23 ASU dance season features range of styles

belly dancer is shown in an dramatic pose in a gold winged costume

Tanya Dimitrov with Emerging Artists II. Photography by Tim Trumble


This year’s dance performance season at Arizona State University will include a series of concerts highlighting works created by guest artists, faculty and students that “represent a rich variety of aesthetics, movement genres and concepts,” according to Mary Fitzgerald, ASU professor and artistic director of dance in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

The season kicks off with “Emerging Artists,” showcasing original choreography by seven third-year MFA dance students. Each project reflects personal themes the students chose to explore and share with audiences. 

“The concert features MFA thesis projects created by choreographers and filmmakers from many parts of the world,” Fitzgerald said. “The artists spend nearly a year developing research-intensive projects that center on a broad range of ideas, from cultural identity to whimsical fantasy to pure movement investigation.”

The seven projects will be performed in two separate shows from Oct. 21–23. The performances allow audiences to engage in multiple stories, from ideas about obsession to thoughts about death and even one dance discussing the essence of dance itself. 

The graduate students’ work encapsulates not only dance, but also different areas of art. Graduate dance student Tongjie Kong said her piece shows the exploration of texture through the connection and combination of live music and original sounds.

I have four hip-hop dancers who display and integrate different textures, directly exposing their distinctive styles to the audience,” she said. 

Houyu Pan uses colors and film to  present how people experience emotions. Pan started her graduate project her first year, when she was dancing and taking classes remotely while living in China. She performed movements in public spaces and observed the reactions of people. Those experiences became the foundation for her work, titled “Difference.”

Each concert this season features a wide spectrum of dance forms, from hip-hop to Afro-Latin movement and Turkish-style belly dancing to contemporary modern dance. 

The Sol Motion dance festival series — including Sol Power in the fall and Latin Sol in the spring — returns again this year, featuring free community dance events that are open to the public. 

In November, “Fall Forward” will feature original choreography by ASU dance faculty members and guest artists. Then the performance season culminates with “Spring Dance Fest” in April.

“This year, ‘Spring Dance Fest’ will include the works of renowned choreographers Yin Yue and Kayla Farrish, both of whom are based in New York City,” Fitzgerald said. “The performances this season are beautifully crafted and thought-provoking, offering something for every audience member.”

Tickets for ASU dance performances must be purchased in advance through the Herberger Institute Box Office. Ticket prices range between $5 and $20. No ticket sales will be available at the door. 

ASU Dance 2022-23 Season 

Emerging Artists I
7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 and 2 p.m. Oct. 22
Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre 

Emerging Artists II
7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 and 2 p.m. Oct. 23
Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

Sol Power Hip Hop Festival
2–10 p.m. Oct. 29
Noon–6 p.m. Oct. 30
Nelson Fine Arts Plaza

Undergraduate Project Presentations\
7:30 p.m. Nov. 3-4
Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

Fall Forward
7:30 p.m. Nov. 18–19
2 p.m. Nov. 20
Galvin Playhouse Theatre

7:30 p.m. Feb. 10–11
2 p.m. Feb. 11
Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

Graduate Project Presentations
7:30 p.m. Feb. 23–24
Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

Latin Sol Dance Festival
March 24–27

Performance and Movement Presentations
7:30 p.m. March 31
Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

Spring Dance Fest
7:30 p.m. April 21–22
2 p.m. April 23
Galvin Playhouse Theatre

Written by Lacy Chaffee and Benjamin Adelberg.

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