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‘Dance is everywhere’: 2023–24 ASU dance season goes beyond the stage

People dancing onstage.

Photo by Tim Trumble

October 06, 2023

The 2023–24 dance season at Arizona State University engages with the community at a variety of locations, from the steps of the ASU Art Museum to the ASU Media and Immersive eXperience (MIX) Center in Mesa.

Mary Fitzgerald, professor and artistic director of dance in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre, said she hopes this season helps make dance more accessible by taking dance to audiences and engaging with the community at unexpected locales. 

“This year is sure to be an unforgettable one, as it celebrates an incredible range of dance forms and traditions in stunning performances, classes and cultural exchanges,” Fitzgerald said. “We want our community to know that dance is everywhere.”

The season includes nine innovative events featuring the extraordinary talent of ASU students and faculty, community members and guest artists. Highlights of the season include the Sol Motion series, three large-scale events that celebrate hip-hop, Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean dance cultures. These one-of-a-kind events take place at indoor and outdoor venues on campus, bringing together hundreds of dancers from ASU and the local area.

In the fall, the Sol Power Hip-Hop Festival will feature guest artist and internationally renowned choreographer Michelle Byrd-McPhee. Byrd-McPhee is the founder and executive director of Ladies of Hip-Hop, a nonprofit organization empowering girls and women through hip-hop culture and arts. Afro-Latin dance artist Frankie Martinez will be a featured guest artist at the Latin Sol Festival in the spring. While in residence, the artists will create two new works with students that will premiere at the ASU Spring Dance Fest showcase. 

Sol Rhythmz is the third event in the Sol Motion series, led by ASU Assistant Professor Shola K. Roberts. The event will focus on the dance traditions of the Senegambia region in West Africa and the emergence of the dance forms within the diaspora, specifically looking at the Caribbean.

Working with guest artists provides ASU dance students with a range of learning and performance opportunities alongside experts from the world of dance. On Oct. 13, artists Heidi Duckler and Raymond Ejiofor will utilize improvisation and other choreographic tools to lead students in an on-campus experimentation at the plaza outside the Nelson Fine Arts Center. The workshop concludes with short compositions to be shared with the team and the accidental audience at the plaza. 

The season also includes two unique Emerging Artists performances choreographed by MFA candidates. The artists spend nearly a year developing research-intensive projects that center on a broad range of ideas, from an investigation of identity to an immersive experience fusing elements of dance, storytelling and extended reality. 

The Transitions showcase will feature an unprecedented lineup of 19 works choreographed by graduating seniors in the dance program. The showcase will be presented in two different concerts over six performances. 

Other highlights of the season include original works created by students in the undergraduate and graduate student project presentations and Spring Dance Fest, which features some of the season’s most outstanding works. 

Tickets for the 2023–24 dance season must be purchased online through the Herberger Institute Box Office. Tickets go on sale three weeks prior to opening night.

Check out what's in store for ASU's 2023–24 dance season:

Emerging Artists I
6 p.m., Oct. 13 and 14
ASU MIX Center

Sol Power
Oct. 27–29
Nelson Fine Arts Center Plaza

Dance undergraduate project presentations
7:30 p.m., Nov. 8 and 9
Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

Emerging Artists II
7:30 p.m., Nov. 17 and 18
Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

Transitions I–II
7:30 p.m., Feb. 2–3, 9–10
2 p.m., Feb. 4, 11
Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

Dance graduate project presentations
7:30 p.m., March 14 and 15
Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre

Latin Sol
April 5–7
Bulldog Hall, Student Pavilion

Sol Rhythmz
April 13

Spring Dance Fest
7:30 p.m., April 19–20
2 p.m., April 21
Galvin Playhouse Theatre

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