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School of Dance presents 'The Dance Annual'

February 18, 2010

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Dance Annual exposes the diverse creative practices supported at the ASU Herberger Institute School of Dance, featuring the work of faculty, alumni, graduate, undergraduate and visiting artists on a variety of platforms. Some of the most captivating work created throughout the 2009–10 season is highlighted March 5–7 in coordination with new works that offer fresh perspectives on the world around us. The evening begins March 5, outside of Paul V. Galvin Playhouse on the ASU Tempe campus, with a dance media showcase in the lobby featuring video work of student artists, and a site-specific work on the Nelson Fine Arts Plaza.

A new work that incorporates students that was created by Ashleigh Leite, visiting artist from the Stephen Petronio Company in New York, premieres at The Dance Annual. Leite created an intense new work with dynamic video projection, startling lighting and extreme technical movement. The prestigious opportunity to work with Leite allows students to develop their professional performance skills, while engaging the creative process of an up-and-coming artist, choreographer and performer.

The Dance Annual also highlights the work of several dance graduate students. To celebrate the power of the individual, Sammy Stephens draws on his first love – hip-hop – in Rite of Liberation. Rebecca A. Ferrell samples 24 hours of television to explore the lingering stereotypes of women in the media in Copy and Paste. In Where are the animals?, Ashley Ramsey uses an intense and passionate duet to examine society’s love of animals and its lust for eating them. Emily Newman worked with her dancers to create Jake?, a comedic piece about the typical, or not so typical "player” of the 21st century.

Many undergraduate works also are featured in The Dance Annual, including Siren, by Celine Cisco, who investigates the extremes of her womanhood in her tango-inspired solo that is choreographed by Carley Conder. Lucio Abruzzi choreographed Over and Over, physicalizing the split-second moment that occurs during a near-death experience when one feels suspended in time. Through a movement-driven duet, Tara Wrobel explores breaking the cycle of monotonous everyday life in How it Begins.

Rounding out The Dance Annual performance lineup are pieces featuring School of Dance alumni and faculty. Mary Fitzgerald, School of Dance professor, examines both the dignity and overwhelming nature of physical labor – complete with 200 pounds of flour – in Toil, a solo set on Melissa Canto, dance alumna. Fellow alumna Jessica Mumford returns to stage a quirky solo on School of Dance senior, Misty West, entitled Fireflies, complete with thousands of kinetic, yellow LEDs. 

Contact the Herberger Institute Box office for $7–$20 tickets to experience The Dance Annual, March 5–7 at 480.965.6447, or visit:

The School of Dance is a division of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Dance Teacher magazine says, “the top-notch dance program graduates dancers who aren’t merely accomplished technicians, but critical thinkers and socially conscious advocates of the art form as well.” To learn more about the School of Dance, visit

Sunny Kuo,
(480) 965-1208
Herberger Institute School of Dance