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Mercer Dance Ensemble to Present Myriad Styles in “Escapades” Concert May 5 and 6

4/26/18


Back row, from left, Sydney Barkley, Selena Solorio, Nicole Ashley, Emma Bryce, and Rachel Sanchez; front row, Casey Koval, Maya Bradley and Amy Annucci.

West Windsor, N.J. – Artistry and storytelling through dance are in store at Mercer County Community College's (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre as the Mercer Dance Ensemble (MDE) performs “Escapades” for two shows only: Saturday, May 5 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m.

Presented by the MCCC Dance Program, the concert features current students, dance alumni and MCCC dance faculty. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road.

The show includes 16 dances and 37 dancers, with pieces ranging from solos to larger groups. According to instructor Jennifer Gladney, the show’s tone is one of hope. “We will take audiences on a journey, showcasing dancers’ abilities to become light and airy, athletic and sensual and, of course, entertaining.”

Four members of the Dance faculty will contribute pieces: Gladney (five), Rebecca Brodowski (four), Jill Molinaro (one) and Theatre/Dance Program Coordinator Jody Gazenbeek-Person (one). The show is co-directed by Gladney and Brodowski. Both have participated in this annual concert for many years – first as MCCC Dance students, then as program alumni and choreographers, and currently as professional instructors. One of Gladney's pieces will pay tribute to Janell Byrne, the long-time past director of MDE who retired in 2016.

The show’s musical selections range from classical to contemporary to world music. Three dances have been created by students who are taking choreography (DAN120) with Gladney. Most of the dancers will appear in multiple numbers.

Student dancers include Sohail Ahmad, Amy Annucci, Sabrina Ash, Nicole Ashley, Dominick Damato, Eva Hargis, Harley Herrell, Eva Higgins, Becca Horowitz, Shaurel Grainger, Brittany Kirk, Samir Kirkland, Casey Koval, Manni Love, Diego Montealegre, Georgiana Oppon, Brianna Eve Rapp, Rachel Sanchez, Victoria Smalls, and Selena Solorio. In addition to Gladney and Brodowski, alumna Brianne Scott is also performing. Also featured are community dancers Ursula Blanchard, Christy Box, Sabrina Iacobellis, Ashley Miller, Taylor Miller, Melissa Rasimowicz and Kahra Woolverton.

Tickets for “MDE: Escapades” are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 students/children. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Theatre box office at 609-570-3333, or in person prior to the performance. (The box office opens one hour before show time.) Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

The MCCC Dance program includes the study of jazz, ballet, and modern dance styles from the fundamentals to advanced instruction. With the benefit of small classes and individualized instruction, students may earn either an A.A. degree, which prepares them for transfer as juniors into a Bachelor of Arts program in Dance, or an A.F.A. degree in the Performing Arts, a transfer program in which they combine conservatory training in theater, dance and music with education in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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