Mercer Dance Ensemble
Celebrates in Motion at MCCC's Kelsey Theatre May 29- 30
N.J.-- The Mercer Dance Ensemble (MDE) will celebrate the 30th anniversary
of its choreographer Janell Byrne with a joyful, inspired modern
dance performance at Mercer County Community College's Kelsey Theatre.
Drawing on the talents of current students, dance alumni and special
guests, "MDE - Legacy" will be presented Saturday, May
29 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 30 at 2 p.m. (Note: These dates are
different than those originally announced in the Kelsey Theatre
season brochure.) Kelsey Theatre is located on Mercer's West
Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
The show includes
ten numbers, choreographed by Byrne, Jennifer Gladney, a 2003 alumna
who has performed with MDE for 10 years, and Han Koon Ooi, a 2009
alumnus who has performed for five years. The varied program includes
group pieces featuring Latin and Malaysian sounds, a high energy
number inspired by aerobic dance, and another in which five performers
dance to classical guitar music. A piece entitled "Elle(s)"
features Byrne along with guest artists Cheryl Whitney-Marcuard
and Diane Kuhl, while "Quartet for Four Women" will be
performed to solo piano music with dancers coming and going. "We
want to suggest that the dancing continues beyond the limits of
the stage," Byrne observes.
According to Jody Person, coordinator of Mercer's Theatre and Dance
programs, the performance will resonate with power and passion.
"Janell has worked with many students who are new to dance
and she inspires them to have confidence in their bodies,"
Person said. "This, in turn, helps them to locate, kinetically,
that special grace. We celebrate Janell's many gifts."
left to right, Hanna Bruskin, DeHaven Rogers, Yvonne Clark, Brianne
Scott and Ian Conley.
Janell Byrne, left, with dancers
DeHaven Rogers (on ground) and Hanna Bruskin.
Lar Sirak notes that Byrne has helped him to broaden his horizons in the
world of dance. "She has also inspired me to look into and feel movement
deeper and differently each time," he said. Adds dancer Molly Restine,
"She always encourages all her dancers to be better than they think
they can be. She has taught me about energy and how to connect to other
people and the spaces you're in."
Byrne, a native of California, is a former student of Stanley Holden and
Margaret Hills in Los Angeles. A graduate of the Julliard School, she
studied with Alfredo Corvino. In addition to Mercer, Byrne has taught
at Princeton University, The College of New Jersey, and the Lawrenceville
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 theatre,
dance and music with education in the liberal arts and sciences. Learn
more about the MCCC Theatre Program here.
Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 for students. Tickets
may be purchased online
at www.kelseytheatre.net, in person at the Kelsey Theatre box office,
or by phone at 609-570-3333. Free parking is available next to the theatre.
Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening
devices upon request.
more on events at Kelsey Theatre visit:
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