Mercer Dance Ensemble Performs to Selections
From Singer/Songwriter Vanessa Daou May 16-17


Mercer County Community College invites area residents to experience the beauty, originality and power of contemporary dance set to cutting edge music when the Mercer Dance Ensemble (MDE) presents "Joe Sent MDE" on Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 17 at 2 p.m. The performance takes place at MCCC's Kelsey Theatre, located on the college's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

The performance represents a unique collaboration between the MCCC Dance Program and acclaimed singer/songwriter Vanessa Daou, #1 Billboard jazz-fusion dance artist. Choreographed by dance faculty member Janell Byrne, with guest choreography by Jody P. Person and others, "Joe Sent MDE" features music from Daou's new album, Joe Sent Me, which was a code phrase used to gain entry into speakeasies during the Prohibition era.

Daou says the album is about "the transmission of ideas through time, the secret ranges of the voice, fleeting nights of love and desire, the archiving of dreams, memory, and the imagination." According to the show's choreographers, "Joe Sent MDE" transforms Daou's ideas into a suite of dances constructed around the central metaphor of the album - to discover "secret codes" in a language of the body that will open doors into illicit spaces of rebellion and abandon.

Daou has gained international recognition for her unique blend of jazz, house, and poetry/spoken-word. Her songs have been remixed by some of today's most cutting edge DJs, placing her in the Top 10 of Billboard's Dance Chart five times and earning her three #1's. Daou's other albums include Head Music (Columbia Records);Zipless (MCA), called "an exquisite balance between pop and jazz" by TIME magazine;Slow to Burn (MCA); and Make You Love (EMI-France). This last release cemented Daou's reputation for combining "electronic, pop, and jazz" to create music that "drips with romance, sensuality, and much love" (Billboard Magazine). Joe Sent Me and Daou's other albums are available through her website.

Tickets for "Joe Sent MDE" are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 students and faculty. Tickets are available in person at the Kelsey Theatre Box Office, by calling the Box Office at (609) 570-3333, or online. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices upon request.

The MCCC Dance program includes 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. More information about the program is available here.









Sarah Lightman and Ian Conley

From left, Victor Ruiz, Molly Restine
and Charlene Jamison.
Dehaven Rogers and Ian Conley
Jael Atchison and Alejandro Hernandez


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