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Kent State School of Theatre and Dance Presents Jazz and Modern Dances in Kent Dance Ensemble Concert

Posted Mar. 24, 2014

Kent State University’s School of Theatre and Dance continues its 2013-2014 season with faculty and guest choreographed works performed by members of the Kent Dance Ensemble. Movin’ On Up will be presented at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 4, and Saturday, April 5, and at 2 p.m. on April 6. The annual concert will be performed in the E. Turner Stump Theatre, located in the Center for the Performing Arts (formerly the Music and Speech Building) at 1325 Theatre Drive on the Kent Campus.

For tickets, call 330-672-ARTS (2787), purchase online at or in person at the Performing Arts Box Office located in the Roe Green Center lobby of the Center for the Performing Arts, Monday – Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for Kent State alumni, faculty and staff, $12 for seniors (60+), and non-Kent State students age 18 and under are $8. Tickets for full-time, Kent Campus undergraduate students are free. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $10 per person. The box office accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, checks and cash.

Movin’ On Up is a concert of jazz and modern dances choreographed by four Kent State faculty members and guest artists Christopher K. Morgan (Washington, D.C.) and Karen Stokes (Houston, Texas). The evening opens with Stokes’ Midnight. Stokes explores a mysterious world between sunset and sunrise that hints at the cyclical journey of life. The lush choreography reveals a restrained, dramatic style for that in-between state of sleep and wakefulness. Stokes uses a counterpoint of a soloist against the corps, to embed the ensemble in a world of enigma and meditation that resolves into a peaceful calm of community solidarity and cooperation.

Kimberly Karpanty, artistic director and associate professor at Kent State, premieres a new duet titled Caught. The dancers are captured, embraced, trapped, ensnared, entangled and deceived by each other, the light and the space as Karpanty explores both literal and metaphorical meanings of the word.

Three Sister Sonata, choreographed by Associate Professor Barbara Allegra Verlezza, is a modern-based work that focuses on the relationship of three women exploring the stages and struggles of growth, aging and change. The exquisite guitar rendering by Paul Galbraith of J.S. Bach’s Sonata No.1 (Adagio) serves as inspiration for the work with its rich and somber tone.

Set to several musical pieces by Vivaldi, Morgan’s Faux Pas abstractly explores the idea of being in and out of line. The work incorporates supple and virtuosic, full bodied movement and magnetic partnering as it plays on the many meanings of faux pas (false steps or social errors), such as starting something that one doesn't finish, leading someone forward you don't intend to see to the end of the journey or impeding another's path. Morgan is the inaugural Armstrong Family Guest Visiting Artist, a new guest artist series for dance sponsored by Lawrence and Sandy Armstrong.

Assistant Professor Joan Meggitt’s The World Above Us will feature dances excerpted from an evening-length performance conceived and directed by Cleveland composer and multimedia artist Greg D’Alessio. The work tells the story of several generations of women with the gift of second sight.

Purposefully Alive, choreographed by part-time dance faculty member Danielle Stevens, is a mix of jazz and hip-hop dance styles. This rhythmic work was created to celebrate the dancer inside all of us; we hope to leave you tappin’ your feet and feeling free, empowered and alive!

In addition to the main stage concert each season, the Kent Dance Ensemble conducts lecture- demonstration performances and movement workshops for the community and K-12 students. Contact Karpanty at 330-672-0127 or for more information on the ensemble’s upcoming performances and educational outreach programs.