By Anna Rhodes
The Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance will step into spring with its annual performance of the Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble (SADE) this month. The show will take place in the Valborg Theatre on the university’s campus at 7 p.m. March 21–24, with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 25. Tickets are $10 for students and $17 for adults.
This year’s production includes eight original pieces choreographed by faculty and students who collectively bring many styles and forms of dance to the concert. SADE choreographers include four Appalachian faculty members, three dance students and national guest artist Teena Marie Custer. All the performers are dancers on the university campus.
Custer is a street dance artist, practitioner and dance teacher at Slippery Rock University where she teaches street dance styles, contemporary dance and dance composition. She also serves on the faculty at the prestigious American Dance Festival at Duke University. Custer battles and performs internationally with her all-female street dance crew, Venus Fly, as well as her local Pittsburgh crew, Get Down Gang.
SADE coordinator Cara Hagan, an assistant professor of dance studies at Appalachian, remarked, “The Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble is always a great way to put an exclamation point on the school year for the dance studies program. The 2018 concert is jam-packed with sensitive, daring, fun and thoughtful work by our students, faculty and our guest artist.”
According to Hagan, the hallmark of SADE is the wide range of styles represented on the program. This year, audiences will enjoy ballet, modern, jazz, West African and House dance.
“House dance is a social form of dance originating in the late 70s and early 80s in underground clubs in large cities like Chicago and New York and will be featured Custer’s piece ‘Quake’,” she shared. “Teena is well-versed in House dance and brings and energy and unique flair to everything she does.”
Hagan says that the example Custer sets for Appalachian’s dancers, combined with a series of master classes given during her on-campus residency, will give students and the community “a glimpse into the rich history of House dance and the ways it continues to send ripples through dance communities and pop culture.”
SADE will be performed in the Valborg Theatre on Appalachian’s campus, located at the north side of Chapell Wilson Hall on Howard Street in Boone. The theatre entrance faces the back of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on King Street. Parking is available after 5 p.m. on campus in faculty/staff lots and after 5:30 p.m. in the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons. Performances run March 21, 22, 23 and 24 at 7 p.m. with a matinee on March 25 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and $17 for adults. For information on purchasing tickets call the Schaefer Center box office toll free at (800) 841-2787, locally at (828) 262-4046, visit the box office in person, or go online at theschaefercenter.org/tickets.
About the Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region.
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.