Ivyside Dance Ensemble hits the stage

Penn State Altoona’s Ivyside Dance Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 25 and 26, in the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are $5 for Penn State Altoona students and $7 for general admission. Children younger than 12 are free.

Dance faculty KT Huckabe's  choreographic career often brings her into collaboration with other artists. This semester she partners with Timothy Melbinger, adjunct music faculty at Penn State Altoona, who has provided an original composition, “Wedding Day at Amalthea." The dance follows the dramatic influence of the musical composition as the audience experiences the tragic demise of a young woman and her desire for life beyond traditional roles and expectations.

Jennifer Park returns for a third semester as guest choreographer to the company. Her new work “Atlas Hugged” explores social issues such as poverty and aging, using the dance medium to challenge audience assumptions. The piece concludes with a celebration of Maya Angelo's poem, “On Aging.”

Company director, Caitlin Osborne, will premiere her new piece “Five by Five.” In five sections of five dancers, Osborne molds the movement to five pieces of music set in 5/4 meter. Said Osborne, “The original reason I wanted to develop the work was to note the passing of Dave Brubeck. His composition, “Take Five,” is like an old friend. I’ve listened to it all my life and been fascinated by its lazy swing. Looking for other music in that meter was enlightening -- there’s a real range of mood and genre. All very challenging to dance to, especially for performers who have been trained to do everything in eights.”

Two pieces from the dance program’s repertory will be performed, including a rare chance to see the faculty onstage. In an update of Allied Motion’s “Boomtown Trio,” Huckabee, Park and Osborne will reprise their roles as working women at the end of a long, hard day. And, in “The View From Here,” Osborne joins graduating integrative arts majors Molly Burke and Stacie Marie as they recite and reflect in movement on the words of poet Erin Murphy, associate professor of English.

The box office and galleries are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and before and during all performances. For further information, call the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts at 814-949-5452.

Last Updated April 22, 2013