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Dance concert showcases the interplay of lights, music, and action in a brand-new space

November 17, 2021
dancer does a split in the airGiovanni Correa-Quinones ’24 demonstrates his ardor for Latin dance with a spirited salsa solo as part of Confluence—the debut event to be held in the University of Rochester’s new Sloan Performing Arts Center. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

The Sloan Performing Arts Center serves as a new campus site for students, faculty, and guest artists to perform original choreography.

On November 6 and 7, the Program of Dance and Movement at the University of Rochester presented Confluence—its annual fall concert of multidisciplinary work and collaborations between faculty and students in choreography, lighting, and costume design.

A visual and aural delight, the concert was the first event to take place inside the 200-seat black box theater at the University’s new Sloan Performing Arts Center. The contemporary space serves as the hub of theater, dance, and music on the River Campus—creating a performing arts corridor between Todd Union and the Strong Auditorium.

Photos by J. Adam Fenster (University of Rochester)

person standing in the middle of a dark stage

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Anne Harris Wilcox, an associate professor in the Program of Dance and Movement and the concert’s director, takes the stage to make remarks before the show begins.


group of 5 dancers lit by stage lights

ALL THE PARTS BECOME A WHOLE: The dance faculty, along with the incoming first-year dance students, open the fall concert with Mosaics, a collaborative piece highlighting the importance of “connection, creative play, and discovery.” Choreography by faculty Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp, Mariah Steel, Anne Harris, and Missy Pfohl Smith, director of the Program of Dance and Movement.


three musicians perform on stage

AN EASTMAN ORIGINAL: Accompanying the choreography is an original composition by Andrew Watkins, a doctoral student at the Eastman School of Music, performed live by the Andrew Alcocer Axiom Ensemble. Visible in the photo are Andrew Alcocer, trombone; Liam Keefe, alto sax; and Isaiah Keith, vibes. The band also includes Jacobo Vega-Albela, drums; and Zach Walgren, bass.


student dances as her hair flares out around her

SUMMONING “SUMMERTIME”: Aleah Manning ’22 performs Honey, a piece she choreographed to George Gershwin’s sultry jazz classic as sung by the legendary Ella Fitzgerald. The lighting design is by Glory Linebach ’24 and costume design is by Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp, an associate professor in dance.


group of six students dancing in a circle

ECOLOGICAL APPROACH: Vernal Traverse, choreographed by faculty member Anne Harris Wilcox, addresses unsung heroes of the natural environment and is inspired by scholar and author Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, and the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Performing are Kate Carnes ‘22, Maya Chen-Jones ‘25, Mary Halvorsen ’25, Roni Kirson ’25, Frayda Lieber ’25, and Margaret Porcelli ’22. Lighting design is by Seth Reiser, an instructor in dance, and costumes are by Helen Shammas ’22.


dancer in foreground bends backwards while student dances on the ground in background

SISTERHOOD OF DANCE: Maya Chen Jones ’25 and Take Five Scholar Zivile Vebraite ’21 perform Prolonging Wanderlust, choreographed by Lillian Ravikoff ’25. The piece explores sisterhood to the music of “I Hope You Dance,” by the O’Neill Brothers. The lighting design is by Daisy Chu ’25 and the costume design by Jenny Zheng ’25.


student dancers seated in chairs and raising arms

SUBURBAN CONTEMPLATION: Cul de Sac, choreographed by Catherine Ramsay ’22, is an exploration of natural disaster’s effect on isolated suburban life. Performing the piece to musical selections from Landfall by the Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson are Rachel Bast ’25, Emily Butler ’23, Brianna Foster ’23, Sally Gill ’24, Laura Loveland ’25, Amy Xu; Alex Alletto and Julie Schlafer Rossette ’11W (MS) of BIODANCE. Lighting design is by Tianxing Tan ’22 and costumes are by Cynthia Wu ’24 and Tianqi Qiu ’23.


three students dance in the foreground while two people play drums in the background

SONG, DRUMS, AND DANCE FINALE: Offering an energetic display of rhythm and celebration, the West African Dance and Drum Ensemble Sansifanyi—led by faculty member Kerfala Bangoura—closes the concert. The ensemble dancers are Omolade Fasusi ’22, Aleah Manning ’22, Sasha Murray ’23, Zagadou Oyotode, Doreen Prempeh ’24, and Catherine Ramsey ’22.

Upcoming: The International Theatre Program will present Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird – opening December 2.

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Category: In Photos