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Van Dyke & Company, Mahoning Valley Ballet prepare showcase

May 17, 2011

Samantha Osikowicz (left) and Taylor Hopkins are among the dancers who will be featured in Dance Showcase 2011 featuring “The Red Shoes,” at 7 p.m. Friday at Punxsutawney Area Middle School. (Photo submitted)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Van Dyke & Company and the Mahoning Valley Ballet will present a Dance Showcase 2011 featuring “The Red Shoes,” at 7 p.m. Friday at Punxsutawney Area Middle School.

The Dance Showcase 2011 will feature the ballet, modern, jazz and tap students from Van Dyke & Company and the Mahoning Valley Ballet.

Featured will be senior dancers Taylor Hopkins and Samantha Osikowicz with choreography by April Astorino, Nancy Jones, Melanie McBee, Sarah Parker and guest artists Todd Englander and Trevor Runco.

Included in the evening is an original dance theater work, which will address the underlying issues raised by Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book, “Women Who Run with the Wolves.” This original ballet is based on Han’s Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, “The Red Shoes,” as interpreted by Estes.

The collaborators have researched and developed this story from a theatrical, psychological, musical and multi-media perspective. They include Joan E. Van Dyke, choreographer and director; Carole Tina Lewis, licensed psychologist and co-creator; Derek Cooper, composer; Chauna Craig, creative writer and director of Women’s Studies at IUP; Steven Loar, scenic artist and professor at IUP; Delbert Highlands, multimedia and film director; Lori Miller, costume designer; and consultant Dr. Katherine Hood.

“The Red Shoes” will be danced by the Mahoning Valley Ballet.

The project will develop and educate the projected audiences as well as performers. Topics include addiction, finding one’s voice, conformity, creativity, self-confidence and motivation. A final dance theater performance will illustrate these issues and include audience participation to arrive at some new and hopeful resolutions to the ever-present problems in today’s society.

Tickets are available by calling 814-938-8434 or at the door.

(Editor’s note: This piece is one in a series of “Familiar Faces Friday” features to be written by Spirit reporter...
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