Fredonia Dance Ensemble returns to live performance with annual concert

Doug Osborne-Coy
students dancing in studio

On May 6 and 7, the Fredonia Dance Ensemble returns to the stage of Marvel Theatre for its first in-person concert since 2019.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 6 and at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.  Twenty-six B.F.A. Dance majors will perform. The FDE concert is presented by the Department of Theatre and Dance as part of the 2021-22 Walter Gloor Mainstage Series.

Tickets are available through the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at (716) 673-3501 and online.

Fredonia Dance Ensemble Director Paula J. Peters discussed what it means to be able to return to a live, in-person presentation after a two-year gap.

“The hardest thing about  the pandemic for dancers and choreographers was the loss of moving our bodies together in real time in the same space, and sharing that energy with the audience,” said Peters. “I think many of us never realized how transformative live dance performance was until we couldn’t do it anymore.”

The director describes returning to the stage “like a return to being fully alive. Working with students on choreography, watching them push themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually has been an incredibly joyful experience. We are so grateful to be back in the theater, and thankful for all the people in the studio, and behind the scenes, who have done the hard work to make this performance possible.”

"We are so grateful to be back in the theater, and thankful for all the people in the studio, and behind the scenes, who have done the hard work to make this performance possible.” - Director Paula J. Peters

In addition to works choreographed by Fredonia Dance faculty members, the Dance majors will perform pieces created by guest artists Carlos Jones, Irvin Gonzalez and Alfonso Cervera. Residencies the guest artists were made possible with support from the Williams Visiting Professor Endowment through the Fredonia College Foundation.

“We were also fortunate to have Carlos Jones, Irvin Gonzalez and Alfonso Cervera come to campus for a week-long teaching and choreographic residency to create a work on Fredonia Dance Ensemble,” Peters said. “Additionally, Irvin and Alfonso will be returning to campus and will perform a duet they created while in residence.” 

In the end, Peters hopes the Fredonia Dance Ensemble performance will be a transformative one for audience members as well.

“I hope that people will connect with something in the concert that resonates with them as humans, sit with ideas that might push them to think differently, and experience a transformational moment for themselves,” the director said.

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