Dept. of Theatre and Dance Selected to Perform in ‘Dancing in the Streets’ for Third Straight Year

by News Bureau on Thursday, Sep. 08, 2011

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 8, 2011 – Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance students have been selected to perform in “Dancing in the Streets” Sept. 24 in St. Louis for the third straight year.

The fifth annual St. Louis dance festival is scheduled from 1-11 p.m. at the Grand Center in downtown St. Louis. The students will perform “Sabor a Mi,” a Spanish inspired jazz piece choreographed by Susan Quinn. The piece will be performed on an outdoor street stage.

Quinn is an award-winning choreographer from Tucson, Ariz., and was a dancer with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago for 10 years. Southeast’s Department of Theatre and Dance brought Quinn to Southeast in January to work with students here.

Eight Southeast students will perform “Sabor a Mi,” which was performed in the “Spring into Dance 2011” concert at Southeast and at the St. Louis National Dance Week Celebration held at Union Station.

The free “Dancing in the Streets” festival includes food, a wide variety of dance and bands, and more than 75 performances on four stages. More than 700 dancers are expected to participate.

The Department of Theatre and Dance submitted a DVD application of the pieces they wished to perform. A panel of professional choreographers reviewed the applications, and the piece was chosen from a number of submissions.

According to Hilary Peterson, Southeast instructor of theatre and dance, “Being selected is an honor for our students and a reflection of the hard work they are doing in the dance studio in both technique class and rehearsal. It also means that as faculty and as a program, we are giving our students quality training, and that dance professional outside of our department and outside of Cape Girardeau are recognizing the talented dancers we have at Southeast.”

Performing in St. Louis allows the Department to showcase their strongest students, she said.

“As a dancer, you can never get enough performance opportunities and this is what this event offers our students,” Peterson added. “It gives them the chance to perform in a different venue in front of different people which offers many new challenges to our students.

“It is also an important recruitment tool for our program,” she said. “When prospective dance students see the talented students we have and the high caliber of work we are presenting, they will consider us as a place to continue their dance education after high school.”

“Dancing in the Streets” is presented by the Grand Center, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting the arts in St. Louis. The event is free and will be held at the Grand Center, 3526 Washington Ave. in St. Louis.