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Fall Dance Concert Nov. 2-6 to Present Works by Eight Distinguished Alumni

Concert honors the SMU centennial and includes three new works

The Division of Dance at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts salutes the centennial of SMU’s founding in 1911 by showcasing works choreographed by eight distinguished alumni at its Fall Dance Concert, Nov. 2-6 in the Bob Hope Theatre of the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus.   

Cheryl Chaddick (’77), Anna Marie Ewert-Pittman (’94), Jarrell Hamilton (’09), John Malashock (’75), Annmaria Mazzini (’94), Josh Peugh (’06), Jamal Story (’99) and Max Stone (M.F.A. ‘05), all of whom work in the dance field as artistic directors, performers and teachers, were selected from a pool of 35 alumni candidates by a panel of artists and arts administrators from across the nation. 

The concert includes new works by three of the choreographers and five restaged works from existing repertory, one of which is a piece performed by two Dance Division alumni who are currently dancing with professional companies in New York. 

“It has been a thrill to work with these gifted alumni, some of whom are my former students – and classmates!” said SMU dance professor Patty Harrington Delaney, artistic director of the concert. “They have all done well in the professional world, and they are a huge inspiration to our current students; our undergraduates not only have a chance to work with them in rehearsals and master classes, but learn from their ‘real world’ experience.”

Cheryl Chaddick’s new creation for the fall concert is a spiritual piece called The Hand of Man in Front of the Hand of God, which focuses on a group of women seeking meaningful connections to the cosmos now that the rituals they learned as children no longer provide comfort. A critically acclaimed choreographer, Chaddick has worked for some of the most renowned companies in the country, performed in works by the late Anna Sokolow and taught at San Francisco School of the Arts.

Also presenting a new work at the concert will be Max Stone, who has created a modern/jazz fusion piece titled Etched; the work alludes to vivid visual images that remain etched in one’s mind. Joining the student performers in Etched will be alumnus Matthew Walfish (’09). Stone lives in New York, has worked on Broadway as a choreographer and dancer, and served as artistic director of The New York Dance Exchange. He is currently on the faculties of STEPS on Broadway, Dance New Amsterdam (DNA) and Peridance Capezio Center.  Last year, Stone was invited to teach master classes for the cast of renowned choreographer Matthew Bourne’s award-winning version of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

The third premiere in the concert will be the powerful modern jazz piece Choose Me by Jamal Story, an examination of the human striving for acceptance, reward and recognition. Upon graduating from SMU, Story danced for Donald Byrd/The Group and New York City’s Complexions, and toured with Madonna and Cher. He then became a dancer and assistant dance captain for the hit Broadway show The Color Purple. This fall, he was chosen to be in an episode of Steven Spielberg’s new TV series, Smash.

The five restaged works for the concert range from profound to lighthearted, and reflect a variety of techniques.

One of the most challenging pieces to be performed is Hanging Out of Town, an aerial work choreographed by Anna Marie Ewert-Pittman, the artistic director of Ewert & Company and a teacher known for her expertise in working with silks, material suspended from the ceiling.  The piece portrays two sides of a woman as she struggles with thoughts of suicide.

Jarrell Hamilton, a principal dancer with Prophecy Dance Works and the founder and director of non-profit organization New Orleans Love for the Arts Project, Inc., will present The Fall, a male-female duet.  She said it is a personal work that reflects the story of her parents’ marriage.

Emmy Award-winning artist John Malashock, whose artistry is a composite of more than 30 years of experience in dance, theater and film, will stage Silver and Gold, a poignant male-female duet about a hit-and-miss relationship. He had an illustrious performing career dancing for Twyla Tharp before founding Malashock Dance in 1988. The San Diego company has earned national and international acclaim with works presented throughout the United States, Central America, Japan and Central Europe.

Annmaria Mazzini, who was a principal dancer for more than a decade with the legendary Paul Taylor Dance Company, will present Bakelite Apparition.  In this work, a distorted version of the classic Irving Berlin song Cheek to Cheek helps tell the story of a deteriorating relationship. The male-female duet features SMU alums Lee Duveneck (’10) and Elizabeth Bragg (’05), who dance with professional companies in New York.

Josh Peugh will present Shuffle, a humorous, modern work for a trio set to music by artists ranging from Johnny Cash to Led Zeppelin. The New Mexico native has danced in works from the repertories of George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey and other greats. He made his professional choreographic debut in 2008 in Seoul, South Korea, where he is the co-founding artistic director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance.

Fall Dance Concert performance times are 8:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.  Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for students, SMU faculty and staff.  Free parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley or in the garage under the Meadows Museum.  For more information or to purchase tickets, call 214-768-2787 or purchase tickets online.

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