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Dance Theater and Mahoning Valley Ballet Collaborate on Dance Project

The Red Shoes Project

The Red Shoes Project, a dance collaboration presented by the IUP Dance Theater and the Mahoning Valley Ballet, will be presented April 28 and 29, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in Zink Hall Dance Theater. It is being offered in partnership with the IUP Women Studies program.

The production will address the underlying issues raised by Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book, Women Who Run With the Wolves. The first piece on the program, choreographed by Holly Boda-Sutton and Joan E. Van Dyke, is titled “Sealskin/Soulskin.” The work deals with a woman who gives up her “wild side” to pursue earthly happiness, only to find herself fading away from her true spirit.

The second piece is based on Han’s Christian Anderson’s fairy tale The Red Shoes, as interpreted by Estés. The collaborators have researched and developed this story from a theatrical, psychological, musical, and multimedia perspective.

The creators on the piece include Joan E. Van Dyke, choreographer and director; Carole Tina Lewis, licensed psychologist and cocreator; Derek Cooper, composer; Chauna Craig, creative writer and director of the Women’s Studies program; Steven Loar, scenic artist and director of the Center for Turning and Furniture Design at IUP; Delbert Highlands, multimedia and film director; Lori Miller, costume designer; and Katherine Hood, consultant.

According to Van Dyke, “One of the interesting approaches to our process has been to work closely with psychologist Tina Lewis. She has acted as a resource to develop each character in the story as well as address contemporary issues that this age group of students could be facing in their own lives.”

She goes on to explain, “Because we will be soliciting viewpoints from the audience and then reflecting on those through poetry and dialogue, our goal is to present a visually stimulating work which also stimulates thoughtful growth. Topics that will be addressed include finding one’s voice, conformity, creativity, self-confidence, and motivation.”

A final Dance Theater performance will illustrate these issues as a result of audience participation. The work will strive at reaching a new understanding of the ever-present problems in today’s society.

Tickets are available in advance at the Hadley Union Building and will also be sold at the door starting at 6:15 p.m. each evening. To charge tickets, call 724-357-1313. For more information, contact the Lively Arts at 724-357-2547.

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