IUP Dance Theater Celebrates 25 years with Fresh Twist on Beloved Classic

Posted on 3/21/2019 1:29:36 PM

The IUP Dance Theater Company and the IUP Percussion Ensemble will present Cindi: An Evening with Dance and Percussion, a classic retelling of Cinderella with a twist. This modern-day performance Cindi, co-directed by Holly Boda-Sutton and Michael Kingan, will be performed for one night only on March 30 at 7:00 p.m. in Fisher Auditorium, located in the Performing Arts Center.

Scene from “Cindi: An Evening with Dance and Percussion.” Photo by Miles LevrioTying together the world of high fashion, classic 1970’s rock and roll, and the story of Cinderella, Cindi: An Evening with Dance and Percussion presents a fresh take on a beloved classic. Co-director Holly Boda-Sutton described her process of creating the show: “I had always wanted to do a dance production of Cinderella, but I wasn’t interested in doing a traditional version of it. So, with the support and encouragement from Dr. Kingan, I juxtaposed the story of Cinderella into the world of high fashion—think Cinderella meets The Devil Wears Prada. It just made sense to use the dramatic melodies of recognized sounds of classic rock to choreograph the dance story to. Dr. Kingan and I hashed out which 10 songs from the hundreds of songs of the 1970’s classic rock era would be used. The sounds played through the gifted IUP Percussion Ensemble creates the ‘rockin’ energy for both the dancers and the audience to enjoy.”

Celebrating 20 years of collaboration, the IUP Dance Theater Company and the IUP Percussion Ensemble have worked together on many previous projects. Most recently, they created a production that brought the iconic sci-fi story of Logan’s Run to the stage in dance and percussion through the popular music of Genesis.

The Dance Theater Company is currently celebrating 25 years of dance theater. Consisting of about 20 members each year, students of dance are invited to audition for the IUP Dance Theater. While the company is modern dance-based, many of the performances they do are in the style of “dance theater,” which is a more theatrical take on dance and story-telling.

The IUP Percussion Ensemble, also consisting of students, provides a platform for musicians to showcase their talents, while offering an educational experience. The Percussion Ensemble performs in a wide range of venues from public schools to national conventions, including the Music Educator’s National Conference.

Other key individuals involved in this production include the following: Chris Leidhecker, music arrangements; James Bicknell, lighting designer; Brian Jones, set designer and props; Nancy Pipkin-Hutchinson, costume supervisor; and David Surtasky, technical director.

Dance Theater/Dance Program alumni performers include Kayla Machak, Lindsey Grove, Anna Ponak-Shively, Katie Gutmann, and Leah Lyons in the roles as fashion icons of haute couture. Community performers include Joy Gaydosh and Dawn McCracken in the roles of ‘modern day’ fairy godmothers. During the day, you can usually find these two sweet and funny women in their day jobs at IRMC.

Tickets for this event are available for purchase online through the Lively Arts website or by calling the ticket hotline at 724-357-1313. They can also be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office in Fisher Auditorium. Any seats remaining will be sold at the door starting one hour prior to the performance. Tickets are priced at $15 for regular admission, $12 for seniors and groups, and $10 for students and children. Online tickets are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ticket hotline and ticket office in Fisher Auditorium are open from noon to 5:00 p.m. weekdays. The ticket office is closed for university holidays. Tickets are not available at the Hadley Union Building.

For more information on this and other events as well as group tickets within the Lively Arts, call 724-357-2787 (ARTS) or email lively-arts@iup.edu.