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Dance Ensemble Spring Concert presents Synapse


The Drexel Dance Ensemble, in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Art and Design’s Department of Performing Arts, will present their spring concert, ”Synapse,” on May 29, 30 and 31. Synapse is based on the concept of quickly developing ideas and will be realized in 11 pieces.  This performance will feature 57 Drexel student dancers.

Three dance professionals will work with the Dance Ensemble to perform their choreography including Olive Prince, Drexel Dance Professor; Manfred Fischbeck, Director of Group Motion Dance Company; and Lauren Putty White, a company member of Philadanco and recipient of the Ellen Forman Memorial Award, of the Philadelphia Foundation.  The Ellen Forman Memorial Award allows for one choreographer to work with the Drexel Dance Ensemble to perform a piece on the spring concert, in memory of Philadelphia dance pioneer Ellen Forman.  This year’s recipient, White, will offer a dance with a “light” look on childhood through numerous scenes accompanied by music from The Muppets.

Following tradition, the eight remaining pieces on the program feature student choreographers.  A dance solo by Meg Knotts, a senior dance major, is based on the introspective process of drawing a life map, marking significant landmarks through movement.  Sophomore dance major, Karly Bais, will present her choreography in a piece that explores what happens when the body can betray you.

The Drexel Dance Ensemble is a professional caliber dance company presenting two fully-produced concerts in the Mandell Theater each year, performing for more than 1,000 people each season. Participation in the dance ensembles allows for the students of Drexel to connect to the artistic community, indulge in the creative process, and perhaps, expand their cultural scope.

Synapse will be presented on May 29, 30 and 31 at 8:00 PM in the Mandell Theater at 33rd and Chestnut Streets.  Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students.  Tickets may be purchased in advance at http://www.danceboxoffice.com or by calling 215-895-ARTS.

For additional information, please visit the Drexel Dance website at http://www.drexel.edu/westphal/undergraduate/DANC/.

- Steven Weisz

Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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