Dancing Beyond Words: Mercyhurst Ballet Theater and SoMar Partner Again

Categories:  Arts & Culture/Entertainment    Events
Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at 6:45 AM
Dancing Beyond Words: Mercyhurst Ballet Theater and SoMar Partner Again by Sara Toth

Art is ancient. From the dawn of man, expression has been an integral part of humanity. And before there were oil paints, grand pianos, or even an inkwell and parchment, there was the body and there was dance.

It’s fitting then that Beyond Words IV is named such. The fourth iteration of a partnership between Mercyhurst Ballet Theatre and SoMar Dance Works, the evenings of dance this weekend showcase the best of Erie’s resident dance companies.

The Mercyhurst Ballet Theatre, which draws students from across the country, is for select dance majors at the school and has performed in Cleveland and in Pittsburgh. SoMar Dance Works, locally-based, is the brainchild of Solveig and Mark Santillano, who serve as artistic directors, choreographers, and dancers. The pair has danced their way across the globe.

The bottom line? This is (literally) world-class stuff – especially when you take into account guest dancers on stage from the Liaoning Ballet Academy of China.

The performances this weekend feature ballet and contemporary dance – “contemporary” usually being the point at which some of you may say, “eh, dance just isn’t my thing.” But have you seen Misty Copeland in action? Have you seen Sergei Polunin (and all his tattoos!) dance to Hozier’s “Take Me To Church?” For that matter, have you seen Footloose? Trust me, if you have a pulse, dance is for you.

Additionally, the production includes a special, multimedia collaboration with local children’s book author Mary Arete Moody, and “Talk Back” sessions with the dancers and choreographers Friday and Saturday evening. Saturday’s evening performance benefits the city’s domestic violence safety network SafeNet and the dance department’s Jenni-Lyn Memorial Scholarship Fund — so the bodies in motion are moving to good causes. — Sara Toth

4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb 20 // 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 & Sunday, Feb. 22 // 7 p.m. Saturday //501 E. 38th Street// $15/$10 for students and seniors //mica.mercyhurst.edu

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Join Erie Reader photojournalist Maitham Basha-Agha, and local photographer Erica Whiting on a two-hour photo exhibition.

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