Nimble Dancers Spin a Fantasy
Dancing Wheels bring a world premiere to Mercyhurst.
Friday, Oct. 7
Dancers gift us with human bodies that curve in magnificent ways, creating expression, evoking emotions good and bad, inspiring awe. Dancing Wheels, now in its 36th year, will prove these and more when it performs at Mercyhurst University on Friday, Oct. 7. Tantalizingly, it brings a new package to be unwrapped.
Started by Mary Verdi-Fletcher in 1980, Dancing Wheels has been the flagship company integrating dancers with and without disabilities. Erie has been fortunate to experience several visits by the Cleveland-based company, but none have been fully-staged presentations.
On this outing, the company is mounting a comprehensive performance with three pieces. Unlucky for Cleveland, but great for us, the company will premiere Labyrinth: A Tribute, based on the 1986 film by Jim Henson and Dennis Lee. Slated to be premiered in August at an outdoor venue, "the performance had to be cancelled due to weather-related power outages," says Sara Lawrence-Sucato, tour manager and company member.
In Labyrinth, a 16-year-old girl is required to navigate a fantasy world to reclaim her baby brother who has been snatched by the Goblin King. The work features music by David Bowie, Trevor Jones, and Javier Navarrete, and the choreography of Dezaré Foster.
The company is eager to stage Labyrinth, especially Lawrence-Sucato, as she dances the lead of Sarah, the teenager. She's also thrilled to be bringing this performance and her company to Mercyhurst. "I'm excited to return to my alma mater to perform with Dancing Wheels," says Lawrence-Sucato, who has danced there as an alum before but is "really looking forward to playing the lead character in this performance."
Dancing Wheels will also perform Wall of Glass, from 2009, with choreography by Lisa K. Lock, and an excerpt from the 2012 work Anomalies, choreographed by Mark Tomasic and featuring the music of David Karagianis and Polygon Window.
On stage with Lawrence-Sucato will also be Mercyhurst alums Kelly Clymer and Emily Schwarting.
"Mercyhurst does such a great job of bringing in entertaining, innovative, and informative performances," offered Lawrence-Sucato. "I had wanted Dancing Wheels to be presented by the university ever since I graduated 10 years ago."
This should be a beautiful present to unwrap. – Mary Birdsong
7:30 p.m. // Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center, 501 E. 38th St. // Adults $20, Seniors $15
Students/Youth $10 // 824.3000 // miac.mercyhurst.edu/box-office/