'Tis the Season for Dance and Music on the Mary D'Angelo Stage
Mercyhurst makes merry with holiday concerts
BEGINNING FRIDAY, DEC. 8
There are few things that harbinger the holiday season like Christmas jazz standards and ballet — namely the Nutcracker Suite — and the Mercyhurst Department of Dance, as well as the D'Angelo Department of Music, are bringing both to the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center stage for two jolly nights (and one morning) of music and dance.
Mercyhurst alumnus Dillon Shidemantle (Class of 2015) will preside over the family-friendly event as master of ceremonies — and, as a guest artist, will provide his vocal talents. The Mercyhurst Jazz Ensemble, under director Scott Meier, will kick off the event playing Christmas standards with a big band twist, including "Joy to the World" and a unique piccolo and ukulele duet during "Santa Baby."
And after a brief intermission, the Mercyhurst Dancers will perform The Nutcracker Suite, accompanied by Tchaikovsky's immediately recognizable score, but with a delightful twist — the "Land of the Sweets" will be set in the Roaring Twenties.
This is actually a little taste of the collaboration between the Department of Dance and Mercyhurst alumnus Justin Michael Hogan (Class of 2009), as C. Noelle Partusch, professor and chair of dance at Mercyhurst explained.
"[Justin] mulled around an idea for several years about choreographing a version of The Nutcracker for the Department of Dance that would tie into the university and the Erie area. In addition, he wanted to place the story in Erie in the 1920s when the university was founded," Partusch said.
While you're enjoying this holiday homage, it's important to remember that the music and dance are all the product of student dedication and hard work. "I hope audiences leave the performance feeling as though they've just left a magical place," Partusch said. "I hope they feel as much joy in watching the students do what they love as the students feel in doing it."
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. Saturday // Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center, 501 E. 38th St. // $5-15 // Info and tickets: miac.mercyhurst.edu