February 04, 2011

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 81, Issue 5

'Dance Theatre of Niagara' Tells Stories Through a Variety of Dances

Performers for 'Dance Theatre of Niagara' practicing in Leary Theatre. Picture courtesy of Nick Solly

Performers for 'Dance Theatre of Niagara' practicing in Leary Theatre. Picture courtesy of Nick Solly

The final stage production of the fall semester at the Leary Theatre is Dance Theatre of Niagara, running from Dec. 2-12.  

Greg Fletcher, director of theater at Niagara University, explains  that Niagara does not usually produce dance productions.

 I was interested in it, because we schedule our performance students in dance classes, so by the time they are done here, they have taken eight dance classes, Fletcher says.  This is a great way to show off our dance program, dance faculty, and dance minors.  

As opposed to traditional theater, where the story is told mostly through dialogue, Fletcher says that dance is the language in this production.  

Peter Bennett, one of the choreographers for this production, says the dancers are able to show character through how they move and how they interact with one another. Music, as well, helps to develop the story.  

Fletcher explains there are three acts to this production, and each tell its own story.  Bennett and Gary Marino choreographed Gigot, a ballet in Act I.

Gigot is based off of a 1962 movie written and starring Jackie Gleason and directed by the great Gene Kelly, says Bennett. He explains that this number follows the story of a deaf mute man named Gigot.

Gigot is treated poorly by the townspeople, but when he takes in a prostitute, Colette, and her child, Nicole, he discovers love for the first time, Bennett says.

Act II includes three short numbers showcasing a variety of dance from modern to jazz.  Fletcher explains that one of the numbers in this act is danced to a poem, rather than music.  Act III utilizes tap dance to convey the story.  

Dance Theatre of Niagara will be performed on the Leary Theatre in the Clune Center for Theatre at Clet Hall.  The shows on Dec. 2 and 9 will start at 7 p.m.   The performances on Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11 start at 7:30 p.m., and a matinee will be performed on Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.  There also will be a post-show discussion after those productions.  
With a Niagara University ID, students get free tickets for Dance Theatre of Niagara.  Tickets can be acquired one hour before the production.  They can also be reserved at the Box Office from 2:30-5:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

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