March 29, 2017
University Marketing Communications

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's dance program and Repertory Dance Company will showcase senior choreographic works and company pieces during its production of Danceworks: Deviation, which premieres at 7 p.m. April 20 in the Norton H.P.E. Complex, Room 201, on the university's campus.

A second showing is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 21 with a final performance set for 3 p.m. April 22.

As the theme suggests, the production will feature a spectrum of choreography, including jazz, modern, hip-hop and more. Heather Samuelson, co-coordinator of SFA's dance program and assistant professor of dance, explained this production is the program's first time to feature hip-hop.

"This year's show is full of dances we haven't offered to the public before, so it will be a different experience for audiences," Samuelson said. "It's a really fun show."

The production will feature six senior choreographic works and choreography from two dance faculty members and two guest artists, each with a different theme.

Guest artist Tonya Reed Simon, who is known for her work with artists such as Nelly, worked with SFA students to choreograph a hip-hop dance for the production. Additionally, guest artist Jo Byrnes collaborated with SFA students to choreograph a contemporary piece for Danceworks. Sarah Sanchez, an SFA adjunct faculty member, will present a ballet folklórico piece.

As part of their degree requirements, SFA seniors in the dance program must create a choreographic piece and present it.

"Danceworks provides our students opportunities for performance for their degree and it better prepares them for teaching or auditioning," Samuelson said. "It helps get them ready to go out into the real world and secure jobs as dancers, teachers, choreographers or performers."

Students in a production course taught by Haley Hoss Jameson, co-coordinator of SFA's dance program and associate professor of dance, will work backstage during the production to help with lighting, quick changes and additional crew work. Overall, approximately 55 people are involved in the show.

Tickets cost $5 for students, $8 for faculty and staff members, and $10 for general admission and can be purchased at the door. Funds raised from ticket sales will be used to offset production costs and help recruit future guest artists. SFA's dance program and the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science are sponsoring the production.