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Fall Dance Concert’s Global Connections

Guest and USF faculty choreographers bring international experience and worldviews to exciting program of new dance works.

By Barbara Melendez
      USF News

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2014) – The USF College of The Arts 2014 Fall Dance Concert reflects the University’s global and national outlook. The guest choreographers’ and USF faculty’s backgrounds and experience from various parts of the country and the world, inform their styles, techniques and sensibilities which will be in the spotlight at Theatre 2 on select dates from Nov. 6 to 15.

Born in Alabama, Maurice Causey’s passport bears stamps from Australia, Bulgaria, China, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and beyond, and he is now based in Europe. Hailed as a “a striking choreographic voice,” he is the former Ballet Master for the Royal Swedish Ballet and The Netherlands Dance Theatre 1, and he has choreographed original pieces for numerous dance companies. Houston’s acclaimed infinite Movement Ever Evolving’s (iMEE) dance company chose him as its first resident choreographer.

An associate professor of dance at Texas Woman’s University and founder of the Dance Lab there, Sarah Gamblin has toured Portugal, Poland, Estonia, Peru, Venezuela, Russia, various cities in South Africa, and numerous cities in the U.S. with Bill Young and Dancers and was a member of Bebe Miller Company. Her choreography has been produced throughout the country and she has received commissions from numerous companies including Perpetual Motion, Flatlands Dance Theater, Mam-Luft Dance and from several universities including USF.

Donna Mejia, a choreographer, lecturer, teacher, administrator and performer specializes in contemporary dance and traditions of the African and Arab Diaspora, as well as new fusion traditions in world electronica. Constantly teaching and touring throughout the U.S. and abroad, she has headlined more than 27 international festivals in the past three years. Mejia is among a handful of artists authorized to instruct the Brazilian Silvestre Modern Dance Technique.

Patrick Damon Rago is co-chair and associate professor for the dance program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and is the founder of the Palindrome Performance Group, known for telling human stories through dance. He is a three-time Lester Horton Award winner for Outstanding Achievement in Performance. His choreography has been presented at the Dumbo Dance Festival in Brooklyn, New York, Dance Spectrum LA, the Sola Dance Festival, and at numerous colleges and universities.

Worldly and well-traveled in their own right are USF dance faculty in the School of Theare & Dance, Assistant Professor Andrew Carroll, Associate Professor Michael Foley and Instructor of Dance John Parks, whose original choreography will be on display at the Fall Dance Concert as well.

Carroll has taught numerous master classes in ballet at The Florida Dance Festival, The Patel Conservatory, The Rock School, and Le Centre, L’Abbaye de Pontevoy, France. He is also an international speaker, and has presented at conferences in Austria, Hungary, Greece and Hawaii. The videos he has produced on bullying and dating violence were designed to transcend language barriers and have been adopted in Northern Ireland, Finland, Scotland, Brazil, Germany, Greece, Czech Republic, Kosovo, Belgium, Belarus and more.

Foley, who teaches in USF’s Dance in Paris Program, was a Fulbright scholar in Mexico under the COMEXUS/Garcia-Robles Fulbright award for research and teaching in 2009. He has created new repertory for Mexico'sworld-touring modern dance troupe, Delfos Danza and taught at La Escuela Profesional de la Danza de Mazatlan. His own company, Michael Foley Dance, formed in 1994, toured the United States and Europe and was based in Ireland for a two-year residency with Fluxusdance, a project funded by the Irish Arts Council.

A former dancer with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, The Anna Sokolow Company and Ruth Carrier, Parks has toured extensively. He has also taught at the Ballet Company of Zimbabwe as well as at the University of Michigan, Florida A & M University, Harvard Summer School, and the Alvin Ailey School among others. He served as assistant to the choreographer and dance captain for the Broadway production of “The Wiz” and other Broadway shows acting as producer and choreographer.

USF talent is featured throughout. Costume design is by Brittany Reuther for Foley’s and Parks’ works and Stacey Davila for Carroll’s.

There are different dancers for Carroll’s “3am,” a contemporary ballet duet: Julien Valme and Sarah Walston, Nov. 7, 13, 15; Ethan Barbee and Jessica Stroh, Nov. 6, 8, 12 , 14; and Emily Hansel and Antonio Morillo, Nov. 9.

Foley’s “When We Fell” includes Ethan Barbee, Jacqueline Dugal, Leo Jeansonne, John Kirkland, Cloe Leppard, Sarah Lewandowski, Hannah Luckow, Natale Maycock, Madison McGrew, Kiara Narvaez, Morgan Narvick, Gabriella Olsen, Tatiana Quintero, Maria Terrell, Vanessa Vargas. Music is by Zoe Keating and costume design by Brittany Reuther. It tells the story of a community plunged into crisis by external forces.

Robert Kelley, Sharon McCaman with dance in John Parks’ “The Path” with music from Xenakis Percussion Works and costume design by Brittany Reuther. It was inspired by Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

The Fall Dance Concert takes place Nov. 6 to 8 and Nov. 12 to 15 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. in Theatre 2. Prices range from $8 to $15 with student, senior and group discounts available. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (813) 974-2323 or in person at the box office. For box office hours, location and other ticketing information visit

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563

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