The Mercer Dance Ensemble (MDE), featuring students and community dancers, presents "On the Move!" at Mercer County Community College's Kelsey Theatre. Performances will be held Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on Mercer's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
Six contributing choreographers, including MCCC faculty members, alumni and a current student, will blend their talents for a performance that will incorporate a variety of modern and international dance styles as it celebrates the body in motion. Approximately 13 pieces will be performed.
Adding the international element to this year's performance will be Latin American tango, choreographed by MCCC's Theatre/Dance Program Coordinator Jody Person. A professional tango dancer, Person has found this highly stylized dance form to be very helpful in teaching acting skills to his students.
Person notes that MCCC Theater students learn how to tango during their first acting class. "It helps them be clearer with their intentions, improve coordination, and develop a stronger understanding of posture as they learn to follow and lead," he explains.
He adds that through tango, students become more used to physical contact with their acting partners, while developing a sense of spatial awareness on stage. They also learn to play with and alter rhythms, which is very useful in line delivery. "Tango forces the performer to make creative choices very quickly. Actors have to get use to making quick creative decisions when they are auditioning for roles," Person says.
In addition to Person, choreographers for the show include faculty member Janell Byrne, MCCC Dance alumni Jennifer Gladney, Rebecca Brodowski and Kaitlyn Seitz, and current student Stephanie Maher.
Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $12 for students. Tickets may be purchased online at www.kelseytheatre.net, in person at the Kelsey Theatre box office, or by phone at 609-570-3333. Free parking is available next to the theatre. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices upon request.