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"TRUTH MOVES" Contemporary Dance Concert

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TRUTH MOVES, a concert of contemporary dance showcasing the work of the Penn State Dance Program, will be held on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22, 7:30 p.m. in the Playhouse Theatre. There is a $5.00 suggested donation. The concert features an eclectic program with five distinct choreographic voices represented by faculty members J. Austin Eyer, Amie Davis, Michele Dunleavy, Donna Dunmire, and Kikora Franklin. Overarching themes of identity, relationships, and communication serve to connect the diverse program offerings which include Love is Love is Love is Love, Dunmire’s neo-noir, dance theatre piece inspired by 1980's and 90's movies, and Pursuance: Human Being Human, Franklin’s visual embodiment of what it means to be a human being. Dunleavy’s Star Spangled uses satire to challenge preconceived notions of patriotism, and what it means to be an American while in Intersecting Mary, Davis examines communication and how our bodies function and deal with the stresses of our different relationships. Also on the program are three works by Eyer that span a variety of topics: Seriously, a response to the 2016 Presidential election, Silence = Death a statement on the current state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and Gates of Hope which questions the role of activism in art.

No ticket is required for this event. Audience members are encouraged to pay what they can. Suggested donation $5.00


J. Austin Eyer has been seen on BROADWAY in: Evita, How to Succeed, Billy Elliot (u/ s Tony), The Little Mermaid (u/s Prince Eric), Curtains, and The Secret Garden (Colin). Austin choreographed the long-running Off Broadway production of My Big Gay Italian Wedding, and has choreographed for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Disney World and Universal Studios. He remains on faculty with Broadway Dance Center, CAP21, is a Competition Judge for Headliners Dance, and teaches for programs around the world like Theatre Arts Center, Broadway Connection, NYU, Joop van den Ende Academy in Hamburg and the Showa University of Music in Japan.

Amie Davis holds an MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and a BA from Slippery Rock University. Currently, Amie teaches dance at Penn State University and is the Artistic Director of Davis Dance Center. Amie has also taught at North Central Texas College and is a collaborator with Big Rig Dance Collective. Amie has been a performer in works by Sarah Gamblin, Jordan Fuchs, Tania Isaac, Helanius Wilkins, Joanna Mendl Shaw (Equs Projects), and a reconstruction of Lar Lubovitch’s Marimba. In 2007 Amie traveled to India to learn a classical form of Indian dance, Bharathanatyam.

Michele Dunleavy has choreographed and performed extensively throughout the Mid- Atlantic region. She works in a variety of dance forms including tap, jazz, and modern, and her choreography has been presented by arts organizations in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, NYC, Maryland, Chicago, and West Virginia. In addition to performing her own work Michele has danced with Take it Away Productions, Pittsburgh Opera, Junction Dance Theatre, Physical Theatre Project, DANA Movement Ensemble, ETCH Dance Co., and NYC based B3W.

Donna Dunmire has worked professionally in the fields of dance, theatre, and film as a performer, teacher, and choreographer for over twenty-five years. Classically trained as a ballet dancer at The Ruth Page Foundation under the direction of Larry Long in Chicago, IL, she danced professionally with Karole Armitage Ballet, Bejart Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, and The Los Angeles Opera. Transitioning her career to Broadway, she was in the original casts of Ragtime, Marie Christine (Lincoln Center), A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden (Director Mike Ockrent, Choreographer Susan Stroman), and the original workshop and first national tour of Contact, covering the roles of The Wife and The Girl on the Swing. Choreographically, credits include assistant to the choreographer Graciela Daniele in Lincoln Center Theatre’s production of Marie Christine, and assistant to the choreographer and principal dancer in the films Princess Diaries 2 and Keeping Up with the Steins. She received a B.A. in Performing Arts with honors from St. Mary’s College of California.

Aquila Kikora Franklin is an Associate Professor of Theatre/Dance and teaches West African, Hip Hop, and Mojah dance. She has performed, choreographed and taught in cities across the globe including Linz, Austria, Grahamstown, South Africa, Dakar, Senegal, Minas Gerais, Brazil, throughout China, Europe, and the United States. Franklin has also performed and choreographed for the Atlanta Hawks dance team. At Penn State, her creative work and research focuses on developing the Mojah dance technique, an original style that fuses modern (Horton and Dunham), jazz, West African, and Hip Hop movement into one form. Franklin’s interests also include studying the cultural and artistic expressions of the African Diaspora, the development and evolution of contemporary African and African-American concert and social dance, and using arts education as civic engagement. Franklin shares her passion for dance and culture with young students as the artistic director of Roots of Life, a performing arts ensemble based out of the State College Area School District.