Wright State’s annual Spring Dance Concert showcases region’s vibrant dance community

The Wright State Dance Ensemble’s Spring Dance Concert will feature 26 dance majors performing seven diverse and dynamic pieces April 18–21 in the Festival Playhouse in the Creative Arts Center.

Audiences can watch Wright State University dance students shine in a variety of stunning choreography from jazz to contemporary ballet at the Spring Dance Concert 2024 from April 18 to 21.

The concert will feature 26 dance majors performing seven diverse and dynamic pieces by Gina Gardner-Walther, associate professor of dance and head of dance at Wright State, and renowned guest choreographers Ray Mercer, Jennifer Sydor and Hannah Williamson.

The concert will also feature the Dance Ensemble’s partner training companies, the Dayton Ballet Studio Company and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2, highlighting the region’s vibrant and diverse dance community.

Performances take place on Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m.; Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 21, at 2 p.m. in the Festival Playhouse in the Creative Arts Center.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for people 60 and older and $5 for students. Wright State students can attend the April 18 concert for free by showing their Wright1 Card.

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the theatre box office at 937-775-2500.

The Spring Dance Concert is inspired by collaborations between dance and community.

“We are so proud to present these fierce choreographers and dancers,” Walther said. “Dance fills the heart with joy and expresses emotions we cannot put into words. Our students receive rigorous training and individual attention allowing them to push the boundaries of dance. Come out and enjoy every step.”

Ray Mercer’s new work “Let It Rain” is a dance tour de force and beautifully theatrical. It was inspired by relationships observed in the rain.

Mercer is in his 21st season as a dancer and fight captain in “The Lion King” on Broadway. An innovative director and choreographer, he has created works for premiere dance companies including AileyII, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and the New Jersey Ballet.

Jennifer Sydor’s “Stone Cold” is an abstract retelling of the myth of Medusa that elevates the fate of the Gorgon.

“Myth is a lens in which to touch upon themes in our current world: female empowerment, autonomy and the journey we take to identify what drives us in life,” Sydor said.

Sydor has enjoyed a 20-year career as a freelance dancer in New York City, including 18 seasons with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet. She is also artistic director of the Dayton Dance Initiative and a part-time faculty member at Wright State, Sinclair Community College and the Dayton Ballet School.

Hannah Williamson’s “night light.” explores nightlife in all its different shades set to the music by Nancy Sinatra and The Who. Williamson, who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Wright State in 2017, is a company member, rehearsal director and choreographer of Mutual Dance Theatre in Cincinnati.

The concert will also feature “What Comes From Within” by Macy Perry, a senior dance major at Wright State. She has also received additional training at the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company and Dayton Ballet.

Read more about the Spring Dance Concert 2024.

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