Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance presents the December Dance Concert: A spectacular celebration of dance
DETROIT — Wayne State University’s Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance closes the first half of its 2023-2024 season with the much-anticipated December Dance Concert. Showcasing an eclectic mix of dance styles — ranging from House, Contemporary, Traditional African to Improv — this mesmerizing concert will take place Dec. 8-10 on the STAGE of the Hilberry Gateway and promises a captivating experience for all audiences.
Under the artistic direction of Karen Prall and Dr. RAS Mikey Courtney, the December Dance Concert features an impressive lineup of performances. Audiences can expect an eclectic blend of student-choreographed pieces by Meghan Allen, Jonathan Chapdelain, Annie Dingwall, Hunter Martin, and Olivia Woebke. In addition, works by world-renowned guest artists Celia Benvenutti (Afro-Latina/Dunham Technique), Crystal Frazier (Maggie Allesee Resident Artist in Hip-Hop/House), and Joshua Peugh (Contemporary dance in partnership with Eisenhower Dance Detroit).
“What I'm excited for our students to learn working with the guest artists that we have is in relation to what I'm excited for the audience to learn — culture,” said Courtney about Benvenutti, Frazier, and Peugh. “Every style of movement that they're learning is related to a culture, and a lot of the guest artists who are transmitting this information are also transmitting the cultural knowledge, as well as the movement in the steps along with it.”
The December Dance Concert also features the talented WSU student African dance company, To Sangana, directed by Prall. To Sangana (pronounced TOH-san-GAH-nah) is a dynamic dance company that thrills audiences with African-derived dance and drum presentations that are guaranteed to inspire, invigorate, educate, and entertain. Audiences can also expect to engage in an improv performance directed by Lisa Wilmot, a distinguished member of WSU’s Dance faculty and director of Company One.
This year’s concert is set to be a spectacular celebration of dance, bringing together diverse styles and exceptional talent on one stage. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to witness the deep culture and rich history of movement and creativity as they unfold at the Hilberry Gateway.
“This being one of the oldest dance programs in the United States,” said Courtney, “I think the audience should always come in with the idea of the legacy and how this program is continuing and evolving through the generations who come in to be a part of it.”
Dates: Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 10 at 3 p.m.
Venue: Hilberry Gateway, located at 4715 Cass Avenue on Wayne State’s campus in Detroit
Tickets: Tickets for the December Dance Concert are priced at $15 to $25 and can be purchased online at theatreanddance.wayne.edu or by phone at 313-577-2972, Tuesday through Saturday, from 2-6 p.m.
Celia Benvenutti, an Afro-Latina dance artist, brings a wealth of experience spanning 25 years in dance. Trained in various dance techniques including Dunham Technique, Classical Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Traditional African, and Afro-Caribbean dances, Benvenutti’s expertise enriches the December Dance Concert. She is a certified Dunham Technique instructor and has taught dance in Detroit, Washington, D.C., and New York, earning recognition for her outstanding contributions to the art of dance.
Crystal Frazier, a Maggie Allesee Resident Artist, is a highly accomplished dancer and choreographer with an impressive portfolio. Her career highlights include performances on renowned platforms like MTV, BET, and VH1, as well as collaborations with Grammy Award-winning artists. Frazier’s innovative choreography and passion for dance continue to inspire audiences globally, making her a valuable addition to the December Dance Concert.
Joshua L. Peugh, the Founder and Artistic Director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, is a distinguished choreographer celebrated for his creativity and artistic excellence. His works have been showcased at prestigious festivals worldwide, earning him accolades and recognition from the international dance community. With a diverse repertoire that includes collaborations with esteemed organizations such as BalletX, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Eisenhower Dance, Peugh’s contribution to the December Dance Concert promises to be extraordinary.