Dancers from the SRU dance department and musicians from the jazz ensemble will be putting on the show, “A Swinging Good Time” in the Ballroom in the Student Center on Saturday, Nov. 7 as part of the Performing Arts Series.
Director of Special Events at SRU, Deborah Baker said this event will be different from what the Performing Arts Series has done in the past. She said this is the first time students are doing the entire show.
The show will include live jazz music and dance performances from SRU students. There will be nine musicians from the SRU jazz ensemble that will be playing the entire night. There are three choreographed dances and in-between those dances the ensemble will be playing music so audience members can get up and dance with the dancers. There will be performances from the dance department club Rock Dance, choreographed by retired SRU dance professor, Thom Cobb, a duet choreographed by professor of dance, Jennifer Keller, and a repertory piece from professor of dance, Ursula Payne.
“The audience will be blown away,” Baker said. “Not only are the performers and musicians talented, but the student’s skills are further developed by our amazing faculty.”
Cobb will be giving some information about the songs right before they are played to give the audience a little bit of knowledge about the music. The audience will acquire more knowledge while at the event, while also dancing and listening to music.
Cobb also choreographed a swing style piece for the dancers.
“This piece is taking swing dance and social dance and putting it into concert form,” Cobb said.
There are two group pieces and one duet being performed. The duet includes SRU dancers, Monica Traggiai and Darrin Mosely. The duet is a piece that Keller choreographed last year for the annual faculty concert. The dance was originally a modern piece and they twisted the choreography to add swing to it.
“This is the first time something has ever happened like this and it is very exciting,” Traggiai said. “This night can take us back to a time where nights like these happened all the time.”
Baker said the inspiration for this night came when she and her husband went to New York City and experienced an event being put on by professionals that is exactly like the one that is being put on this Saturday.
Baker stated that Miller Auditorium not being renovated yet has put a hindrance on all of the performing arts students and faculty. The department has come up with clever ways of putting on shows in spaces that are not intentionally made for those kinds of events and they have done the best they could so far at making it work.
Baker said the event will be “multigenerational” and that “older audience members will know the songs within the first two beats of them being played and the younger audience members will know because the songs are popular.”
Tickets for the show are $8 for SRU students, $16 for youth, $18 for seniors and $20 for adults.