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FloArts dance gala this weekend

Florida School of the Arts students present the annual Dance Choreography Gala Nov. 16–18. From left: Amaani Grant, Katrin Silvis, Paige Lane, Fredrick Harris, Mitchel Burns, Katie Garrepy and Rowan Maris.

PALATKA – Dance Choreography Gala, filled with collaborative dance artistry, is at the Florida School of the Arts located on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College Friday (Nov. 16) and Saturday (Nov. 17), at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday (Nov. 18) at 2:30 p.m.

Contemporary dance techniques and the diversity of styles within that genre will be performed within a minimal set design featuring multiple doorways and traveling archways, along with moveable lanterns and exquisite stage lighting. Admission is $5.

Director Mary Love Ward said there’s definitely something for everyone in this diverse dance Gala. “Faculty, guests and student choreography are linked together in this concert through the concept of journeys: physical, emotional and temporal journeys,” she explained. “With a malleable set design and exquisite lighting, the audience is going to be transported with the performers through various emotional and physical terrains.”

The performance of student works is always a special treat at each Dance Choreography Gala. Select student choreographers performed their contemporary dances for a committee of SJR State faculty and staff and were invited to showcase their choreography at the Gala. Selections include Katie Garrepy’s “Give it Time,” a tap duet, as well as her group contemporary dance, “The Hallows.” Garrepy and Katrin Silvis collaboratively choreographed “Far From _____,” while Silvis also choreographed “Unravelling Progress,” an ensemble dance. The ensemble “Up and Away” was choreographed by Hayley Smith, and “Farewell” was choreographed by Torie D’Alessandro.

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From left:Paige Lane, Katrin Silvi, Katie Garrepy.

“The students gain important opportunities to learn about the choreographic design process if they choose to submit a dance,” Ward explained. “They receive mentoring and coaching, and if they are selected, they work alongside the director in implementing lighting, set and costume design elements into their dance. Serving as student choreographers also gives the students a unique opportunity for leadership among their peers.”


The works of guest artists and faculty choreographers will also be featured. Returning for a third season is the Jacksonville-based company, Three Hearts Dance, bringing two world premier dance films to the stage, “To Be” and “Sole Searching,” a collaborative project with FloArts students during a three-day residency. Ward noted that Three Hearts Dance focuses on sending positive messages to the community with relevant dance works and dance films, which are featured on the Three Hearts Dance YouTube channel.

Dance artists include Alberto Blanco, Mitchel Burns, Logen Cheatham, Jahleel Christian, Emely Cuestas, D’Alessandro, Kevin Figueroa, Garrepy, Amaani Grant, Fredrick Harris, Alantae Jackson, Paige Lane, Ashley Leake, Rowan Maris, Noah Peacock, Silvas, Hayley Smith and Mark Wildman.

Production crew consists of Directors Borrero and Ward; Text Designer and Director Patricia Crotty; Costume Designer Danielle Brownfield; Stage Manager Alysa Ness; Assistant Stage Manager Kati Blankenship; Faculty Costume Supervisor Emily Schafer; Faculty Scene Design Supervisor Mark Exline; Lighting Faculty Supervisors Tiffany Jordan and Chandler Caroccio;

Also,Transitional Lighting Designer Brittany Posso; Costume Shop Manager Jordan; Scene Shop Manager Caroccio; Production Assistants Jadon Beck, Sophia Delgado and M.J. McBride; Light Board Operator Facia Lee; Sound Board Operator Savanna Flathmann; Carpenters, Scenic Painters, and Electricians: Katrina Babitzke, Neal Baker, Chad Boyd, Flathmann, Rebekah Herskovitz, Melissa Moore, Elijah Richardson-Grant, Kirsten Rude and Samuel Williams IV; Costume Construction Crew: Blankenship, Brownfield, Crystal Cruz, Danielle DuBois, Tatiyana Firth, Loudise Hernandez-Ortiz, Hannah Johnson, Timothy Lake, Marissa Mendez, Jeff Parmenter, Melanie Rodriguez and Vincent Ward.

The FloArts chapter of Delta Psi Omega (a national theatre honor society) will collect non-perishable, nutritious foods at each performance. Donations will assist the Feed the Need of Putnam County program. Suggested food items are ones that can be easily prepared by young children. A donation box will be located in the lobby for the duration of the production.

Florida School of the Arts is part of the academic and administrative structure of SJR State and awards the two-year associate degree. The School serves the entire state of Florida and is located on the SJR State Palatka campus. For more information, call 386-312-4300 or visit the website at


About PluggedInto (1620 Articles)
PluggedInto is an ePublication covering news, history, local events and more in the Putnam/Flagler/St. Johns tricounty area.

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