PA Presenters Dance Showcase

Here’s a hot little news item for our readers: the Pennsylvania Arts Presenters is holding their semi-annual conference right here in Bethlehem. As a part of this conference, the dance showcase is open for folks in our community to see five (check that, FIVE) amazing dance companies in one performance for a very reasonable price – $10 (for general public) $5 for students.

Who is being showcased?

Photo by Lois Greenfield.


Across the nation and around the worldPHILADANCO is celebrated for its innovation, creativity and preservation of predominantly African-American traditions in dance. The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) presents the highest quality of professional dance performance , showcasing the works of  important choreographers  from  Ulysses Dove to Christopher Huggins and Jawole Zollar to name a few,  while increasing the appreciation of dance among its many communities.


Photo by Marion Taylor-Wiles.

Karole Armitage and the dancers  Armitage Gone! Dance extend the mandate of innovation and the perception of contemporary dance by combining ballet with new thinking about the geometry and rhythm of dance steps. Armitage explores this realm of movement while simultaneously remaining connected to the sensuous sweep of classical dance.


Image by Matt Karas.

Camille A. Brown & Dancers soar through history like a whirlwind with high theatricality, gutsy moves, and virtuosic musicality. The company’s work explores typical, real life situations ranging from literal relationships to more complex themes with an eye on the past, present and future. Making a personal claim on history, through the lens of a modern female perspective, Camille A. Brown leads her dancers through dazzling excavations of ancestral stories.

Special Note to Faculty Readers: Camille Brown will be on campus on March 21, 2015 as part of the 2014-15 Zoellner Guest Artist Series. This would be a great opportunity to see the performance, if you are considering academic course connections. Here is a link to her company website for more information.


Photo by Ayodele Casel.

Photo by Ayodele Casel.


Founded by Ronald K. Brown and based in Brooklyn, New York,EVIDENCE focuses on the seamless integration of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography. EVIDENCE provides a unique view of human struggles, tragedies, and triumphs. Brown uses movement as a way to reinforce the importance of community in African American culture and to acquaint audiences with the beauty and spirituality evoked in his unique blended style.



Copyrighted photo by Adam Reign.

Copyrighted photo by Adam Reign.


Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre is really the type of performance you have to see to believe. Known for its diverse ensemble that consists of some of Miami’ s most brilliant performers and creators ranging in genres from theater, performance art, opera, drag, and contemporary ballet, RHDT has had the privilege of performing 2 ADF commissioned pieces and premiering them at the festival as well enjoying unprecedented success in Miami.



When and where is this happening?
Friday, June 6th from 10am-noon in Zoellner Arts Center, Baker Hall. The box office is operating in summer hours, so you can stop by between noon and 5pm Wed-Thu, before the showcase, or order tickets online here.

So… who is the PA Arts Presenters?
According to their website:
Pennsylvania Presenters is a consortium of arts presenters and others working in the performing arts. An organization dedicated to performing arts presenting, serving presenters throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. Members have direct input into the operations and planning process of the organization. Members collaborate on programming, block booking and grant opportunities. They establish dynamic peer-to peer connections, expand existing and create new networking occasions.

If you’d like to know more about the Spring Conference, click here and take pride in knowing that there are amazing arts presenters and venues in South Bethlehem – awesome enough to bring important arts decision makers to our community and our campus.

V.I.P. tour for McKinley Elementary

Monday, May 5th.

We had group of extra special guests visit campus after the Monday performance of Lightwire Theater in Zoellner. This story is so awesome, it’s best told in pictures with a few captions.


Hands fly up for questions

Hands fly up for questions

Lightwire Theater artists are happy to show their costumes and answer questions

Lightwire Theater artists are happy to show their costumes and answer questions

McKinley Elementary walked up the stairs from Zoellner to Rathbone DIning Hall.

McKinley Elementary walked up the stairs from Zoellner to Rathbone Dining Hall.


All the students and their teachers enjoyed lunch, thanks to David Joseph and Chef John!

Associate Wrestling coach John offers a tour of the new Caruso Wrestling Complex

Associate Wrestling coach John offers a tour of the new Caruso Wrestling Complex

Shhh.. the Leigh students are studying for finals - but we snuck in to see the Linderman stained glass dome anyway.

Shhh.. the Leigh students are studying for finals – but we snuck in to see the Linderman stained glass dome anyway.

Students got to see the Packard Car - and learn the difference between Packer and Packard!

Students got to see the Packard Car – and learn the difference between Packer and Packard!

No campus tour is complete without a visit to some of the art pieces all over campus.

No campus tour is complete without a visit to some of the art pieces all over campus.

And finally, we had to share the lovely email we got from Amy John de Torres, the Community School Director at McKinley who started this whole day simply by asking if we could do it….

…thank you all from all of the students, staff, and families at McKinley Elementary Community School. Yesterday’s trip was spectacular. Everyone was mesmerized by the show—it was a truly amazing performance and a first theatre experience for almost all of our students. I’m sure the student’s expressions of delight and overflowing plates made it clear how happy they were with their lunches.  They felt very special.

I am especially thankful to each of you for helping with the campus tour. It is a beautiful campus! We enjoyed the walk, exploring the buildings, practicing our inside voices while students study for finals, observing the sculptures, and seeing first-hand the wrestling complex. Most importantly, I hope that this time on the college campus will soak into their 8-year-old minds, propelling them forward towards that goal of graduating high school and going to college for years to come. Thanks for sharing your time with us! We are already looking forward to our next trip to Lehigh University and the Zoellner Arts Center. You are a gem in the community!

Thanks to the following folks who made this day possible: David Joseph, Chef John, Amanda Webb, Jill Spotz, MaryLour Deutsch, Mary Rader, Lisa Arechiga, Margie Barry, Melanie Rehm, Candi Staurinos, Amber Hadvab, Meghan Wolf, Jane Carlin, Coach John Hughes, Coach Brad Dillon, and for the support of network, Julia Oltman, Anne Noon-Skaggs and Suzanne Irvine.

Streb Dance Aesthetic

Lehigh University, Depart of Art, Architecture and Design
Wednesday April 30th,   8:00 pm – Chandler-Ullmann, Room 230

Art, Architecture & Design Professor Viscardi will host Dance Choreographer, and distinguished artist Elizabeth Streb.  Ms. Streb will be narrating her Power Point presentation on the “Streb Dance Aesthetic”. Check out the kind of movement she’s interested in:

Streb’s work is an investigation in action. She says,

“What can action do that no other discipline do, and what does it do best? This requires us to not just find out what the grammar is, but name the grammar and understand the temporal system. What’s the Iambic Pentameter of Action, for instance? Poetry knows, music knows on some level certainly. Language knows, Shakespeare knew… I have no idea what I’m doing to the audience because I don’t know them. I’d love for them to go away with a phenomenological experiential feeling from the show, not what it was about. I want them to be grabbing the arms of their chairs, the person’s thigh next to them (they may not even know) and just pay attention. You know, the way you pay attention to a great novel. I want it to be a page turner. I want them to wonder, “What can we possibly do next? What are they going to do now?”

Streb is known for  “A preoccupation with movement and itself was symptomatic of a trend that was altering the traditional profile of modern dance.”  She sought to gain a better understanding of the effects of movement on matter so she studied math, physics, and philosophy as Dean’s Special Scholar at New York University. Streb explains that “‘Pop-Action’ is all about the popping of the muscles, training to utilize them over the movement of the skeleton”.[8] Custom-made trapezes, trusses, trampolines, and a flying machine give Streb a way to discover new ways for the body to move in space while being subjected to gravity and other indistinguishable forces. Moves consist of diving off 16-foot-high (4.9 m), metal scaffolding, also known as a “truss”, landing level on a mat. The performers also can be found launching through the air in “Quick succession with timing so precise that they just miss occupying the same space at the same time.”

Here’s another video to get an idea of her work:

Lehigh University, Depart of Art, Architecture and Design
April 30th,   8:00 pm – Chandler-Ullmann, Room 230

If you miss this lecture, Ms. Streb is touring LVAIC colleges as part of the Lafayette College Grant “Choreographers on Campus” from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

unnamed-1from Lafayette press release:
Streb will lead discussions about her experimental choreography at Lafayette College at noon April 30 in the Williams Center for the Arts room 108. At 3:30 p.m., she will lead a class at Muhlenberg College in Moyer 209 with campus host Karen Dearborn. Her 8 p.m. lecture at Lehigh University in the Chandler-Ullman Lab Building hosted by Tony Viscardi is
free and open to the public. On Thursday, May 1, she will teach a master class at DeSales University in the Brisson Dance Studio at 12:30 pm, participation with permission from campus host Tim Cowart.

Once called the “Evel Knievel of Dance” for her extreme approach of testing the boundaries of physics and movement, Streb is interested in the effects of gravity, math and physics on her work. Her choreography, which she calls “POPACTION,” intertwines the disciplines of dance, athletics, boxing, rodeo, the circus, and Hollywood stunt-work.

“I think my original belief and desire is to see a human being fly,” says Streb, the director of Streb Extreme Action
Company and founder of the SLAM-the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics. When the lab was founded in 2003, SLAM created a new outlet for the community where people could come and watch rehearsals and even participate and learn to fly.

Got any plans for Saturday?

No? Good. Let us be your South Bethlehem Activity Director.

Starting at 8am, enjoy a serene walk along the Greenway. Notice the blossoming trees, the blooming daffodils and take in the fresh grass emerging from the long winter’s nap. Find your way to any number of breakfast spots for some important fueling:
Blue Sky Cafe, Cafe the Lodge, Alexandra’s Bistro, Johnny’s Bagels in Campus Square, Full of Crepe, even Molly’s Irish Grille & Sports Pub is open at 9am for breakfast…(did we miss anyone?). All of these places have links to their websites or Facebook pages. If you haven’t tried them yet, now would be a good time to start.

You’ll want to eat a good breakfast to get you through a full day of walking to the four (count them, FOUR) festivals happening on the same day, all within walking distance from campus. If you have Lehigh parking pass, leave your car on campus. You may be surprised at how close everything is when you give yourself the time to explore.

wh_Celebration_2010Cops & Kids Celebration of Reading.
This will be a good place to visit first. Make your way to the Northampton Community College Fowler Family Center (511 East 3rd street) – or follow the colorful ribbons on the historic lamps, or (even better), follow the Liberty High School Bag Pipe and Drum Corp and the Broughal Middle School Marching Band lead you.  The event officially begins at 11am. Take a look at the schedule of performers, authors and stations. Some of the activities happen inside the building, some of it under tents. Hundreds of volunteers from all over the community support this gathering of joy. It’s tremendous! This event runs 11am-3pm

Lehigh Valley MiniMaker Faire
After you’ve walked through the event, take the pathway from the east end of the LehighValley_MMF_logos_logoparking lot, near the [not yet functional, but that's another story] Industrial History Museum that is a secret shortcut to the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. There you will explore various demonstrations of the first annual Lehigh Valley Maker Faire. That’s right, you won’t need to travel to New York City or to the Bay Area of California to experience the amazing talent right under our noses in the Lehigh Valley. Thanks to the bold vision of Mark de Vinck (Professor of Practice in Creativity) and Lisa Getlzer-Linn (Senior Director, Programs and Operations) of Lehigh University’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation. The Baker Institute is partnering with PBS39, Lehigh Valley Tech, ArtsQuest, The DaVinci Center, PPL, Molex, Roblox and Alvin A. Butz, Inc. The event is to bring together innovative folks to celebrate making, hacking, brewing, cooking, arts, culture, creativity and technology. This event runs 10am-6pm.

10264689_480659938728238_8113279449097206515_nSpring on 4th / What’s on 3rd?
The 19th annual celebration of the Shopping and Cultural District brings the party on the sidewalks. Boutiques, retail stores, restaurants and service industries will be welcoming customers new and familiar. There’s also a chili contest happening with more that 25 stations. Fourteen of the area restaurants will be selling chili to those who didn’t buy a passport before they sold out. Take a few tastes, vote for your favorite and stop by the corner of 3rd and New streets to take in the musical entertainment provided by a great line up of local musicians who frequent Godfrey Daniels.


The 3rd Annual Eastern Pennsylvania Wellness Expo
Your path leads you next to the Banana Factory for an “explosive day of life saving medical screenings, information, food, activities and fun for the entire family. If you want to know all the details and updates, here’s the Facebook page link. The event runs 9am-3pm and it’s all free.

Of course, one doesn’t have to follow this plan of action. There’s plenty of time to take it all in and delight in the community we all call come: South Bethlehem


Time for student brilliance again

(thoughts from the director….)

April is typically a very busy time in Lehigh’s cycle of life. Just as the sun rises each day, April is the month when students are wrapping up course requirements, presenting major capstone projects, making final edits to creative writing pieces, and marathon rehearsals for last of the season’s performances. Some students are launching Kickstarter campaigns or starting small business ventures while others try not to think about graduate school, summer internships or study abroad.

The campus is also alive with nightly award dinners. It’s a great time to bathe in the warm glow of student achievement and wonder at their potential. Collecting trophies, or certificates is a great way to bask in the glory of the moment. But there are also a slew of other ways to celebrate our students’ genius by watching them share their joy in art making; ALL of it.

In the next weeks, we have again the opportunity to watch them dance THEIR dances, play THEIR music, read THEIR words, view THEIR vision of the world and experience THEIR culture. They are sharing their vulnerability through their moment in the spotlight. The memory of what we are about to witness in the remaining days of April will dance across our minds as we watch these students walk across the commencement stage.

These students are alive with wonder and ultimate potential. To watch them shine, is to share the joy in our hearts as we encourage them to keep taking chances. We hope you can find a bit of time away from your own work routine to see the brilliance.  Please consider the connection between tomorrow’s weather forecast, and the student music performances on the University Center Lawn.







There are plenty of other events and activities blooming. Consider subscribing to the weekly newsletter for posts on what’s happening in the next week. After a couple of weeks, if you decide you don’t want to us to collect all the information about what arts events are happening on campus and in South Bethlehem (and sometimes, north side….), just unsubscribe.

Take a look at this week’s listing below the same message you just read above.

Amaranth 2014 – it’s submission time!

Getting published matters! Ask any academic.
We are happy to support the efforts of Amaranth, Lehigh University’s Literary Magazine by sharing their a call for submissions.
unnamed(Adapted from their website)
For over a few decades, Amaranth has been Lehigh University’s premier literary magazine. Featuring the best imaginative writing and art work from our undergraduate and graduate students, Amaranth seeks to provide an accessible outlet and source for creative expression throughout the university. Student editors select literary and graphic works for inclusion in their journal and nominate the best of these for the prestigious Williams prize, awarded annually. 2011 witnessed the launch of their online presence and submission portal, and online editions of the magazine will begin appearing in Fall 2014.  They have worked diligently on the site to provide more information on Amaranth and creative possibilities across the campus. They are currently developing a blog and have established a growing social media presence.  They encourage our readers to follow them on Facebook or Twitter for updates, contests, and news.
To contact Amaranth or submit your work, please email them at 
The Amaranth website includes comprehensive information about the magazine including, not not limited to:

Submission Guidelines (as quoted from their website)

Amaranth welcomes short stories, micro fictions, poetry, photography, graphic art, and works of electronic literature. Submissions are accepted from both undergraduate and graduate students and English and non-English majors. Although we receive the majority of our submissions from Creative Writing classes, we also encourage students to pull work from their “half-done” drawer and revise for publication. Please submit no more than two stories, three pieces of visual art (photography and graphic art), and five poems at a time, along with a cover letter explaining your literary interests and career at Lehigh. Cover letters should include a word count and indicate whether the submission is fiction, poetry, or visual art. Simultaneous submissions are accepted on the condition you alert us immediately if your piece is accepted elsewhere.

It is through this literary magazine that Lehigh University students can share their creative writing. Go ahead, reveal your brilliance!




“Something from Nothing”…. improvisational theater.

1554370_10152698793853765_31232843_nA very special experience from the Lehigh University Department of Theatre, “Something from Nothing,” opens this Friday April 4th and runs through April 12th.Through a unique collaborative approach, Lehigh students have devised a theatre piece using improvisation, creating an assortment of characters together from lost objects.  Directed by Wolfston Visiting Professor Greg Scot Mihalik ’99.

What is improvisation? According to the website

Improvisational theatre is as old as time. It pre-dates the invention of writing, since long before we started writing scripts we were telling stories by acting them out.

Improv performers must develop a wide range of skills, including listening and awareness of other actors on stage. Instinct, quick thinking and action, and social comprehension are required for working without a script. Practicing improv has attracted many people across all walks of life for improvement in personal and interpersonal development. (cited source)

Special note: even though one might associate comedy with improv, improvisational theater is not always funny. 

What are the benefits to learning improvisation theater? The Theater Language Studio in Frankfurt Germany asks, “Wouldn’t [learning to think] on your feet help you in any facet of your life?”

There are two main reasons why improvisation is beneficial to study:

  1. Improved Speaking Fluency
  2. Improved Problem Solving ability

Improvisation breaks down the barrier between mind and voice. It increases the mind’s ability to form ideas, and present them in a coherent, salient manner. This skill translates to virtually every profession.

This production used improvisational theater techniques to discover the play; the story they wish to express. It’s a bold move for the Department of Theatre to try something so innovative. But given the previously mentioned benefits, one can see how this experience will be unforgettable to the students and audiences alike. Tickets for the general public are $12. Tickets for LU students with ID, $5.