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USM Dept. of Theatre to hold spring dance concert in Gorham

GORHAM, ME — April 25th & 26th will mark a new chapter in the USM Dance program as faculty and guest choreographers bring back the annual Spring Dance Concert with original works inspired by themes of reclamation and renewal. 

The April event marks the first dance concert on the Russell Hall stage in over four years. USM Dance students will perform newly-devised contemporary works created over the course of the spring semester. USM Dance faculty Jessie Laurita-Spanglet and Maria Tzianabos and guest choreographers Scott McPheeters and Niki Cousineau of Biddeford-based Subcircle and Kimberly Schroeder, University of Delaware Dance faculty, have come together for a semester-long creative process to give students the opportunity to explore the choreographic process and grow as dance artists and creative thinkers.

For USM Dance faculty and dance concert producer, Jessie Laurita-Spanglet, the themes of reclamation and renewal are ideal for the return of the dance concert, “When we return to an old dance or a once-familiar piece of music or art, we reimagine it from a new perspective. Reclaiming requires stepping into the unknown and reframing what we thought we knew into something that will carry us into the future.”

The process of creating these pieces is rooted in collaboratively exploring a theme and seeing where it takes her students. “In my creative processes I often start with an idea and then I set about exploring the idea through movement with the dancers”, says Laurita-Spanglet. “I see the dances that I create as almost having a life of their own, and it is my job as the choreographer to listen intently, collaborate openly, and guide the process while also being open to the work moving in a direction that I did not initially intend.”  She sees the creative process as a type of physical investigation that intellectually and creatively challenges her students. And one that will, ultimately, make the dance concert worth the wait for audiences and dancers alike. “We are so excited to bring our dance students back onto the stage!”

The USM Spring Dance Concert runs April 25th & 26th at 7pm. All performances take place on the USM Gorham campus in historic Russell Hall. 

To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit USM Theatre online at or call the USM Theatre Box Office at (207) 780-5151. 

USM Spring Dance Concert

April 25th & 26th, 7pm

Choreographers: Subcircle: Scott McPheeters and Niki Cousineau; Jessie Laurita-Spanglet; Kimberly Schroeder; Maria Tzianabos 

Ticket Prices: $18 for Adults, $14 for USM Faculty/Staff/Alumni, $12 for Seniors 65+, $8 for Students/Youth

Those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Janice Gardner at (207)780-5289 or Hearing impaired: call USM’s telex / TDD number (207)780-5646

Audrey Bendel & Ellie Backman. Photo by Sarah Graff Photography

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