Work choreographed by ECU senior dance major Kanon Sapp, shown in foreground during practice, is among the dances to be performed during Dance @ Wright, beginning Sept. 18. Pictured in the background is ECU student dancer Ashley Hill. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Dance @ Wright to open ECU/Loessin Playhouse season

Sept. 18, 2015

By Summer Tillman
ECU News Services

East Carolina University faculty and student choreography will share the stage at Wright Auditorium this month during Dance @ Wright, part of the ECU/Loessin Playhouse Season. The showcase will spotlight an eclectic assortment of dance styles designed to captivate audiences on Sept. 18 – 20.

“We have three contemporary jazz pieces and two contemporary modern,” said concert coordinator and dance professor John Dixon. “I would expect the audience to laugh, to be surprised, to see things that they’re used to and see things that stretch their perspective on dance art.”

dance15ECU professor and choreographer Tommi Galaska, wearing black, works with student Maggie Bode.

The show, which Dixon described as accessible for all audiences, features a musical theatre tap number, “Singing in the Rain” choreographed by ECU professor and Broadway veteran Dirk Lumbard.

“If you put that against the classical ballet number, the kind of contemporary modern [pieces] that we have on the show, then it’s a real mix,” said Dixon. “The intention of the show is to energize the students as well as the audience.”

Student choreographer Kanon Sapp will feature her six-minute piece entitled “DADT,” which she hopes will spark an emotion in the audience. “I just want to make someone think,” said Sapp, a senior dance major.

“I want to evoke something in someone else. Even if they’re just like, ‘I really like that artist. Who sings that song?’ and then they discover his music.”

Sapp’s piece, which began as a project for her composition course, will also be performed at two shows in New York City, including the WAXworks –Williamsburg Art Nexus showcase Oct. 2 and the Emerging Artists Theatre. “Choreographing was a really cool experience,” said Sapp. “I just really fell in love with the piece. I had the perfect dancers for it and wanted to continue on with it. Everyone has grown and I think as a group, we’ve stepped up our game.”

Sapp was also an assistant choreographer to Dixon on the absurdist piece, “Stuff and Nonsense.”

The other student piece is a senior solo entitled “My Soul Sings,” choreographed and performed by Nichesa Jones with choreography assistance from Kristalyn Gill. The piece was created as part of the School of Theatre and Dance’s capstone course.

Guest artists from the Koresh Dance Company in Philadelphia will join faculty in presenting their choreographed pieces.

The Dance @ Wright will have 8 p.m. performances on Sept. 18, 19, and 20, as well as a 2 p.m. performance Sept. 19.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting, calling 252-328-6826 or going to the McGinnis Theatre Box Office located in the Messick Theatre Box Office, open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.