APRIL 2015

Florida School of the Arts presents an Evening of Dance

Evening of Dance
Evening of Dance
Evening of Dance

Florida School of the Arts will present its annual "Evening of Dance," where the dance, costume and stage design programs join together to create a colorful and exciting evening of imagery and movement. The production is uniquely choreographed by FloArts faculty and guest artists and continues the tradition of exploring many styles and disciplines of dance, including ballet, modern, improvisation and tap. The show runs April 9-11 at 7:30 p.m. and April 12 at 2:30 p.m. on the Main Stage located on the St. Johns River State College Palatka campus. Admission is $5.

According to the choreographers, audience members can expect a variety of moods and emotions through the use of light, music and each choreographer's creative process.

Students performing in the show are D’Metrius Barry, Willie Beaton Jr., Kendahl Bermudez, Aris Bursell, Chloe Cordell, Kristem Cuestas, Adrienne DeGuzman, Jordy Diaz, Elizabeth Exantus, Rozalyn Finch, Kacy Gibson, Amari Hollins, Alexandria Holloway, Jordan Leggett, Taylor Mancil, Savannah Mitchell, Alexis Najarro, Kayla Neeper, Daniel Ortega, Dion Pratt Jr., Katrina Smith, Ashley Tiedgen, Remy Vignati, Savannah Dutcher, Jeanna Reiter and Marissa Taylor.

FloArts dance instructor Jessica Mayhew will present three choreographed dances for the event. Her piece "Four Curve" is a fun and feminine contemporary ballet performed to music by the Balanescu Quartet founded by Alexander Balanescu.

“Falling Empty” is a contemporary solo about a journey toward serenity. This piece is set to the music of Mario Spinetti.

Mayhew then restages the famous choreography of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov in “Excerpts from Swan Lake.” With musical accompaniment by Tchaikovsky, the piece will include three excerpts from the classic romantic ballet “Swan Lake.”

FloArts modern dance instructor Mary Love Ward has choreographed four unique performances for the evening. Each piece focuses on the interrelationships between people through unconventional means. “Red” is a group contemporary balletic dance with music from Michael Roberts that tells the tale of a bullfighter’s journey and alludes to the predatory nature of male-female relationships.

The abstract dance piece “Photon” refers to the anatomy and discovery of the photon and its influence on the development of quantum theory. The dancers’ movements and interactions represent photon/molecular relationships and human relationships. The music is by Digitonal, with text compiled from various sources.

Ward will also present the contemporary jazz performance “Run” set to the music of Pentatonix. The dance is about the exploration of partnerships and will feature much partnering and weight sharing.

Ward’s final piece is entitled “Unseen.” The group performance unveils the inner voice with dancers representing daily struggles, which are not always present on the surface and how people connect through these struggles on a deeper level. Dancers will manipulate motion lights to heighten this concept. Music for this piece is from Digitonal and Garth Stevenson.

Ward and Mayew have also collaborated to create “Rio Carnival.” This group dance features Pixinguinha and Azevedo by Yo Yo Ma. This piece involved dancers contributing their own independent movement phrases, which Ward and Mayhew shaped into a communal dance. It is a celebration of community and is set as if it were part of the spring Rio Carnival festival.

Guest choreographer Trent D. Williams, Jr. choreographs “as [i]t stand[s].” In this group performance, with music by Kid Cudi, dancers will explore the relationships we encounter on a daily basis.

Williams, Jr. earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in dance performance choreography from Florida State University. He has been a guest artist with the Tallahassee Ballet, EDGEWORKS Dance Theatre in Washington, DC, and the Urban Souls Dance Company in his native town of Houston, Texas. As a dancer, he has performed alongside musical artists and groups such as Destiny’s Child, 112 and Janelle Monae.

Guest choreographer Nikki Pena will explore the fluidity of time in her piece “Illusive.” The group dance is scored by Balmorhea.

Pena has danced professionally with various central Florida dance companies including U-Turn Dance, Patelworks Dance Theater, NAO Dance Collective and the Explore Theatre & Dance Company. She is currently the director of the Coby Project, a professional dance company grounded in improvisational techniques. Her choreography has been performed in several venues such as The Shift, The Creative City Project, National Dance Day Orlando and the Morse Museum of Art.

FloArts tap instructor Jenne Vermes will present “Endgame.” A dance told in three parts, this piece explores a world after the apocalypse and the realization that civilization will be what it is- broken. The piece includes music from Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy and Fun.

Vermes has been training in various styles of dance, with tap as her main concentration for 26 years. She has been teaching and dancing professionally for nine years. Vermes also teaches at various Jacksonville dance studios and works extensively as an intern and assistant teacher with the American Tap Dance Foundation in New York City each summer. Most recently, she toured as a dancer/singer for the internationally-acclaimed band The Crüxshadows, which has allowed her to travel across Europe, the Caribbean and North America.

FloArts welcomed Mayhew in 2014 as the College’s ballet dance instructor. She brings the College years of expertise in choreography, teaching and performing. Her studies include three years under a former principal dancer of The Royal Ballet and seven years under the late Alberto Alonso of the National Ballet of Cuba. Mayhew holds a Master in Fine Arts degree in dance performance and choreography from Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Law from the University of Florida.

FloArts also welcomed modern dance instructor Mary Love Ward in 2014. Ward began her professional dance career in Washington, DC, where she performed as a company dancer with two of the city’s established modern dance companies, Carla & Company and Dance Antonini. She has also performed with Fuzion Dance Artists, the historic Repertory Dance Theater at Florida State University and more recently, in a broadcast for the internationally recognized Ted(X) online lecture/performance series. Ward holds a Master in Fine Arts degree in dance performance and choreography from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor degree in dance from Winthrop University.

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


Florida School of the Arts student Dion Pratt rehearses the dance “Falling Empty,” one of 12 dances to be performed in “An Evening of Dance.” The show runs April 9 – 12.

Florida School of the Arts students rehearse the dance “Photon,” one of 12 dances to be performed in “An Evening of Dance.” The show runs April 9 – 12. From left are Daniel Ortega, Amari Hollins and Jordy Diaz.

Florida School of the Arts students rehearse the dance “Four Curve,” one of 12 dances to be performed in “An Evening of Dance.” The show runs April 9 – 12. From left are Chloe Cordle, Ashley Tiedgen and Taylor Mancil.



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020