APRIL 2018

FloArts presents “An Evening of Dance – Love Stories”

female dancer
couple dancers
leaping female dancer

Love will dance on the Florida School of the Arts main stage located on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College. “An Evening of Dance – Love Stories,” comprised of an array of family-friendly contemporary concert dances that will take the audience on a journey of love, will run Thursday to Saturday, April 19 - 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $5.

Concluding the FloArts dance performance season, “Love Stories” will be performed by the student dance company Dance Ensemble. Dance Ensemble rehearses regularly throughout the school year and provides dance majors the opportunity to experience the rehearsal and choreographic process in preparation for a career with a professional dance company. Guest dance and musical performances by select faculty and students will also be featured.

According to Mary Love Ward, who is co-directing “Love Stories” with Jessica Mayhew Borrero, “This concert is a total theater experience, using the set, sound and dancing to immerse the audience in the dynamic elements of love. The show is threaded together through the text and various musical iterations of ‘This Magic Moment,’ as love is truly magical and comes with many mysterious facets.” Ward continued, “The singers and dancers all move in and on the set pieces throughout the show, adding to the theatrical experience and creating dynamic relationships between the sound and movement. With original set and costume designs by faculty Robert O’Leary, Tiffany Jordan and Emily Schafer, the audience is sure to also enjoy the lights, sound, and setting.”

“Love Stories” provides students an opportunity to work directly with the choreographers in the creation of each dance. Since many of these works are original compositions, the students are given insight and input into the creative process from start to finish.

The choreography will include original dances created by dance faculty members Borrero, Ward and Herman Ramos. Musical selections include opera, hip-hop, spoken word and many classic ‘oldies’ hits by the Beatles, Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton and more. The performance also features live singing and musical integrations under the guidance of Professor Stephanie Masterson, vocal director for “Love Stories.” Student Evan Bowen is the guitarist.

Included in the 15 dance pieces are “Embrace,” a contemporary dance integrating the feeling and emotion of longing, and “Escalation,” a minimal contemporary duet set to the operatic vocal solo “When I am Laid in the Earth,” which explores conflict in relationships.

Dancers are Borrero; Mitchel Burns; Jahleel Christian; Kacey Clark; Torie D’Alessandro; Markeith Douse; Katie Garrepy; Amaani Grant; Fredrick Harris; Ashley Leake; Rowan Maris; Ashley Mercado; Ramos; Yasmin Rohena; Julianna Santana; Justin Savage; Katrin Silvis; Gemma Smith; Ward and Mathew Wilson.

Singers are Alberto Blanco; Emely Cuestas; Alantae Jackson; Gemma Smith; Carine St. Juste and Kai Wilson.

The production team includes Kaylee Dowd, stage manager; Katie Blankenship and Yul Carrion, assistant stage managers; Alberto Blanco, vocal captain; Robert Allen and Libby Rodriguez, production assistants; Schafer, costume coordinator; O’Leary, scene designer and technical director; Sarah Cox, Braden Harrington, Uvenka Jean-Baptiste, Brittany Posso and Andrew Stevens, lighting design; Jordan, costume shop manager; Stevens, lighting and sound board operator; Jean-Baptiste, cutter and draper; Cox, first hand; Danielle Brownfield, Jid Charles, Dowd, Jessica McCumber; Marissa Mendez, Alysa Ness, Brandy Ramos, Maycee Smith and Jordan Tucker, stitchers; and Cameron Bartelt, Blankenship, Jahleel Christian, Dana Cox, Crystal Cruz, Matias De La Flor, Danielle Dubois, Melissa Gibbs, Anna Guzman, Harrington, Loudise Ortiz-Hernandez, Brittany Posso, John Robinson, Andrew Stevens, Vincent Ward and Tom Wingfield, carpenters, electricians and painters.

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 students Katie Garrepy and Alberto Blanco rehearse for the annual Florida School of the Arts performance “An Evening of Dance - Love Stories.” This year, the show is threaded together with singers, dancers and various musical iterations bringing audience members a total theater experience. The show runs Thursday to Saturday, April 19 - 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 2:30 p.m. on the school’s main stage.



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