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Mercyhurst shares spirit of the season with dance tradition

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Mercyhurst University Dance Department will again celebrate the season with the holiday dance concert ’Tis the Season with Babes in Toyland on Dec. 5 and 6 in the university’s Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

’Tis the Season with Babes in Toyland is a one-hour, narrated presentation of three short works that are sure to appeal to the entire family. Melissa Bobick, assistant professor of dance and artistic director for this year’s show, calls ’Tis the Season with Babes in Toyland “a vibrant and heart-warming holiday performance with something for everyone.”

New this year is special holiday ticket pricing with all seats for every performance only $5 so the whole family can enjoy this Mercyhurst holiday tradition.

Returning this season, Melissa Bobick’s Babes in Toyland is set to an adaptation of Victor Herbert’s original score. It tells the story of two children who are drawn into Toyland on Christmas Eve. They meet and dance with life-sized toys only to discover that, while the toys are enticing and wonderful, being with their family is what the holiday season is truly about. 

The Liturgical Dance Ensemble, directed by C. Noelle Partusch, will perform the spiritually based Passion Sculpture, choreographed to excerpts from J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Flowing dancers with bodies lifted in prayer and surrounded by beautiful stained glass windows will help the viewer spiritually begin the Advent and Christmas seasons.

The Mercyhurst Dancers will also kick up their heels in a brand-new piece choreographed by faculty member Mark Santillano. Christmas Fun on Fa-La-La-La Lane features a show-within-a-show as the Jingle Jolly Players set up for a street performance on Fa-La-La-La Lane. Set to a collection of lively, familiar songs with caroling, handbells, snowmen, tap dancers, and more Santas than you can shake a candy cane at, Christmas Fun on Fa-La-La-La Lane celebrates the season and the spirit of giving.

These performances will also include a festively decorated theatre lobby, pre-concert holiday music, costumed dancers to greet the audience after each performance for photo opportunities, and a special treat from St. Nick for each child.

Performances of ’Tis the Season with Babes in Toyland are slated for Friday, Dec. 5, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 6, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. All tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling 824-3000.