The official blog of the Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department

Posts Tagged: Master Choreographers


Hi everyone! I’m super excited to talk about Muhlenberg’s most recent dance performance, Master Choreographers. Although this was my first time performing in Masters, I’ve been told it was one of the best yet. This accomplishment is even more rewarding knowing that this year marked the 20th year of Master Choreographers performances. The show features many guest and faculty artists, as well as a restaging of the world-renowned piece D-Man in the Waters, choreographed by Bill T. Jones. I personally performed in Dorrell Martin’s piece titled “Truth is the Born of Arguments,” and was an understudy of Jeffrey Peterson’s “Peer.” It was an absolutely wonderful experience for me to work for the past few months with such professionals, who brought so much creative energy to the process. Putting the pieces on the Empie stage, however, brought each piece a new level of performance energy and excitement. Lighting, costuming, and staging finally turned the ideas that had been in all of our minds for the past few months into a spectacular reality.

Although I could talk for hours about the amazing work performed onstage, I was most honored and impressed by the loving Muhlenberg Dance Association community during the run of the show. As always, the entire cast came together before every performance for various traditions including pass the squeeze, shakeout, and crew dance. Backstage, however, the togetherness continued with endless hugs and words of encouragement before every piece. The cast of D-Man even received a good luck card and bouquet from Bill T. Jones himself. Through nerves, injuries and sicknesses, the cast banded together and helped each other create the best show we possibly could. Being a part of this ever-supportive family, the MDA, is truly my favorite part of being a dancer here at Muhlenberg. This community ultimately adds to the life of our performances, creating connection behind the pieces we are a part of. As stated so perfectly by choreographer Jeffrey Peterson just minutes before curtain, “The greatest part of this performance is being able to share the stage with each other.”

Below are some more photos from the Master Choreographers photo shoot.

The first round of photos from this year’s “Master Choreographers” concert, Feb. 6-8. All photos by Matthew Wright, Fig Tree Photography.

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Hi again! Just wanted to give you all an update on how Moving Stories 2013 went now that the show has come to a close. Last time I blogged, we were closing up rehearsals and beginning our work in tech. Although it was a hectic week to say the least, the show came together wonderfully for opening night. The combination of Lara’s dazzling costumes, Paul’s brilliant lighting work and the fantastic choreography of nine students and one faculty member all came together to create an awesome night of work. As I have stated before, the works were greatly diverse in style and theme. This being said, my fellow Muhlenberg dancers stepped up to the challenge and performed wonderfully every night.

I personally was involved in two pieces of the show. The opening number, choreographed by Jaclyn Birkner, featured five dancers as Greek goddesses in beautiful purple gowns, fighting for power over the stage. A few pieces later in the show, I was also in Christine DeLuca’s work, featuring the struggles and triumphs of fitting into a group of friends. In this piece, each character was her own individual, allowing the cast to have lots of creative freedom. I can honestly say that I loved being in both of these works due to the hard work and dedication of my choreographers and the bonding I got to do with my wonderful fellow dancers. It continues to surprise me how much of a community Muhlenberg Dance really is, and I’m so honored to be a part of the family.

The actual run of the show seemed to fly by so quickly, especially with all of the fun ’Berg traditions every night. First came writing notes to place in each other’s Kiss the Cast bags. Then before every show was the shakeout, pass the squeeze, and a much-needed warmup by a member of the MDA, Teresa VanDenend Sorge, or Jeffrey Peterson. Physically coming together on stage as a cast before the show always seems to unify us and get us ready to perform to our greatest potential. After this, it was straight to the dressing room to touch up hair and makeup and get into costume. It seemed as soon as the shows began, they were finished, but I can honestly say that they were worth all of the time and effort that was put into them. I wouldn’t change my involvement in the MDA for anything.

In typical Muhlenberg fashion, the show must go on, even if you think it just ended. The day after our closing performance, I was up early once again rehearsing for my next performance in Master Choreographers. At this point, we have been through many rehearsals as well as one showing, and many of the pieces are choreographically complete. It is at this point that I get extra excited about pieces, because it is my work as a dancer to bring them to life. If you didn’t make it to Moving Stories, get excited for Masters 2014 in February. It is sure to be an incredible show!

Here are some photos of the pieces I was in from Moving Stories:


Hi everyone! I’m back again, blogging about some of our awesome dance shows here at Muhlenberg. This semester, I’m involved in Moving Stories, which opens next week (!), and Master Choreographers, which will be performed in the spring. For Moving Stories, I am dancing in the works of two senior student choreographers: Christine DeLuca and Jaclyn Birkner. For Master Choreographers, I am cast in Dorrell Martin’s piece, and I’m also working as an understudy with fellow blogger Dalit in Jeffrey Peterson’s newest work. Rehearsals for both shows are well underway, with Moving Stories quickly approaching.

This year’s Moving Stories performance will feature the work of nine amazing student choreographers as well as Muhlenberg faculty member Teresa VanDenend Sorge. We began rehearsing for these pieces a few times a week immediately after auditions early in the year, and have just completed our third showing of the pieces to faculty members. For this most recent showing, finished pieces were presented complete with costume options by our awesome guest costume designer, Lara De Bruijn. Seeing all of the works in the final stages of the rehearsal process is very fulfilling, due to the process it took to get them there. I am particularly excited about this year’s show because of the sheer variety of dance styles in the show — from pointe work to pieces infused with images of ancient Greece. Overall, I expect it to be an excellent show that you won’t want to miss. Tech week is just around the corner, get your tickets before it’s too late!

Rehearsals have been just as busy for Master Choreographers as well. For Jeffrey Peterson’s work, I am responsible for knowing the parts of all the dancers in case of absence or injury. Although it can be a tricky job, I’m so thankful for the experience to work with such a conceptually advanced piece. Over halfway finished, this piece is sure to be one the audience will remember. Rehearsals for Dorrell Martin’s piece began just recently, on a busy weekend in which he came to Muhlenberg. In just one weekend, with many hours of intense rehearsal, we were able to nearly complete his entire dance. I absolutely love Dorrell’s choreography style, a kind of jazz-modern fusion. The first Muhlenberg performance I ever saw, as a prospective student, was Master Choreographers, and Dorrell’s piece in that show took my breath away. I wanted to dance like those Muhlenberg dancers, which sealed the deal on my choice of colleges. Two years later, I am absolutely honored to be cast in a piece with the same impact as his previous works. I look forward to this February’s performance, and you should too. It’s definitely not one to miss!


Working on our poses for Christine DeLuca’s Moving Stories piece!

Here’s another video from the Muhlenberg Dance Association. This time, they’re promoting Master Choreographers with a flash mob in Muhlenberg’s Wood Dining Commons. 

Another amazing backstage look at Master Choreographers by Emily P. ‘14. If this doesn’t make you want to buy tickets, we don’t know what will!

Master Choreographers opens this Thursday!

Tickets: 484-664-3333 or Online