Getting to Know Eisenhower Dance – Guest Post by Kelly Munzenberger

I’ve been an intern at Wharton Center for almost 3 years now, and I have to say, I am more excited than ever before about this season. Why? While I love Broadway and all performing arts, the truth is that I love the dance shows the most, and this season Wharton Center is bringing in a spectacular array of dance performances. Anyone who knows me could tell you how much love I have for any kind of dance. It has been a huge part of my life for longer than I can remember; hardly anything else in the world can rival the amount of enthusiasm that I have for dance. I do not think I could ask for a more dynamic and artistically stunning line up of dance performances at Wharton Center for my senior year at MSU, and I absolutely cannot wait to see them all. Let me tell you why…

First up for the season, we have Eisenhower Dance. I’ve been familiar with Eisenhower Dance for quite a few years, as they are based out of metro Detroit, near where I grew up. However, I really fell in love with them last year when they came to East Lansing. They were performing their show “Red, Hot and Blue” at Wharton Center in February, and I was having a great time doing my usual Public Relations work with the show. While researching the company, I discovered that they are happy to offer master classes, so being the president of the MSU Dance Club, I decided to reach out to them to try to schedule a class. Everyone from Eisenhower Dance is always extremely friendly, helpful and a joy to work with, and we were able to schedule Alicia Cutaia, one of Eisenhower’s company members at the time, to come teach a contemporary class to Dance Club on a Sunday afternoon.  Everyone was really excited to have a guest teacher come to Dance Club, as we are usually student-taught, and Alicia certainly did not disappoint. She pushed us to explore movement and expression in ways that we hadn’t before, and at the same time was one of the warmest, most loving people that I’ve ever met. She even taught us bits of choreography that were actually used in their show. By the end of the class, I felt like we were friends, and that made it even more special for me to watch Alicia and the rest of the company perform at Wharton Center later that week.

This year, Eisenhower Dance will be performing one of their newest pieces, “The Light Show.” I think this show will be really entertaining to both dance enthusiasts and those unfamiliar with dance alike, due to the awesome lighting effects that will be used. Choreographers teamed up with lighting designers to incorporate lasers and colorful lights into the dances. The lights, coupled with the amazing contemporary dance offered by this company, will make for a powerful performance experience.  This is something so different from your traditional dance performance, and we’re lucky enough in the area to be the first audience to see it. “The Light Show” was actually co-commissioned by Wharton Center and the Detroit Opera House.

While Eisenhower Dance is a local Michigan company, they are getting international attention. During this past summer, they had the opportunity to travel to Poland and dance at the Ladek Zdroj International Dance Festival, Centrum Culturaly in Wroclaw, and the Klodzko Festival. How neat is it that a company based just around the corner from us is known all the way across the world?! Eisenhower Dance continues to reach more and more audiences each year, and I know I don’t want to miss the chance to see this local gem while it is here in East Lansing.

I’m equally eager to see the other dance performances that Wharton will be bringing in this season. After “The Light Show,” we’ll have both Dance Theatre of Harlem November 12 and Dancing Pros: Live November 15; two very distinctive and engaging shows. Then in the spring, we’ll have Moscow City Ballet: Swan Lake and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. As always, you can find information about these shows and everything else that the wonderful Wharton Center offers at whartoncenter.com.

For more information about Eisenhower Dance: The Light Show, and to buy tickets, check out the show page here, call us at 1-800-WHARTON, or stop by the Ticket Office. Students don’t forget your student tickets are only $15!

Kelly Munzenberger is a senior studying Marketing at Michigan State University. She has been an intern at Wharton Center since her freshman year, working in both the Marketing and Public Relations departments. She is the president of the MSU Dance Club, and also a member of the Wharton Center Student Marketing Organization. She enjoys volunteering, shopping, crafting, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

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Posted in At Wharton Center, Dance, Events, Guest Blog, Performing Arts

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