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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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SDSU School of Music and Dance presents “Dance Festival: 75th Anniversary Concert." SDSU School of Music and Dance presents “Dance Festival: 75th Anniversary Concert."

SDSU Dance Festival

School of Music and Dance celebrates its 75th anniversary with festival.
By Leslie Seiters

The SDSU School of Music and Dance presents “Dance Festival: 75th Anniversary Concert." The public is invited to a three-day festival, March 9-11, which includes the work of 16 choreographers who have contributed to the program's rich history. 

Notable performers

Highlighting the festival will be choreography performances by notable dance luminaries among the SDSU alumni, faculty, including Jean Isaacs, Martita Abril, Faith Jensen-Ismay, Tonnie Sammartano, Natalia Valerdi, Keith Glassman, Erica Buechner, Mary Reich, George Willis, Erica Chong Shuch, Melissa Nunn, Elizabeth Swallow, Heather Zornes-Almanza, Leslie Seiters, Joe Alter, Jess Humphrey and Eric Geiger, as well as student works directed by guest artist Erika Chong Shuch.

Festival slections

Some selections during the three days of performance will include:

Jeans Isaacs' "When Strangers Meet," described by Dance View as "mesmerizingly performed...beautifully detailed legato piece."

"Dis Or Der," choreographed by Martita Abril and inspired by conflict with oneself and using alcohol to escape reality.

"Connected," part of the Quilts of Light Dance Project, a work in progress choreographed by Faith Jensen-Ismay.

"Blackbirds Flying Home(Masao)," performed by Ken Takemoto, revealing one man's personal history and its cultural resonance.

"The Red Shoes," choreographed by Erica Buechner, a comical look into a woman's willingness to do anything to be accepted by men. 

George Willis' "Renowned Choreographer's School of Music and Dance," an excerpt from the longer "Risks," dealing with the fear of talking to people.

Melissa Nunn's "Untold," which grew out of material created to keep up with what the media tells us is ideal.

Joe Alter's "The Beginning is the End," an examination of the ideas of community and connection. 

Jess Humphrey and Eric Geiger's 'Mouth,' part of a longer work that began as an embodied exploration of the functional and figurative possibilities of human mouths.

Event Details
Friday, March 9-Sunday, March 11
ENS 200/ Studio Theater
$10 student/ $15 general admission


Tickets for the event are available online at Find out more information about the SDSU School of Music & Dance. 

Starting at 8 p.m., Friday
Tonnie Sammartano, Keith Glassman, Erica Buechner, Heather Almanza, Camille Sampson, and Leslie Seiters/littlek nown dance theater.

Starting at 8 p.m., Saturday
Eric Geiger and Jess Humphrey, George Willis , Faith Jensen-Ismay, Camille Sampson and Leslie Seiters, Mary Reich and Ron Estes, Joe Alter/ Lux Boreal

Starting at 8 p.m.,Sunday
Odd/Even, Martita Abril and Matthew Armstrong, Patricia Sandback,  E. B. Swallow and Melissa Nunn, Jean Isaacs

All Nights
Erica Chong Shuch, the visiting guest artist, will show site-specific work created with SDSU students over the last three weeks. They created sketches that will be performed in sites around the dance building.

The performers are dancers, actors, and musicians.  All material was generated by the performers themselves and inspired by the theme of "want." 

More about the School of Music and Dance

Seventy-five years ago, the Department of Music at San Diego State University began conferring degrees, and a commitment to excellence in artistic innovation was dedicated.  The commitment fostered a long legacy of educational and musical leadership for the program.  Today it flourishes as the School of Music and Dance.  The School of Music and Dance celebrates its 75th Anniversary this year with special commemorative performances.

Learn more about the School of Music and Dance