Island Dance Demo Features Collaboration with Music Department

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – In keeping with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, the Department of Theatre & Dance’s Spring 2019 Island Dance Demo features original contributions by members of both the Island University’s theatre & dance and music departments.

“We strive to choose a relevant theme for every production, and ‘empowerment’ was selected due to the current state of our world. I think it is important that we have a concert that has uplifting and encouraging thematic content,” said Jilissa Cotten, Director of Dance. “The title, ’This is Me’ reflects the struggles and joys of our shared human experience and is inclusive of everyone.”

Christy Sadler Gorman, adjunct faculty for the dance program, has teamed up with Dr. Michael Mazzatenta, adjunct faculty for the Department of Music, to create an original work titled “Acte de Foi.”  

“The translation ‘Leap of Faith’ embodies the empowerment of professional colleagues working together and supporting one another as they train the next generation,” said Gorman.

The choreography calls for a trio of dancers – Dominique Casey, Hayley Davison, and Caroline Fulgham – whose performance is set to Mazzatenta’s score, which will be performed by the musical trio Amile Honstein on flute, Michael Reeves on cello, and Mazzatenta on piano.

The composition was developed in honor of a recently passed friend and professional mentor to Gorman.

“It was a real honor to listen to Gorman talk about her friend, to translate those stories to emotion, and eventually find a way to portray those emotions musically,” said Mazzatenta.

Jessica Flores, formerly with Atlanta Ballet, is one of two guest choreographers in the Dance Performance course also contributing to the diverse influences on this performance. To further elevate student skills, Flores and Hannah Requa, of the Corpus Christi Ballet, worked with students on professional performance techniques. For the first time, this coming fall semester, the University will offer level 3 ballet, modern, and jazz dance classes in an effort to eventually offer a dance major.

“The Dance Demo is notable for all of the various types of student achievement that take place throughout the event,” Cotten said. “In addition to choreographers, there are students running the sound and light boards, managing the stage and front of the house, as well as costume designers, and students who load in and strike the set, floor, truss and so on. This is real-world experience the students can use once they graduate.”

If you go

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi presents the 2019 Island Dance Demo, “This is Me.” The Dance Demo will take place Wednesday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. The demo includes student choreographers and is a culmination of an entire semester of work in many areas of dance, including ballet, jazz, modern, and choreography. For more information, contact