Meet Your Local Artists: Boone area

October 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

In each city of the Festival tours, local artists are selected to perform alongside the season’s Touring Artists.  In Boone, the local artists highlighted are student and faculty choreographers at Appalachian State University.  This year, three local artists are featured: Hadiya Wharton, Bethany Berryessa, and Susan Lutz.

Hadiya Wharton. Photo by Steve Clarke

Hadiya Wharton was born in Ithaca, New York, but moved to Charlotte, North Carolina where she trained at three different studios with amazing talent and technique. She is currently a junior at App State and is a Dance Studies Major. She performed in 2011 in two faculty pieces at the North Carolina Dance Festival and in 2012 in the Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble. Hadiya hopes to become a professional dancer and be recognized for her personality and creativity.

Hadiya will present the dance, Slip into the Moment, a dance about experiencing love at first sight at a masquerade ball. All the dancers wear masks to hide their identity, so the lead male dancer must dance with each of the other women in order to find his one true love. He scrambles to find her before the masquerade is over and she is lost forever.

Bethany Berryessa. Photo by Steve Clarke

Bethany Berryessa is completing her last semester at Appalachian State University as a Dance Major with a Minor in Psychology. She began her dance training early, studying and performing with The School of Nashville Ballet, Ensworth School of Dance, Vanderbilt Dance Theatre, and the Ailey School in New York. Bethany transferred from the Fordham/Ailey BFA program in New York in 2011. Her training includes Ballet, Pointe, several disciplines of Modern, West African, Hip-hop, Jazz, Improvisation, Choreography, and Somatics. Bethany has loved her time at Appalachian and is looking forward to going to Graduate School for Dance Therapy next fall.

The work she will present, Stranger, We Have Miles to Go, is a creative glimpse into a 6:30AM subway commute into NYC. Berryessa describes the dance: “As occupied individuals, we often create spatial boundaries as we go through the motions of everyday life. When forced to engage physically with others, we discover that intimacy with strangers may in fact enrich the experience of an ordinary day.”

Susan Lutz is an Associate Professor in the Dance Studies program at Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre & Dance where she teaches Modern and Jazz technique, Composition and Improvisation, and the senior Capstone course. She received her undergraduate degree from UNC – Chapel Hill and her M.F.A. in dance from UNC-Greensboro. Susan danced professionally in Atlanta with the Carl Ratcliff Dance Theater and Company Kaye Dance/Mime. She also performed as guest artist with various dance and theater companies. Susan has choreographed for the Appalachian Dance Ensemble, the North Carolina Dance Festival, many ASU theater productions, the Blowing Rock Stage Company, and the Outdoor Drama, “Horn in the West”.

The performances at Appalachian State University run October 25-27 (7:30 pm), with a different show each night.  For directions and the line-up of Touring Artists, visit our website.

Up next on the blog: Meet the local artists showing their work at the Greensboro performance, November 2 and 3 at Aycock Auditorium, Sara Ruth Tourek and Jason Aryeh.


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