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Upcoming performances by Staycee Pearl dance project and Alexandra Bodnarchuk

Dancers in 'CONNOTATIONS: unknown'
Dancers in 'CONNOTATIONS: unknown'
Lindsay Dill

As the 2013-2014 season of dance winds down in Pittsburgh, Staycee Pearl continues to create and host work. The first weekend in May will be full, with SPdp at the Alloy Studios, and Alexandra Bodnarchuk at Pearl Arts Studios.

On Saturday, May 3rd, at the Alloy Studios, Staycee Pearl dance project will preview a work-in-progress called “Playground.” The piece will be a bit of a departure from the heavier work they’ve created in the past few years.

Artistic Director, Pearl, says, “We started off thinking about play and youth and being a young person...talking about things that stood out in childhood.”

Pearl has a very strong memory of pretending to be a princess, wearing a dress her mother made for her. Long before the pink Disney craze, Pearl’s outfit was black and white velvet with puffy sleeves and zebra print. What stands out in her memory, though, is the comical moment that jolted her out of her fantasy world. That is, when a buzzing, black fly landed in her precious, princess hair.

Pearl goes on to say that fantasizing and forgetting about life for a while isn’t something we do as grown-ups. The group spent time talking about what makes them happy and playful as adults.

The cast includes many stellar Pittsburgh dancers: Jil Stifel, Maree ReMalia, Jasmine Hearn, Jessica Marino, and Seth Grier. Also, joining the group will be Cleveland dancer, Ashley Duke, who has worked with Grier.

“The group works so well together,” Pearl says. “I’m so fortunate to have them, and it motivates me to do more with them.”


Saturday, May 3rd at 8:00 p.m.

Alloy Studios in Friendship

Cost TBD, click HERE for updated information as it is announced.

On Friday, May 2nd, and Sunday, May 4th, Alexandra Bodnarchuk will premiere “CONNOTATIONS: unknown” at Pearl Arts Studios, after previewing sections of the dance at RAW: Pittsburgh on Thursday, April 24th.

Having grown up in Pittsburgh, Bodnarchuk moved back after graduating from the Ohio University School of Dance (with a double major in French). She immersed herself in the local performing scene immediately, working as an actor in Bricolage’s “STRATA,” an experience that led her to choreograph her current piece.

She also worked with Attack Theatre as a special assistant (“Soap Opera”), a dancer (“The Dirty Ball”), and a costume assistant (“Chalk Line” ’13). This past October, she performed an excerpt of “CONNOTATIONS...” at newMoves Contemporary Dance Festival.

Her work is inspired by the various styles of movement she’s studied over the years, from modern and ballet, to folk and African. Of her choreographic process, she says, “Even though my choreography stems from an emotional root, I do not force it onto the dancers or the movement.”

“CONNOTATIONS: unknown” will take part in three sections, exploring the ways in which we move in and out of each other's lives. Bodnarchuk explains, “This could include someone who we have passed on the street to someone who becomes an acquaintance or a friend. All of these people leave an impression on us.”

Bodnarchuk hopes to use the space in a creative way. The group will take advantage of the aisle in the studio, and will also utilize mirrors to include the audience in a distinctive way. She says, “There is a front, but we don’t face the front a lot. We use the space as a whole. Where the audience is sitting is also part of the performance space.”

The cast includes Bodnarchuk and four other dancers: Allison Garcia, Patty Petronello, Darcy Shaffner, and Zëk Stewart (co-choreographer for part two). Bodnarchuk has connected with each dancer in various ways, and says they complement each other well. The pre-recorded music, edited and designed by Steve Hudock and Jacob Brunner, will include a mix of voices, as well as several musicians she admires: Greg Brosofske, Albert Mathias, and local, Dave Bernabo.

In addition to the 45-minute work, Friday’s show will feature a short piece by the Factory Street Studio high school juniors and seniors. Factory Street gives “non-competitive dance education in Southeast Ohio,” and was founded by two Ohio University dance graduates.


Friday, May 2nd, and Sunday, May 4th at 8:00 p.m., with a “talk-back” and reception to follow each show. Friday’s performance *only* includes the Factory Street piece.

Pearl Arts Studios on Braddock Avenue

Click HERE for ticket cost and purchasing.

RAW: Pittsburgh showcase, “Spectrum” (excerpts of “CONNOTATIONS: unknown”)

Thursday, April 24, 7:00 p.m. - Midnight

Club Zoo in the Strip District

Click HERE for ticketing information and purchasing.

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