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Released October 23, 2003


HATTIESBURG - The Repertory Dance Company (RDC) at The University of Southern Mississippi will give its first performance of the 2003-04 season Nov. 6-8 in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center auditorium.

The Fall Dance Concert will feature choreography of Southern Miss dance faculty, students, alumni, and guest artists. While the dances vary in style, all exude the high level of performance that audiences have come to expect from Department of Theatre and Dance majors.

Guest artists Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith, who held a two-week guest artist residency at Southern Miss in September 2003, have reset their work "To Have and to Hold" for the RDC. In this work, wood and flesh intermingle among six performers in a personal view of relationships and loss.

Shapiro and Smith conceived the idea for their dance in 1989 when they returned to the United States after spending a year in Finland. The duo returned to find their world very different from when they left, and this inspired them to create the work.

Shellie Nielsen, associate professor of dance and rehearsal director, described the piece as "challenging - full of athletic feats and quiet moments." She added that she has watched the cast "blossom into a beautifully sensitive ensemble" while rehearsing the work for performance.

"Double Narcissus" is one of two faculty works featured on the concert program, choreographed by Stacy Reischman, director of the Southern Miss dance program, and set to the guitar music of Agustin Barrios.

Reischman's duet defines the differences and similarities between two people. She performs in her own work along with Melissa Beauvais, an alumna of the dance program. The audience can expect to see visually striking moments paired with ongoing movement, physical contact, and lifts.

A work by Dee Dee Watson, a senior from Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., will be featured as one of five student-choreographed dances on the evening's program. Her dance "Imminent Perception" is set to a Philip Glass musical arrangement and features five dancers who explore movement through dancing freely onstage while being confined in space.

Watson's dance also incorporates two Plexiglas sculptures that vary in size and shape - one is tall and narrow, one is short and wide. While in the sculpture, the dancers exaggerate their movements to fit the space.

The concert also features choreography by new dance faculty member Becky Dyer, Beauvais, Emily Maurer, Emily Bearden, Bethany Nelson, and Marlena Duncan.

Offering a three-night run, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for Southern Miss faculty and staff, senior citizens, and Southern Miss alumni, and $6 for students. For tickets, call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425. Order online at


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM