Zodiaque Dance Company to Present "Ladies On Stage"

By Kelli Bocock-Natale

Release Date: January 22, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Department of Theatre and Dance will present "Ladies On Stage," the spring dance concert of the Zodiaque Dance Company, Feb. 14-17 and 21-24 in the Drama Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

Performances will be held at 8 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.

"Ladies On Stage" showcases the gifts of women and bases its choreography on the concepts of "heart," feelings, emotions and humanity.

The performance will feature the music of classical guitarist and composer Damien Simon, who has composed three new pieces for the company and will perform live on stage with the dancers. Guest choreographers are Kerry Ring and Stacy Zawadzki.

As a native of Buffalo, Simon received a degree in studio composition from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music. He continued his academic career at the University of Dublin, Ireland, where he studied musicology and did extensive work with the Dublin Opera Company. He returned to Buffalo and began writing scores for various theater companies, directors and choreographers, locally and around the country. His work has been featured in cities that include New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, St. Louis, Tallahassee and Toronto.

Also a native of Buffalo, Ring trained in the Cecchetti Method under the direction of Norma Ferrara Gelose and studied at the Joffrey Ballet School, National Academy of the Arts, the American Dance Festival and the Paul Taylor School. She has been a company member with the Nevada Dance Theatre, Delta Festival Ballet, the Santa Fe Opera, the Bill Evans Dance Company and Molissa Fenley and Dancers. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance from the University of New Mexico in 1997 and a master of fine arts degree in dance performance and choreography from Mills College in Oakland, Calif. Ring teaches ballet and modern dance at a number of local dance studios and colleges, including UB, and is a company member with Pick of the Crop and Buffalo Contemporary Dance.

Zawadzki received a bachelor's degree in dance, dance choreography and dance teaching, magna cum laude, from the University at Buffalo, and has been dancing professionally for 14 years. She was reviewed in The New York Times for her outstanding modern jazz performance with the Marie-Christine Giordano Dance Company. Professional credits include Sandra D. in the musical Grease, the hyena Ed in the Lion King, a dancer in Pocahontas and The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Show. For the past nine years, Zawadzki has choreographed musicals for all ages in the New York City area, as well as here in Buffalo, including productions such as 42nd Street, Guys and Dolls, Hello Dolly, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Oklahoma, and Damn Yankees. Zawadzki choreographs musicals and teaches children in the Continuing Education Programs through the Board of Education, Arts in Education System, teaches in dance studios and judges for various dance competitions. She also is a choreographer for the Zodiaque Dance Company.

Zodiaque Dance Company is directed by Tom Ralabate and is made up of students from the Department of Theatre and Dance who have gone through rigorous auditions and training to become members of the company. Choreographers for "Ladies On Stage" include Tressa Gorman Crehan, Jeanne Palmer Fornarola, Karen Georger, Joyce Miller Lichtenberger, Tom Ralabate and William E. Thomas. Kate Palame will design the costumes and Becky Wolf will design the lights.

Tickets for Zodiaque Dance Company are $12 for the general public and $5 for seniors and students. Tickets are available from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday in the Center for the Arts Box Office and at all Ticketmaster locations, including Kaufmann's and Movies Plus. To charge tickets, call 852-5000; in Canada, call 1-416-870-8000. For group sales, call 645-6771. For more information call 645-ARTS.