Dance program’s spring performance highlights outstanding choreographers and dancers
Salve Regina’s Extensions Dance Company, directed by associate professor Lindsay Guarino, will present “Higher Ground” at the Casino Theatre on Thursday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, April 15, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are free for Salve Regina students with a valid ID, $8 for Salve Regina faculty and staff, $12 for children, military and seniors, and $15 for general admission.
“At a time when division is more readily apparent than unity, I hope this show is a powerful antidote,” said Guarino. “The program moves from pieces that show competition, jealousy and loneliness into works that celebrate the collective — and ultimately the strength and joy that arises from being fully embodied in oneself and belonging to a greater whole.”
The concert will feature new jazz and contemporary works choreographed by guest artists, faculty, alumni and students. These choreographers include Cayley Christoforou ’15, Monique Haley, Trinity Leite ’25, Marissa Masson ’19, Julia Paulo ’25, Mekbul Jemal Tahir, Maurice Watson and Ashley Rich.
Highlighting just a few of the choreographers will help audience members understand the incredible talent that Salve Regina’s dancers get to work with and embody in their performances.
Cayley Christoforou, a graduate of Salve Regina’s dance program, is a New England based artist who strives to blend her love of the arts with her skills in business and marketing. Currently the marketing director for Urbanity Dance, a Boston based non-profit, Christoforou oversees and implements the organization’s mission of inspiring, engaging and empowering communities through dance. In addition, Christoforou is on faculty for Urbanity Dance and Spotlight Dance Studio and has been a choreographer for both the Salve Regina and Providence College dance programs.
Monique Haley, associate professor of dance and African American and African Studies at Western Michigan University, earned her MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is the creator of the Diasporic Encounter Method (DEM) — a foundational teaching practice centering on African cultural values and cultivating ritual in jazz dance pedagogy.
Ashley Rich — dance educator, choreographer, and mentor — has been in the dance industry for 15 years and teaches and choreographs nationally. Some of her achievements include being a finalist on the 8th season of “So You Think You Can Dance” and attending the prestigious Ailey School in New York City, New York, which is home of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Rich is the Founder of A. Rich Dance, which consists of programs and dance companies focused on helping dancers find their purpose in dance.
Mekbul Jemal Tahir is an international choreographer, dancer and teacher. He is one of the founding members of Adugna Community Dance Theatre Company, which is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Since completing a five-year training program accredited by Middlesex University in the United Kingdom in 2001, he has been performing and teaching African contemporary dance, contact improvisation and community dance and theatre in Ethiopia and abroad.
Tickets can be purchased online. They will also be available immediately prior to each performance at the box office. For the most up-to-date information, follow the dance program on Instagram or Facebook.