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Department of Theatre and Dance

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USC Dance Company in Concert | February 12-15, 2019

The University of SC Department of Theatre and Dance will present the USC Dance Company in Concert February 12-15 at Drayton Hall Theatre.

Repertory for the concert features a mix of contemporary dance works, including The Waiting Room by Salvatore Aiello, Here We Are by guest artist Peter Powlus, and premieres by UofSC Associate Professor Tanya Wideman-Davis and Instructor Olivia Waldrop.

The Waiting Room is being set on the university dancers by guest artist Mia Cunningham, longtime principal dancer with North Carolina Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet) in Charlotte, NC.  Since retirement from professional dance in 2008, Cunningham has worked as an adjunct professor in dance for Winthrop University and Davidson College, and has instructed for various dance academies in North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

At the time of his passing in 1995, choreographer Aiello was Resident Choreographer and Artistic Director of NC Dance Theatre, which he joined in 1978.  Aiello’s long career included several years dancing with the Joffrey Ballet, and serving as Principal Dancer and Associate Director with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Cunningham describes Aiello’s 1992 piece for three women as “simplistic in its setting,” noting that lighting is used throughout the piece to illustrate the passage of time.   “We are all waiting for something and the reasons we wait are as unique as our reactions to how we wait,” says Cunningham.  “This piece allows each artist to take a journey of quiet introspection and exploration to interpret each character with expressed freedom and individuality.”

Peter Powlus’ Here We Are has become something of a signature piece for the choreographer, having been presented by numerous dance groups since the early 1990s.

“The genre-crossing, humorous and energetic choreography is a display of personality and idiosyncratic movement,” says Powlus.  “This work should make the audience feel something, namely happy.  It also affords the dancers an opportunity to allow their own personalities to shine through, reminding the dancer that ‘artistic expression’ is what it’s all about.”

Powlus served as the Associate Director and Resident Choreographer for the Augusta Ballet from 1994-2006, and his work as a director, choreographer and performer continues to garner awards and audience praise to this day.

Wideman-Davis’ and Waldrop’s original works, still untitled, are being created with university dancers in-studio specifically for this concert.

For more information about the concert or the University of South Carolina dance program, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at


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