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Thursday, October 17, 2013
by: Tonya Lowentritt
SPEAKING WORDS OF WISDOM – Southeastern Louisiana University senior Crystal Schayot of New Orleans is one of the dancers who will perform in Southeastern Dance Performance Project's "Let It Be," a dance concert scheduled Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Vonnie Borden Theatre. The dance concert is part of Fanfare, the university's annual fall festival of the arts.
HAMMOND – "Let It Be," a performance by Southeastern Louisiana University's Dance Performance Project, will be presented Oct. 23 in Vonnie Borden Theatre as part of Fanfare, the university's annual celebration of the arts, humanities and social sciences.
Directed by Southeastern Dance Instructor Skip Costa, the 7:30 p.m. program features four Southeastern faculty members – Costa, Ashley Lewis, Alison Maraman, and Dance Coordinator and Professor Martie Fellom - who have put their creative, diverse and choreographic spin on the timeless classic "Let It Be," written by Paul McCartney.
General admission tickets for "Let It Be" are $5 and will be available in the D Vickers lobby one hour prior to the performance.
Fellom's piece is titled "Cross Words" and features Southeastern Phi Mu Alpha singers and two dancers – Lindsy Brown of Slidell and Millenique Brown of Belle Chase.
Fellom said that "Cross Words" is about two people at odds with each other and morphs into amusing social commentary about genetically designed foods and U.S. fiscal policy. Fellom asked English Instructor Alan Marsh to create a script to assist in development of the work.
"As Martie's piece was evolving, she envisioned two characters at odds with each other trying to get through cross word puzzles," Marsh said. "I didn't know how to embrace this scenario until she added the current controversies of fiscal responsibility and genetically modified foods in America. That helped me tie it together."
Under the direction of Aaron Turnipseed of Baton Rouge, the Phi Mu Alpha singers providing music for the piece include Jonathan Dupre, Luling; Eric Hendrix, Larose; Jarod Hopper and Joseph Powell, Walker; Cody Love, Mandeville; Robert Roy, Lacombe; Remi Vedros, Cut Off; and Jesse White, Denham Springs.
As part of the concert, Maraman will present "Autumn Shift," a dance about seasonal change. In the fall, Maraman said, the things that no longer serve us, whether it be a person, place or thing, must be released. Letting the shift occur, or letting it be, can sometimes be a struggle, she said.
"The theme of the concert, 'Let It Be,' initially brought me to tears because for the last few years my father has been slowly degenerating from frontotemporal dimentia," Maraman said. "Sometimes it is easier to watch someone die than to watch someone who still has vigor in their body just waste away. I cannot do anything about it, I couldn't prevent it, and I can't control it. I can only let it be. That is the inspiration for my piece."
Local musicians providing the musical arrangement for Maraman's piece are Matt Spears and Andrew Starns.
Dancers include Averi Harris and Savanna Faught of Slidell; Rebecca LeBlanc, Christa Clement and Faith Allen of Ponchatoula; Mandie Tracy and Tyron'E Hawkins of Baton Rouge; Aria Silva-Espinosa of Fullerton, Calif.; Ashanti McLaurin of Hammond; and Summer Moore of Prairieville.
Lewis' piece is also entitled "Let It Be," and includes dancers Brown, Espinosa, Faught, Hawkins, Moore, and Tracy; Emily-Kate Crnko of Hammond, Shan'Yeka Knight of Slidell, and Jaquan Warren of Franklinton.
"There are many different walks of life that deal with struggles and hardships, but when people turn to others for help, they lift their spirits and show them they can live their lives and make their dreams come true," Lewis said. "In my piece, I wanted to show these different walks of life and at the end show how these people come together as one. I also wanted to show that no matter how hard the struggle may be, you can always be the person you strive to be and still accomplish your goals and dreams."
Costa's piece is dedicated to his mother, Pattie DiMattia. Live music will be provided by Southeastern students Heidi Matherne of Houma and West Lentz of Denham Springs, while recorded music is provided by musicians Carol Woods and Timothy Mitchum. Dancers include Allen, Brown, Clement, Harris, and Crystal Schayot of New Orleans.
"Take a moment out of each day to rest your mind," Costa said, "to laugh about the stuff you can't possibly control, to miss someone that you can't possibly bring back, and to let yourself experience each and every moment of this thing we call life before we reach the end of our journey."
For additional information about "Let It Be," contact Costa at 985-549-2184.