(Posted March 21, 2005)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Blending modern dance with the traditional styles of the Middle East and Israel, the Koresh Dance Company will thrill both dance fans and first-time theater-goers at Juniata College at 8:15 p.m., Thursday, March 31 in Rosenberger Auditorium in Oller Hall on the Juniata campus.

For tickets and information about the Juniata College Artist Series, please call (814) 641-3605. General admission tickets for single performances are $20, except where otherwise noted. Single-show tickets for seniors over age 65 and children age 18 and under are $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

The works to be performed at Juniata include "Twisted Pleasures," featuring music by Hovaness, and "Facing the Sun," with music by Daniel Bacon. Choreography for both pieces is by Ronen Koresh. The second half of the program features "Negative Spaces," which incorporates music from almost a dozen composers, mixing styles as disparate as Brazilian, Slavic and rhythm and blues. The show concludes with the dance "Backtracks."

Company founder Ronen Koresh was born in Israel and began his dance career by studying the folk dances of Yemen. His first professional dance experience came as a member of Martha Graham's Bat Sheva Dance Company. The Koresh Dance Company uses many dance techniques and movement styles in the creation of its performance repertoire. Contemporary music and jazz can be seamlessly incorporated into pieces that wouldn't be out of place in a classical ballet company.

Based in Philadelphia, Pa., the Koresh ensemble has been together since 1991. The 10-dancer group is known for its high-energy style of molding ballet, modern and jazz styles into elegantly explosive choreography.

The Denver Post wrote of their performance, "a vibrant ensemble of 10 that that offered nonstop dynamism throughout its performance." The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, "If you like your dancing hard, fast and intense, the Koresh Dance Company is for you."

In addition to artistic director Koresh, the ensemble features nine dancers: Fang-Ju Chou Gant, Amy Elfers, Jessica Daley, Curtis Lassiter, Lyron Paulin, Melissa Rector, Michael Velez, Dougie Styles and Natalie Williams.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.