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Wagner College Theatre continues its 2016-17 Stage One season with “Dance Project 2017,” running from Feb. 28 through March 5. Showtimes are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

“Dance Project 2017” features original choreography by WCT alums and adjunct dance faculty Carissa Bellando ’04 and Patrick Ryan Heffernan ’11. The creative inspiration for this year’s Dance Project is “identity.”

According to choreographer Patrick Heffernan, “We are creating an evening of dance centered around that inevitable journey we all take of self-discovery, soul searching and truth seeking. We’re exploring through text, movement and dance how that journey changes us, shapes our identity and how we, in turn, use that to create change and shape the world we live in.”

While attending Wagner College, Carissa Bellando choreographed the WCT Main Stage production of “Beauty and the Beast.” After graduating from Wagner, she earned her MFA in contemporary dance from Case Western Reserve University. She has performed and choreographed for numerous theaters around the country as well as Norwegian Cruise Lines and Aida Cruise Lines. Bellando performed in Taipei, Taiwan in 2013 and spent the last 14 months living in Hamburg, Germany, where she taught; in Berlin she choreographed “Comeback! The Karl Marx Musical.”

Patrick Heffernan is a dance and text/movement enthusiast. His work in this genre began with his studies under Claire Porter at Wagner College some 6 years ago. Heffernan is a yoga teacher and NYC-based actor who gravitates toward themes of searching, curiosity, love, compassion, joy and unity. He was recently in the national touring companies of “Anything Goes” and “42nd Street,” and choreographed WCT’s recent production of “Anything Goes.”

“Dance Project 2017” features Wagner College students in the ensemble, including Alexandra DeAngelis, David Dines, Alexis Eldredge, Justin Flores, Nina Gabriela Gross, Scott Hoke, Ruth Kupperberg, DeVonte McCray, Michelle Morris, Troy Rood, Tyler Ross, Sydney Session, John Thacker and Katie Van Horn.

The creative team includes Pam Pangaro (lights), Nina Gabriela Gross (costumes) and Alexis Takaki (props). Sydni Session is assistant director/choreographer, and Lauren Sellers and Molly Kilker are assistant stage managers. Nick Durst is production stage manager. WCT’s Head of Dance Rusty Curcio is producing the work, with Brian Sharron the production supervisor.

For tickets, call the WCT Box Office at 718-390-3259. The box office is open weekdays from 12 to 4 p.m. Single tickets ($10) are on sale now. Wagner College students attend free with current ID.

 
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