Audiences at the annual Spring Celebration of Dance will see a repertoire of new dances choreographed specifically for current students combined with works developed over the past 26 years at Modern Dance Technique.

"The dances are varied, inspiring and entertaining; reflecting a combination of classic modern dance with joyous physicality and innovative contemporary movement," said Donna Blatt Ervin, the company's artistic director.

Thirty-four dancers from Modern Dance Technique will take the Majestic Theatre stage Friday and Saturday night for this year's concert, which also includes dances choreographed by alumni.

The dance "Terpsichore's Gift" features a theme of Greek mythology set to classical music by Heitor Villa-Lobos.

"It's a little bit of a story about the nine daughters of Zeus, and how each of them was the muse of the arts and sciences," Blatt Ervin said.

It includes middle school to high school age dancers from the advanced performance group and junior performance group.

"Anthem" is a piece Blatt Ervin choreographed many years ago, which features music by Bob Marley, Richie Havens and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It depicts the hardship of slavery and immigration, the restorative healing power of community, and the importance of preserving the environment, she said.

"The group choreography has been updated and reflects what's happening in our society today," Blatt Ervin said.

Both dances are introduced with poetry read by guest theater artist Kimberly Gifford Olbrich. She will read poems by Olivia Kent and Mary Oliver.

Young dancers, kindergarten through third grade, from the Majestic Theatre Parks and Rec program will perform in their first recital with "Picnic Polka" and a dance about friendship called "Chaconne," Blatt Ervin said.

Alumni and current instructor Kayleigh Ellenburg choreographed a new piece called "Aurora" for intermediate dancers.

Fellow alumni guest choreographers, Heather Fenske, Kaylee Ervin and Lucia Lind, who went on to dance at the University of Oregon, also contributed new works.

The piece "Seeking Solace" was created by Blatt Ervin in memory of her late father's struggle at the end of his life.

"The advanced dancers were very kind with their energy and in their compassion," Blatt Ervin said. "We did a beautiful dance about the struggle of life winding down and not wanting to let go."

The finale "Love Chain Letter to Dance" includes 16 dancers from the intermediate and advanced groups. It is set in a kitchen, where each group of dancers coming off of the stage must connect to the next group coming on, she said.

"It's a very fun upbeat finale," Blatt Ervin said.

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