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School of Dance


Stay tuned for a fresh new web site...

We're almost ready to launch a brand new! Our site is changing, and the School of Dance is ready to take on the 2018-2019 School Year and our spectacular Ventana Series with a brand new web experience.


Become A Season Subscriber
• Discounted ticket prices
• Preferred seat selection
• Option for premier parking

To become a season subscriber, sign up for our mailing list. You will receive
our full season brochure and subscription form by September 15.

For questions and to sign up for our mailing list: click here or
call (520) 621-4698

Season Preview
Sunday, October 7, 2018
Get a sneak peek at our exciting new season, and hear the inside scoop on
UA Dance’s roster of guest artists for the year. Free and open to the public.

Jazz in AZ*
October 16 – 18, 2018
Known for dynamic and exciting choreography in a “one-act, one-hour” show.
*JAZZ in AZ is not on the season subscription but deserves a spot on your calendar!

Premium Blend
November 14 – 18, 2018
As always, a blend of masterworks by legendary choreographers along with
brilliant faculty creations.

Interiors – Student Spotlight
November 29 – December 2, 2018
Choreography and performance by the best and brightest of our 150
undergraduate and graduates.

Dances From The Heart
February, TBD, 2019

Horizons – Student Spotlight
April 18 – 27, 2019
Cheer on those whose next step takes them into uncharted territory…

Spring Collection
April 19 – 28, 2019
The last bouquet of the 2018-19 season!


2017-18 Season Sponsors





    - Discounted ticket prices
    - Preferred seat selection
    - Option for premier parking


The Fine Arts Box Office is located inside the Marroney Theatre on the UA campus near the southeast corner of Park & Speedway. Hours are 12pm-4pm M-F.
Google Map of Fine Arts Box Office and Performance Venue locations.

2 - FAX
Download the season subscription form and fax it to (520) 626-8052.

3 - MAIL
Download the season subscription form and mail to:
Dance Subs/UA – CFA Box Office
P.O Box 210003
Tucson, AZ 85721-0003

Phone:  (520) 621 - 1162
Fax:  (520) 626 - 8052
In person:  Lobby of Marroney Theatre
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 12 - 4pm


Stevie Eller Dance Theatre
Sunday, October 22, 2017   3:00 PM
Free and open to the public.

Get a sneak peek at our exciting new season, and hear the inside scoop on UA Dance’s roster of guest artists for the year. Enjoy light refreshments and an opportunity to become a season subscriber.

RSVP recommended: or (520) 621-4698
Arrive early for best seating. General seating fills on a first-come first-served basis.

Stevie Eller Dance Theatre
Tickets: Adult  $35 ; Senior/Military/UA Employee  $30 ; Student  $15
Purchase Online or call (520) 621 - 1162

  • Wednesday, Nov. 15 7:30 PM
  • Thursday, Nov. 16 7:30 PM
  • Friday, Nov. 17 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, Nov. 18 1:30 PM
  • Saturday, Nov. 18 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, Nov. 19 1:30 PM

This year, the UA Dance Ensemble takes on Maurice Ravel’s Bolero, choreographed by the former Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet and current Resident Choreographer for American Ballet Theatre, Alexei Ratmansky. See the work of this internationally acclaimed choreographer and MacArthur Fellow, along with a piece by modern dance icon Bella Lewitzky. Lewitzky’s creation, titled Meta4, will be staged by guest artist Walter Kennedy and faculty member Amy Ernst. To the live piano music of Mompou and Nin-Culmell will be a Spanish neo-classical ballet entitled Tonadas, with choreography by Melissa Lowe and Jory Hancock. And finally, in this year’s Premium Blend we welcome our new faculty member, Autumn Eckman, whose choreography and performance will be front and center.

Bolero is made possible through the generous support from the Ballet Masterworks Fund, the Fikkan and Sherwood Artist in Residence Fund, and the following donors:
Marlys Beider, Judy & Jim Brown, Merrily & George Davis, M J Demetras & John Nielsen Umbreit, Mary Jo Ghory, Wes Green, Sandy & Elliott Heiman, Jean & Jordan Nerenberg,
Martha & Terry Perl, Linda & Ken Robin, Jill & Herschel Rosenzweig
(Gifts made between July 1, 2016 - August 15, 2017)

Stevie Eller Dance Theatre
Tickets: Adult  $25 ; Senior/Military/UA Employee  $23 ; Student  $12
Purchase Online or call (520) 621 - 1162

  • Thursday, Nov. 30 7:30 PM
  • Friday, Dec. 1 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, Dec. 2 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, Dec. 3 1:30 PM

Let our students lift your spirits as we present an evening of choreography by the best and brightest of our 150 undergraduate and graduates. Here the faculty step aside and cheer with you as dancers step into the spotlight with work that is newly produced just for this moment.

Living “in the moment” refers to all young artists who, with their bodies, minds and hearts, continue to create what is precious to us.

IN THE MOMENT - STUDENT SPOTLIGHT is made possible through the generous support from Lori Mackstaller.

Centennial Hall

Tickets: $20 and up Centennial Hall Box Office (520) 621-3341 and online at

  • Friday, Jan. 26 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, Jan. 28 3:00 PM

"Bernstein was the greatest risk-taker in 20th-century classical music. He thrived on conflict and this is nowhere more evident than in his composition, Mass." – NPR

Featuring Grammy-nominated True Concord and Baritone Jubilant Sykes, Stage Direction and Set Design by James Clouser, Choreography by Tamara Dyke-Compton and Chris Compton for the UA Dance Ensemble, and the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, conducted by Eric Holtan. Perhaps Bernstein’s most ambitiously scaled work, Mass truly lives up to its name as “A Theatre Piece for
Singers, Players and Dancers.” Considering the tremendous success it has achieved since its premiere in 1971, it’s no wonder that the Washington Post has called it “arguably the best thing Bernstein ever wrote.”

The premiere of Mass, coinciding with the opening of the new John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., was an event to top all others; attendees included Rose Kennedy (the late president’s mother), Edward Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, and Aaron Copland. Mass represents the culmination – the totality – of who Bernstein was as a composer. It combines classical, Broadway, avant-garde, and other styles into one large, cohesive work. Ultimately a work of peace, Mass explores the human condition in social and religious terms.

Stevie Eller Dance Theatre
Tickets: Adult  $35 ; Senior/Military/UA Employee  $30 ; Student  $15
Purchase Online or call (520) 621 - 1162

  • Wednesday, Feb. 21 7:30 PM
  • Thursday, Feb. 22 7:30 PM
  • Friday, Feb. 23 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, Feb. 24 1:30 PM
  • Saturday, Feb. 24 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, Feb. 25 1:30 PM

The world is rich with dance forms, and in Dances Near & Far we bring that richness to the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre. We begin the journey in Greece, where choreographer Michael Williams paints the mythological river between Earth and the Underworld with primal movement and power in his piece STYX. An intense score by the Israeli trance band, Infected Mushroom, provides the musical backdrop.

The choreography of Flamenco artist Pablo Rodarte is featured in two pieces on the program. Guest artist Maritza Tafur dances the Soleá, the mother of all Flamenco that originated in the Andalusian region of Spain. Singer Olivia Rojas and guitarist Misael Barraza Diaz accompany the piece along with the Zambra, a Flamenco style that comes from gypsy origins, danced by the UA Dance Ensemble.

Live music by drummer Aaron Vereen will grace the stage as well in Barbea William’s creation based on the fusion of African dance styles from Guinea and Brazil.

We partner with Larry Lang and the UA Confucius Institute to present two Chinese dances; Spring Rhyme, in traditional Peking Opera style, danced by guest artist Qing Yu, and a fan dance illustrating the life of a lotus flower, danced by guest artist Liang Huang.

In collaboration with Andrew Carnie, Dean of the Graduate College, whose research spans many folk dance styles, we showcase an Armenian canopy dance. And the award-winning Maguire Academy joins us in Stevie Eller to present Irish dance at its best.

Elizabeth George-Fesch, presents Visions of Ukraine, a balletic work inspired by the traditional Ukrainian folk dance vocabulary. Set to music by Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk, this upbeat dance features an ensemble of sixteen men and women and culminates with a “Hopak” showcasing the athleticism of the male dancers. From UA Dance faculty we also present On Silver Wings, an Israeli circle dance, and Danzon No. 2, an Argentinian Tango in a robust ballroom style by Jory Hancock, and a light-hearted Calypso by Marquez Johnson.

America has its share of original dance forms, and on the second half of the show we focus on the USA. We team up with Artifact Dance Project co-directors, Ashley Bowman and Claire Hancock to create a lively medley of American dance through the years, from the Charleston to Hip Hop.

Your chance to travel and dream - all in the comfort of your seat in the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre!

Stevie Eller Dance Theatre
Tickets: Adult  $25 ; Senior/Military/UA Employee  $23 ; Student  $12
Purchase Online or call (520) 621 - 1162

  • Thursday, April 19 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, April 21 1:30 PM
  • Sunday, April 22 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday, April 25 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, April 28 1:30 PM

At the Edge - Student Spotlight features thirteen new works created by members of the UA Dance Ensemble and displays their unique versatility and voices.

A number of pieces on the program are the result of choreographic collaboration. Dreams Today, choreographed by undergraduate dancers Ally Hauke and Gracie Plath, began when the two realized the compatibility of their movement sensibilities in an improvisation exercise earlier in the year. This uplifting piece is a reminiscence of childhood memories and the curiosity they had about their futures from the perspective of their younger selves.

Oregano’s, choreographed by best friends Emigdio Arredondo and Natalie Clevenger, is distinctly of Tucson origin. The dance was conceived in the fall of 2017 at the Oregano’s restaurant on Speedway when the two were having a conversation about dance legend Martha Graham and the particulars of the modern technique style over lunch. Arredondo playfully added Samba movement resulting in a fusion of Graham and Samba danced on and around a dinner table.

MFA candidate Kara Madden presents her piece, The Journey, inspired by the poem "Lucy's Warbler" by Christina Vega-Westhoff about the birds who call the mesquite trees of the Sonoran Desert home for part of the year. The piece itself drawn inspiration from the spring migration season, during which Lucy's Warblers migrate North from Mexico into Arizona. This piece for nine dancers set to the music of Zoë Keating captures the quirky movements of birds and their intricate flocking patterns.

At the Edge is where we are in April as our young artists are ready to break from our stage and fan out across the country.

AT THE EDGE - STUDENT SPOTLIGHT is made possible through the generous support from Lori Mackstaller.

Stevie Eller Dance Theatre
Tickets: Adult  $35 ; Senior/Military/UA Employee  $30 ; Student  $15
Purchase Online or call (520) 621 - 1162

  • Friday, April 20 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, April 21 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, April 22 1:30 PM
  • Thursday, April 26 7:30 PM
  • Friday, April 27 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, April 28 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, April 29 1:30 PM

Spring Collection offers eight diverse works, including five premieres and the sizzling work of guest choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie in Boiling Point.

Boiling Point, which had its world premiere with Atlanta Ballet in 2009, provides the centerpiece for this concert. Moultrie states that his primary inspiration for Boiling Point came from the score bearing the same title, and goes on to say that the music had “a sort of journey, like when you’re making tea and it starts calm and it climaxes to reach this loud, high-pitched whistle. I wanted to use that idea in movement…”

Moultrie is one of America’s very diverse and much sought after choreographers and master teachers, and he has created and staged his work for numerous professional companies, including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Milwaukee Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ailey II, and others.

With Boiling Point as its closer, the program opens with a new creation by Autumn Eckman, A Lot Like Love, which explores the expressions, desires, feelings and emotional aspects of love as they are connected through music. Also on the program is her piece, Sardine, originally choreographed for the Bates Dance Festival in 2015. The piece investigates ways in which human interaction forms relationships. Incorporating highly physicalized methods of improvisational techniques, Sardine makes visible connections between our external world and internal states.

The Man Behind Duke, choreographed by Sam Watson, features the music of Billy Strayhorn who was the composer, lyricist, and arranger for big band leader Duke Ellington. Watson’s new piece for eight dancers features a selection of songs which Strayhorn himself performed in intimate cabaret settings. The compositions showcase a more personal side of Billy Strayhorn with arrangements scaled down to only piano and a rhythm section including lyrics that many times were never used in the versions performed by the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The piece reflects back on the swing era taking inspiration from standard dance steps spanning three decades including The Shag, The Swingout and standard East Coast and West Coast Swing.

Retired Professor, Douglas Nielsen, returns to UA Dance to present An Inch for Beverly. The dance commemorates Beverly Blossom, a prolific choreographer and dancer who considered herself to be “an actor who danced.” Blossom created Inch in 1987. Two years later she invited Douglas Nielsen to perform it on her retirement concert at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Now, in Beverly’s memory, Nielsen has restaged it as An Inch for Beverly. The piece will also be performed at the 92nd Street Y in New York City in June of this year.

In choreographic collaboration with the fourteen cast members, Amy Ernst’s new ensemble piece explores the complex journey of retaining one’s fundamental beliefs and certainty in the face of life’s often difficult challenges. Inspired by American poet Mary Oliver and composer Thomas Newman, Believe investigates the mysterious, often magical, relationship between faith and reality.

Michael Williams presents a new contemporary lyrical jazz piece to selections from Pink's 2017 release of her album Beautiful Trauma. The piece for three couples entitled Sticks & Stones is meant to be a battle cry for positive evolutionary change and the personal and societal commitment it requires.

If You Don't Like Me Today, Come Back Tomorrow, choreographed by Tamara Dyke-Compton, is a quirky, modern solo that explores the chaotic mind of a person afflicted with extreme moods, to the music of Zwirbeldirn.

Spring Collection —  the final bouquet of the UA Dance 2017-18 Season. Enjoy its many colors!

*Not part of the season subscription but deserves a spot on your calendar!