As the dance program at West Virginia University continues to grow, this year’s annual dance concert, “Dance Now!” comes with a number of important milestones.

The show is presented by the School of Theatre and Dance in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre at the Creative Arts Center on Thursday and Friday (Feb. 2 and 3) at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday (Feb. 4) at 2 p.m.

A new addition to this year’s concert is Masterworks, which will bring a piece choreographed by a prominent master choreographer.

“This year introduces some exciting new components to the lineup, which will give our students rare and unique hands-on opportunities to work and perform a masterwork by a leading artist in the field,” said Yoav Kaddar, director of dance. “It will also allow our audiences to be exposed to first-class choreography from the dance world.”

Masterworks will launch this year with Paul Taylor’s “Aureole.” A double-cast of dance minors have rehearsed rigorously under the direction of Maureen Mansfield-Kaddar, former dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

Kaddar hopes Masterworks will become a part of the event annually.

“We are privileged to have received the rights to restage the dance on our students,” Kaddar said. “This year marks the 50-year anniversary of ‘Aureole’ making the performance that much more special.”

An added component to this year’s production is guest performances. The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Kat & Co. will perform on WVU’s stage.

“In working to make WVU’s dance program more inclusive, we are reaching out to the local community and have invited both a Morgantown dance studio and PBTS to share the stage with us,” Kaddar said. “We are delighted to add this exciting part to our program.”

PBTS will feature eight dancers performing two pieces, “Pas d’Esclave” from the ballet classic Le Corsaire, and the finale of “Tribute” by Frederic Franklin. Later this spring, the PBT Company will also come to WVU to present a full concert.

The featured guest for the evening is Dan Wagoner, a West Virginia-born dancer, company director and teacher. Wagoner danced with the likes of famous choreographers Martha Graham and Paul Taylor.

“We are thrilled to have Dan as our guest, especially since he was in Paul Taylor’s original company when he first choreographed ‘Aureole,’” Kaddar said.

Wagoner will also be teaching a master class on Friday (Feb. 3) at 10 a.m. in 210 E. Moore Hall on the Downtown campus, which is free for WVU students and performers in the show and $15 for visitors.

“Dance Now!” will feature strong works by WVU faculty and student choreographers and highlights from the fall concert “A Celebration of Dance.” WVU dance minors along with three faculty members will be performing in the show that promises to offer something for everyone.

This year’s concert is dedicated to former student Emily Spickler, who passed away while studying abroad in Australia. Spickler was a third-year dance minor from Shepherdstown.

“With the permission of the Spickler family, there was no question that this year’s dance concert would be dedicated to Emily, and her passion and love for dance,” Kaddar said.

A group of fellow dance minors from Spickler’s hometown will perform a piece choreographed in her memory.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens and WVU faculty and staff and $15 for WVU students with a valid ID.

For more information, visit For tickets, call 304-293-SHOW or visit the Box Offices at the Mountainlair or Creative Arts Center. They are also available through



Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.