Oswego native to perform at Nazareth College Arts Center with River North Dance Chicago

ROCHESTER, NY – Nazareth College Arts Center is pleased to present River North Dance Chicago on March 23 at 8 p.m. in the Callahan Theater.

The critically acclaimed company led by Artistic Director Frank Chaves is known for skilled, emotive dancers; stimulating, jazz-based music; and bold, theatrical dance.

Three River North Dance Chicago company members have ties to Western New York:

Melanie Manale-Hortin
Oswego’s Melanie_Manale-Hortin is returning to Western New York with critically acclaimed dance company, River North Dance Chicago

Hayley Meier is originally from Rochester and is a former company member of Rochester City Ballet; Melanie Manale-Hortin is originally from Oswego and is a University at Buffalo alumna; Jessica Wolfrum is originally from Buffalo and is a University at Buffalo alumna.

The Company

River North Dance Chicago was founded in 1989 and has since established itself as one of the nation’s leading companies, having received both national and international critical acclaim. The Chicago Sun Times said “this is one sleek, confident, athletic, daring, versatile company,” and Germany’s Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung described them as, “young, dynamic and eager to experiment…a performance of pure zest for life. Jazz dance has not been this sexy for a long time.”

According to its press materials, River North Dance Chicago “is dedicated to the creative advancement, presentation, and preservation of jazz-based contemporary dance,” and “embodies a true flavor of ‘Americana’ in its versatile repertoire.” The company’s choreography combines athletic prowess and artistic perspective, resulting in an emotive, sensual, theatrical stage presence. Celebrated for presenting gutsy, dynamic, entertaining works that appeal to seasoned dance patrons and newcomers alike, the company delights audiences with a variety of enriching and accessible experiences that range from dramatic to lyrical and from traditional to abstract.

River North Dance Chicago is under the artistic direction of award-winning, international choreographer and teacher, Frank Chaves, who “aims for audiences to feel the complete spectrum of human emotions in a single evening, and leaves them feeling joyful and exhilarated at the end of each program,” according to the company’s press materials. Although the company’s core works are Chaves’, they are augmented with pieces by other nationally and internationally renowned choreographers.

In keeping with its vision of advancing contemporary dance, River North Dance Chicago performs throughout the United States and abroad, having participated in the IV International Ballet Festival in Cali, Columbia in 2010, and the Busan International Dance Festival in Korea in 2011; and toured Germany, Switzerland, and Russia on a 28-city tour in 2012. The company has also been the subject of three Emmy Award-winning documentaries produced in partnership with HMS Media: Reality of a Dreamer (1993), River North Rising (1999), and Every Dancer Has a Story (2009). The latter delves into the lives of the dancers, exposing the thoughtful ensemble of storytellers who focus on bonding together to share their collective experiences with audiences and each other.

Manale-Hortin (Oswego) attended the University at Buffalo, where she received her B.A. in dance and was a member of the Zodiaque Dance Company. In addition to university, Melanie has also trained with the José Limón Dance Company. Her professional credits include performances with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, as well as on screen in the Disney movie Just Visiting, starring Christina Applegate. Melanie has taught for Dance Masters and Giordano Dance Center, and currently teaches throughout the Chicago area. In addition to teaching dance, Melanie has been a certified Pilates instructor since 2002. She is currently on faculty at Chicago Ballet Arts teaching mat class and at the Pilates Center of the North Shore, a full-equipment training facility. This is Melanie’s 10th season with River North Chicago.

Tickets to River North Dance Chicago are $30 – $60. For tickets, call or visit the box office: 585-389-2170 or order online: artscenter.naz.edu

The Nazareth College Arts Center Box Office is located on campus, at 4245 East Ave., Rochester. Regular box office hours are Monday- Friday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. until curtain time on performance days.

The Nazareth College Arts Center’s 2012-2013 Subscription Series is sponsored by M&T Bank, Wendy’s Restaurants of Rochester, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

About the Nazareth College Arts Center
For more than 40 years, the Nazareth College Arts Center has served as a venue and educational resource for students, educators, visual and performing artists, and audiences to create, study, and experience all areas of the arts. These cultural programs support the college’s curriculum in music, art, and theatre arts, and provide area residents with opportunities to experience exceptional dance, children’s theatre, and international entertainment.