A chance encounter at this year’s Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts has lead to a unique pairing of music and dance that will benefit Penn State’s Dance Marathon.
Brio Dance Company founder Lane Grosser walked out of the company’s Arts Festival performance and heard Pure Cane Sugar performing on a nearby stage. She immediately knew the band would pair well with the dance company.
“They had a great crowd and we had a great crowd, and I thought it would be great to pull both groups together to show the community all of the good things that are happening in the arts community,” Grosser said. “We’re all excited to explore a new opportunity.”
The groups will perform Sept. 14 at the State Theatre, with Pure Cane Sugar opening and Brio following with performances of Grosser’s works “Resonance,” “Some and Others” and “Four Seasons.”
Grosser handled every aspect of those pieces — selecting music, creating choreography and illustrating a vision for costumes. She serves as director at the Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania and devotes as much time as she can outside of that to Brio and her composing duties.
The company’s dancers range from Penn State students to stay at home moms who all have other commitments outside of dance.
“I started ‘Four Seasons’ in September and finished it in May, and that’s for a 25-minute work, so it’s definitely a long process,” she said. “Everyone in the company is so committed to dance; we sacrifice time away from our families to do something that brings us alive.”
For every ticket sold for today’s performance, the dance company will donate $2 to the Dance Marathon. Grosser said the fundraiser came from the company’s desire to give back to the community and help bring the community into the performance.
“It’s very hard to get an audience for a dance concert on its own,” she said. “We had to look at it not just as a way to give to our community, but as a way to get people in the door, especially as we move into the school year and Thon.”
Pure Cane Sugar and Brio Dance Company will present their charity concert at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College. Call 272-0606 or visit www.thestatetheatre.org for more information.