posted February 12, 2004

Dance 30 to Feature Guest Choreographer

Tap expert Mark Yonally's choreographic talents will be displayed at the popular Hope College-sponsored Dance 30 concert. Yonally taught a May term at Hope College in 2003, and he will be featured as this year's guest choreographer.

The concert will run Thursday-Saturday, March 4-6, in the main theatre of the DeWitt Center, located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. Curtain time will be at 8 p.m. for all performances.

Yonally teaches and performs tap worldwide. He is sought after for his multidisciplinary approach to teaching tap, which includes his knowledge of tap history and music theory."He is a rhythmic genius," said Rosanne Barton-DeVries, who is a member of the Hope dance faculty and advisor of the piece. "He is one of the top tap teachers in the world and is doing brilliant things in the field."

Yonally appeared in Holland earlier this year to perform with InSync Dance Theater. Yonally has taught in cities such as Paris, Nuremburg, and Toulouse. He received a BA in dance from the University of New Mexico, and his academic credits include serving as a full-time faculty member at Oklahoma City University. He is currently on the faculty at the Giordano Dance Center in Evanston, Ill. Yonally is also the artistic director of Chicago Tap Theatre. He has been a member of the Especially Tap Chicago, and the Bill Evans Rhythm Tap Ensemble. He has performed at the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the St. Louis Tap Festival, and the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival, as well as jazz clubs in Kansas City, Albuquerque, Amsterdam, and Chicago.Yonally also writes. His writings have been published in "Dance Magazine," "Dance Spirit" and "Dance Teacher." Yonally's piece for Dance 30, "Blue Monday," was set during the Hope May Term to music by the group Flunk and will be premiering during the concert. The piece includes fast footwork and partnering. The non-traditional tap piece combines tap with modern dance, thus pushing the dynamic of tap dance.

Dancers to be featured in Yonally's piece include rehearsal director and junior Molly Hamel of Grand Rapids; junior Johnah Archer of Randolph, N.Y.; senior Katherine Budris of Libertyville, Ill.; junior Madeline Crist of South Whitley, Ind.; sophomore Peter Hammer of Laurel, Mont.; junior Jessica Mumford of Kalamazoo; junior Jessica Nelson of St. Joseph; sophomore Ashley Perez of Honeoye Falls, N.Y.; sophomore Alison Rickey of Richmond, Ind.; junior Teresa VanDenend of Ripley, Ohio; senior Abby Whitenight of Ludington; and sophomore Julia Wylie of Powell, Ohio. "Mark [Yonally] is a phenomenal man," Hammer said. "He has a great soul for people, and for tap. Working with him has inspired me to live my dream as a dancer, and to care for people while doing that."

Tickets for Dance 30 are available at the theatre lobby box office in the DeWitt Center, and cost $7 for regular adult admission and $5 for senior citizens, students, and members of Hope College faculty and staff. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., will be open until curtain time on Thursday-Friday, March 4-5, and will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 6. The ticket office can be called at (616) 395-7890.