The Hartt Community Division Dance to Present THE RED SHOES

On Friday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m., The Hartt School Community Division (HCD) presents the world premiere of the ballet THE RED SHOES, featuring a newly created score with live piano, recorded music, and new compositions by Jessica Rudman, with original story and choreography by Susannah Marchese. Additional matinee and evening performances follow on June 11 and 12.

Performances will be in Millard Auditorium at the University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Ticket prices are $30 for adults; $15 for children 12 and under; and, $20 for students and senior citizens with ID. Call the University Box Office at 860.768.4228 or 800.274.8587 or visit to purchase tickets.

THE RED SHOES Performance Times: · Friday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m. · Saturday, June 11, at 2 p.m. · Saturday, June 11, at 7:30 p.m. · Sunday, June 12, at 2 p.m.

THE RED SHOES story is set to a newly created score with live piano played by Cathy Lord and new compositions by award-winning composer Jessica Rudman. HCD Dance Department students Alexis Aiudi and Marissa Ward will share the role of The Shop Girl, University of Hartford graduate Andrew Matte will dance her love interest, and HCD Dance Department faculty member Spencer Pond will dance the role of the evil Shoe Salesman. Choreographed and created by Interim Chair and THE RED SHOES Artistic Director Susannah Marchese, this all-new, two-act ballet promises to deliver an evening of spectacular dancing and captivating storytelling for the whole family.

Based loosely on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of the same name, this all-new production of THE RED SHOES takes place in 1929 New York City on the eve of the stock market crash. New York City in the 1920s was a place of great abundance. It was the decade of the department store and the age of jazz-many lived with prosperity and hope until the stock market crash changed everything. THE RED SHOES tells the story of a young shop girl who dreams of a better future...until an encounter with a sly shoe salesman forever changes her life. With live piano, a newly created score, over 100 dancers, stunning costumes, the use of projections and a moveable set,THE RED SHOES is a multimedia event that takes us to a time in history when abundance led to dreams of a better life.

Before stepping in as HCD's Interim Chair of Dance and THE RED SHOES Artistic Director, Susannah Marchese served as HCD Dance Department instructor and rehearsal assistant for three years. Marchese began her dance training with Leda and Andre Eglevsky on Long Island, N.Y. At the age of 16, she began her professional career as a member of The Eglevsky Ballet and went on to be a principal dancer with Ballet Omaha, Hartford Ballet, and The Eglevsky Ballet. She has danced with New York City Opera, The Radio City Music Hall, and performed in the Broadway production Phantom of the Opera from 1994-98. In 2011, Ms. Marchese joined the faculty of HCD's Dance Department and became Interim Chair in 2014. Last year Marchese choreographed Symphony #8, The Swan Princess, second act of The Nutcracker and this year's GO, all for the HCD Dance Department.

Jessica Rudman, NYC-based composer, has written music for the concert hall, dance, and film, which has been presented across the United States, France, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. Her works have been included in festivals such as the Omaha Symphony New Music Symposium, Composers Now, New Voices @ CUA (Catholic University of America), the Ernest Bloch Festival, the Electro-Acoustic Barn Dance, the International Alliance for Women in Music International Congress, and various Society of Composers Conferences. Rudman has been the recipient of honors such as winning the 2013 Boston Metro Opera's Advocacy Award, the 2012 College Music Society National Conference Student Composition Award, 2012 NewMusic@ECU (East Carolina University) Orchestral Composition Competition, the Libby Larsen Prize (2011), and Honorable Mention for the 2011 Brian M. Israel Award. Additionally, her work Napoleon Complex was awarded first prize in the 2009 Con/un/drum Percussion Competition.

Andrew Matte, a 2015 graduate of the University of Hartford, began dancing in his home state of New Hampshire under the direction of Barbara Mullen at 5 years old. He performed with New England Dance Ensemble, appearing in performances of The Nutcracker, Coppélia, and A Child's View of the Holocaust. He has performed with The Hartt School and HCD in works such as Balanchine's The Four Temperaments,Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Faust, and Diane and Acteon, for which he and his HCD partner won the gold medal at the Connecticut Classic Competition in March of 2014. Andrew just recently appeared in New England Dance Ensemble's production of The Nutcracker starring ABT's Misty Copeland, Sterling Baca and Catherine Hurlin. This past year, Matte has been a member of the First State Ballet Theatre in Delaware.

From the beginning of his dance career, Spencer Pond studied almost exclusively under the tutelage of Darlene Zoller learning Jazz and Tap. He became her assistant in 2012, giving him the opportunity to help choreograph for her shows as well as help teach the BFA Musical Theatre students at The Hartt School. Those experiences, paired with studying jazz history and classical technique, fostered his passion for these art forms. Currently, Pond dances with three Hartford-based dance companies. As a soloist, he has performed for four seasons with stop/time dance theater, Playhouse on Park's dance company in residence, and recently began choreographing for the company. He also dances with The Sonia Plumb Dance Company under the direction of Sonia Plumb and Full Force Dance Theater with Katie Stevinson-Nollet. Pond is the Artistic Director and founder of The Now Unboxing Project, a choreographic project where he creates works that explore the limits that we put on ourselves as dancers and the art of dance itself.

The Hartt School Community Division (HCD) of the University of Hartford is a comprehensive community arts school that annually provides performing arts instruction to more than 2,500 students. HCD offers a variety of lessons, classes, and performance opportunities in music and dance for students of all ages, experience levels, and abilities. For more information about The Hartt School Community Division, visit

The Hartt School is the performing arts conservatory of the University of Hartford that offers innovative degree programs in music, dance, and theatre. Founded in 1920, Hartt has been an integral part of the University of Hartford since its charter merged the then Hartt School of Music, the Hartford Art School, and Hillyer College to create the University in 1957. 2010 marked Hartt's 90th year of providing world-class performing arts education to students in Greater Hartford and around the world. With more than 400 concerts, recitals, plays, master classes, dance performances, and musical theatre productions each year, performance is central to Hartt's curriculum. For more information about The Hartt School, visit

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