Turnage welcomes ECU School of Dance performance Sunday

Published 10:43 am Monday, February 12, 2018


Exhibits, movies, musical performances and much more can be found at the hub of Arts of the Pamlico, the Turnage Theatre. Sunday afternoon, however, a rare performance will take place as students from East Carolina University’s School of Theatre and Dance will take the historic theater’s stage to dance.

It’s a jazz dance performance — solos, duets, group numbers — some choreographed by faculty, others by senior dance majors.

“What I put together is some jazz pieces with a collection of jazz dance,” said Tommi Galaska, ECU dance instructor and choreographer. “There’s musical theatre, classical jazz, contemporary, funky jazz pieces. … I like to think it’s a collection of different types of things, so hopefully there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

The performance takes place at 3 p.m. Sunday; admission is $5.

Galaska said she welcomed the chance to bring her dance students to the Turnage Theatre.

“It gives us an opportunity to present dance and educate people on dance,” Galaska said. “You never know you might change someone’s life — when some child might see it and say, ‘I want to do that!’”

Galaska brings with her an ensemble of about 20 dancers and selection of pieces that range from high energy and entertaining, to the more meaningful and emotional, she said.

The performance rounds out a full weekend for Arts of the Pamlico. The organization is hosting the East Carolina Wildlife Festival at venues spanning the Turnage, Stewart Parkway and the Washington Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, including vendors and a silent auction at the Turnage (5:30 p.m.). Saturday, vendors are back from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as a children’s decoy-painting workshop at the North Carolina Estuarium (9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.), kids’ crafts at the Turnage (1 – 3 p.m.) and retriever demonstrations (from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.) on the waterfront. Art Walk, featuring new exhibits, local artists and mini-receptions at downtown Washington art galleries will be held from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday, followed by an improv comedy show at the Turnage at 7 p.m.

But Sunday is all about dance. Torrence said she hopes the performance is the first of many collaborations with ECU’s dance department. For Galaska, being a part of community events is a priority.

“We certainly love to support community. That’s just one thing that we’ve always enjoyed doing. In fact, I actually presented a piece when the Turnage opened (after its renovation) and we were so excited about being a part of that,” Galaska said. “The theater is just beautiful, and personally, I love when things are renovated — it just has a heart and soul.”

The Turnage Theatre is located at 150 W. Main St., Washington. For more information, visit artsofthepamlico.org or call 252-946-2504.