University of Mobile’s Piano Ensemble Presents “Dancing with Pianos” Concert Oct. 26

Greg NamanASOTA, News

MOBILE, Ala. –  The worlds of classical music and technical choreography merge as the Alabama School of the Arts presents the next performance in the 7th Annual University of Mobile Piano Festival “Dancing with Pianos.”

“Dancing with Pianos” will be presented Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. in Moorer Auditorium on the University of Mobile campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

Dr. Kadisha Onalbayeva, director of piano studies and professor of music, and Barbara G. Haines, classical ballet instructor, are the director and choreographer behind this program that will show the audience the best from the worlds of both classical music and technical dance.


This concert will feature UM’s Piano Ensemble. The group consists of the following students: Rebecca M. Reed, Gaukhar Kenessova, Alison Strunk, Benjamin Naman, Brea Harris, Bryson East, Christopher Conger, Emily Thullesen, Jeremy Downey, Lily Caswell, Logan Lipke, Luke Graham, and Marc Marquis.

The performance will also feature four students dancing alongside the pianists. The student dancers are: Lisa Rosado Rivera, Gregory Naman, Anna Geter, and Malik Johnson.

“We will introduce a variety of dance music that is a blend of established well-known works combined with some lesser-known contemporary compositions,” said Onalbayeva. “The Piano Ensemble will perform arrangements for four-hands and eight-hands and will coordinate their performance with four dancers who are taking dance classes taught by Barbara Haines.  This program will be an interesting combination of great music with the skilled visual effect of the dancers.” 

Haines added, “The significance for dancers and pianists working together in this collaboration is ‘To see the music and hear the dance, – as George Balanchine once said. From the late 18th century there was a separation between music and dance. There was no one composer who would create music for dance. In “Dancing with Pianos,” we can hear piano compositions prior to and after this era. Darius Milhaud’s “Brasileira,” Debussy’s “En Blanc et Noir” and “Tulebaev Dance” are best representing how music’s emotional and energetic charge was able to break the boundaries and to form a seamless synergy with dance once again.”

To learn more about Alabama School of the Arts events, please visit umobile.edu/asota or call the Alabama School of the Arts at 251.442.2383.

About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university with a vision of “Higher Education for a Higher Purpose,” founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions in an environment where they are known. Located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama, on a campus of over 880 acres, the university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs.The University of Mobile was founded in 1961 and is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

For information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit umobile.edu, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.