Tonawanda News

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September 17, 2012

Professional Broadway dancer heads back to Buffalo for benefit

Tonawanda News — Next month Michael Peter Deeb will be dancing in a dream — his own. 

The 26-year-old professional dancer recently acquired the role of Mark in the Tony award-winning Broadway musical, “A Chorus Line.” Rehearsals for the show begin in October, but Deeb’s adrenaline is already pumping with anticipation.

“I’m really excited to start, and it’s great that it’s my favorite show, and I’m going to get to perform it all across the country,” Deeb said. 

In the meantime, the City of Tonawanda native, who currently lives and works in New York City, will be performing on a stage a little closer to home, at the University at Buffalo’s 4th Annual Back to Buffalo Dance Alumni All Star Concert on Sept. 22. 

This is Deeb’s first time participating in the showcase, and he said that the opportunity to perform with the friends and faculty who helped make his Broadway dreams possible is an honor. 

“It’s cool to be thought of by faculty as an alumnus with enough experience and credentials to (be a part of the show),” Deeb said. “I’m just really honored to be a part of it … and to give back to the college that I learned so much at.”

When funding for UB’s Center for the Art’s Dance Residency Outreach Program was cut, the Alumni All-Star Concert was created in 2009 in hopes of bringing the program back, said UB’s Director of Dance Jeanne Fornarola. The Dance Residency Outreach Program provides UB students the opportunity to take part in master classes with visiting internationally recognized professional dance companies and artists. This year’s dance residency is River North Dance Chicago, one of Chicago’s leading modern and jazz-based dance companies.

Since 1997, more than a dozen visiting dance companies and artists have allowed more than 20,000 students to participate in free dance performances and workshops at UB, Fornarola said. 

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