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TOE TO TOE
TWO TROUPES DELIVER PERFORMANCE VALENTINES

WHAT: Two dance recitals: (1) The Neglia Ballet Artists; and (2) InSync Dance Theatre

WHEN: (1) 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday; (2) 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: (1) Flickinger Performing Arts Center, Nichols School; (2) Leary Theatre, Niagara University

ADMISSION: (1) $15-$25, $12 for students and seniors; (2) $8, $5 students and seniors

INFO: (1) 447-0401; (2) 286-8622

Back in the Middle Ages, people believed we loved with our livers. Later, most people came to agree that we love with our hearts. This Valentine's Day, though, Western New York is awakening to a surprising truth: We love with our feet.

Witness the amorous performances of not one, but two local dance companies.

Tonight and Saturday, the Neglia Ballet Artists will be presenting "An Intimate Evening of Dance," made up of a variety of works, "all exploring the multifaceted aspects of love." We'll be seeing the premiere of "Carmen," a smoldering one-act work set by choreographer Mark Diamond to Bizet's fiery music. Spiritual love triumphs in another Diamond work, "Magnificat," set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Topping the evening will be a pas de deux from "Spartacus," with music by Khachaturian. The company describes it as passionate and perilous.

The Neglia's dancers have a variety of distinguished backgrounds. Sergio Neglia, the troupe's leader, hails from Argentina. He studied with such towering figures as George Balanchine, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev. Neglia's dance partner, Sherri Campagni, was seen last year as Juliet in the Neglia's "Romeo and Juliet."

Also on the scene will be Heidi Halt, a Buffalo native who has toured with the Scapino Ballet, and Hernan Justo, a guest artist from Argentina who is a former principal dancer with the North Carolina Dance Theatre.

The flames of passion reach Niagara County Saturday and Sunday when InSync Dance Theatre, a professional jazz dance company, takes the stage at Niagara University.

InSync was co-founded with Dawn McIlhargey-Wigert by Terri Filips, formerly of Hope College and now a professor of theater and fine arts at NU. The company will be presenting a snazzy, elegant recital of a variety of tap, tap ballet and jazz pieces. Expect anything; in one recent piece, an admiring Michigan reviewer noted, the troupe mixed the music of Duke Ellington with old recordings of FDR's "Fireside Chats."

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