DANCE AWARDS and ACHIEVEMENTS
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The Dance Program at Cal State Fullerton is again one of the very few select programs in the country chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. June 5-7th as part of the American College Dance Festival’s National Festival.
The CSUF work was chosen as one of only two out of 42 different works from over 30 universities at the Northwest regional ACDFA. This prestigious honor was given for our dancers performance of West, East, South, then North, choreographed by guest choreographer Jonathan Fredrickson, and performed by Krisit Licera, Brianna Le, Valerie Oga, and Kendall Russo. The national festival at the Kennedy Center happens every second year, and CSUF has been invited to be a part of this the last three consecutive times. This speaks to the dedication and intensity of our students, to the hard work and skilled guidance of the entire faculty, and to the extraordinary quality of the dance program at CSUF.
West, East, South, then North
Serving as adjudicators were international dance luminaries Bebe Miller, Zvi Gothenier and Susan Douglas-Roberts. They spoke highly of the work we presented and their performers saying the following:
“What a glorious dance! Holding some many pleasures for the audience. It was as if the four dancers were finding the cardinal points inside their own bodies. The opening is etched in my mind. The four dancers seemed to watch each other into motion. The dancing was achingly beautiful! I was weeping a little at the end. It was that divine.”
“A pleasure, pleasure! Beautiful, beautiful! Danced so beautifully! There was a depth that went beyond the floor as if the earth was helping to shape this work. The work has so many really remarkable touches. The dancers ensemble performance came from deep within their own body giving each other focus.”
“I could not write right away after seeing this piece. I was so moved, reduced…As a maker of dances it was very important for me to see this work. It was if the piece took place before the Big Bang. Before everything split apart. When there was a togetherness of the cosmos. A celestial oneness before everything fragmented into West, East, South and North directions. The work is so beautifully made, spiritual and poetic. The end is beautiful and metamorphic of right before the particles going further apart. The dancers blew my mind! They took the movement beyond the physical edge.”
The Dance Program has been honored many times since 2003 until 2014. (We did not attend in 2006, 2007 and 2008 for various reasons) In the past nine years that we have attended we have had nine works chosen for the Regional Gala Concerts, which is quite impressive. The National Kennedy Center Conference occurs every other year. The CSUF Dance Program has been honored the last four national conference years that we attended, 2004, 2010, 2012, and 2014. Our Dance Program has been selected to perform at the Kennedy Center the last four times that we have attended during a National Year.!
These awards really demonstrate how well our curriculum is working, the dedication of the faculty and the focus of our wonderful students. Performing at this high level of venue gives the students a new and valuable experience. It celebrates the many hours of hard work and sacrifice that they have put in over the four years while working on their B.A. in Dance at CSU, Fullerton. It helps to reaffirm the risk that they took by choosing such a difficult career path. It gives their parents a special reward for all their support they have given their children in their pursuit of their passion for the art of dance. It also sends them a strong message that they have the talent, the focus and the drive to be successful in the professional world of dance.
The Dance Program at Cal State Fullerton has once again achieved the honor of being chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the American College Dance Festival’s National Festival 2012. This prestigious honor was given to our dancers for their performance of Vitals choreographed by guest choreographer and CSUF alum Mike Esperanza. The dancers wereTracy Bernardo, Cole Clemens, Melanie Hansel, Kelly Johnson, Mary Angeline Medenas, Elyse Mottaz, Devin Oshiro, and Lauren Zimmerer. Since 2003, we have participated in our regional festival seven times and seven of our pieces have been awarded with a Gala Concert selection. This is our third time being chosen for the National Festival.
Serving as adjudicators for the West Regional 2012 Festival were Kay Anderson former soloist with the Nikolais & Murray Louis Company, Susan Hadley former principal dancer with the Mark Morris Dance Group and James Sutton principal dancer with the Houston Ballet and Chicago Ballet companies. They spoke highly of the work and the performers saying the following:
“The piece was deeply invested in its investigation, deeply invested in its rehearsal, and deeply invested in its performance. It was a total package!”
- Kay Anderson
“This piece was phenomenal! It intentions was clear from the first moment that they began to move. These dancers danced through the skin, to the belly of the muscle and then through to the bone within! They were predatory, it was like hungry dancing.”
- Susan Hadley
“This work was remarkable! I loved the dancer’s commitment to the piece, which is rare. They were highly activated in their stillness. I was engaged throughout.
I loved how the dancers motions would affect the space. The space had weight, it had energy. A really powerful work.”
- James Sutton
California State University, Fullerton Department of Theatre & Dance has announced that the Dance Program achieved the honor of being chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of the American College Dance Festival’s National Festival May 27, 28, and 29, 2010. This prestigious honor was given to their dancers for their performance of Corvidae choreographed by guest choreographer Colin Connor. The six dancers were Kindra Chenier, Cassandra Cole, Melanie Hansel, Kathryn Lawson, Bobby Neal, and Sara Vincent. Their performance was chosen out of 52 different works from over 30 universities from throughout the Southwest Region.
It is exciting that, since 2003, the Department has had numerous pieces from their program chosen to perform on the Regional Gala Concert. However this is only the second time for them to be selected to perform at the Kennedy Center, and it speaks to the dedication and intensity of the Dance students, and the hard work of the entire faculty.
Serving as adjudicators were the legendary Bill Evans, Robin Wilson (founder of Urban Bush Women) and Peter DiMuro (former member of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.) They spoke highly of the work and the performers saying the following:
“I was thrilled that you broke the fourth wall. The piece brought us into a private new world” — Peter DiMuro
“I was very moved…I saw mystery. Each person had his own voice. I was utterly intrigued. A very strong and compelling work.” — Robin Wilson
“I was very satisfied by this work. I needed and wanted to see it again. The choreography completely transformed the space and time. A tightly knit ensemble. Bold, confident, powerful dancing. …powerful classically grounded technique. A lovely disturbing piece.” — Bill Evans
The dancers overcame many challenges to bring the power, depth, and artistry of the choreography to the audience. They reached beyond themselves to perform with strength and vulnerability. They were able to communicate the layers of the choreography and speak to the magic of our humanity. Cal State Fullerton is extremely proud of all of them.
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