'Berg dancers take their show
on the road
Students perform at Kennedy Center
Muhlenberg history was made at the American College Dance
Festival Association's Northeast Regional Festival when a group of Muhlenberg
dancers were chosen to perform at the 10th National College Dance Festival
at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington,
D.C., in May.
This marks the first time that such an honor was awarded to Muhlenberg,
and the recognition was completely unrelated to the College's role as
Northeast Region festival host. In fact, selection of works for the
National Festival is by blind review - the adjudicators are only told
the dance title and composer's name.
Karen Dearborn, founding director of the Muhlenberg dance program, says,
"Words cannot express how thrilled and honored I am to have Muhlenberg
College dance recognized in the national arena. This is the Olympics
of college dance, the pinnacle - there is no higher honor."
Luke Kahlich, president of ACDFA, shared these statistics: This year
at the regional level there were more than 5,000 participants, 250 schools
were represented, 413 works were adjudicated and from these 37 were
selected for presentation at the National Festival.
Assistant professor Jennifer Kayle and guest artist Megan Bonneau-McCool
choreographed "Black Raspberry," the Muhlenberg work selected
for the National Festival. The student performers were Kristin Goldrick
'03, Megan Richwine '03, Kat Linse '04, Jess Warchal '05, Katie Swisher
'05, Jacinda Cara '05 and Jenny Scherer '05.
Dearborn says, "I first saw 'Black Raspberry' at a ballet festival
and thought it would be a great dance for my advanced ballet students
to perform. After eight years as the only full-time faculty in dance,
I would be welcoming Jennifer Kayle as a new full-time addition to the
dance program in the fall of 2001. I suggested she and Ms. Bonneau-
McCool restage the work for our faculty concert in February. Little
did any of us realize when we auditioned dancers last September that
we would still be rehearsing this piece during the spring exam period
and performing at the
Kennedy Center a week later."
After nine months of rehearsals, bleeding feet, and sore bodies, one
might be tempted to ask the question,
was it all worth it? Freshman Jess Warchal answers for all involved:
"It was incredible! To be part of this
program performed at the Kennedy Center was just awesome!"