DANCING AT GREAT HEIGHTS
This year the University of Washington Dance Program was able to fully sponsor ten undergraduate dance students to attend The American College Dance Festival in Salt Lake City. Grants for the trip were received from Undergraduate Education and from the College of A&S. The financial support received for the festival was overwhelming and was a wonderful way to recognize the student achievements in the Dance Program as it continues to grow and pursue excellence in art and education.
In March I had the incredible opportunity of attending the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. During the four-day whirlwind festival I presented my choreography Tipping Point for adjudication, took technique classes, attended performances, a film-screening and a lecture, gave an audition for the American Dance Festival, and even had time to explore the city. Along with this there was plenty of quality social time among our UW dance group, which made for fantastic and jolly mealtimes and rest times, and rousing debates about dance. My time at the festival allowed me to reflect on my own dancing and work, inspired me to deepen my own dance practice, and gave me a glimpse at the state of contemporary dance and its possible future.
I presented my choreography Tipping Point to a supportive audience and a judicial panel (choreographers Joe Goode & Tere O’Conner, dance writer Suzanne Carbonneau). The dance was performed beautifully and I was moved by the cohesiveness and focused grace the group exhibited during preparation and performance. At my adjudication session all three judges commented on the serenity of the dancers and the expansive and open use of the stage space. Our group and the dance really stood apart at the festival and I am very proud to have presented Tipping Point.
During the day we would huff and puff in the high altitude while taking dance classes and in the evenings everyone would return for concerts of student and faculty work. The dances and styles presented by the various colleges in attendance ranged from half-time show acrobatics, to en pointe ballet, lyrical jazz to traditional modern, and theatrical works, including a violent sofa duet set to the frantic music of Daft Punk, and a waltz with tuxedoed men on razor scooters. Another component of the festival included dance film and video performance. University of Utah faculty member Ellen Bromberg put together a globe-spanning dance film festival, and also helped organize a video-internet dance improvisation with another ACDFA festival across the country, creating a simultaneous broadcast performance. The arts and technology component of the festival was very interesting to me and was a look into the future of what dance might become as a virtual performance form.
|ACDFA 2004 Dance majors Michael Helland and Marisha Doan|
|ACDFA 2004 UW Dance students rehearse for the adjudication|
|ACDFA 2004 UW Dance student attendees
Top row, from left: Heidi, Mary, Jen, Josselyn, Daniel, Michael
Bottom row, from left: Ichiho, Kim, Carly, Leah, Marisha, Sera