March 26, 2018
While some students were enjoying a rest during their spring break week, 34 West Chester University dance students stayed on campus to help organize and run the American College Dance Association conference (ACDA) for the Mid-Atlantic North region. WCU students in the University Dance Company also earned a coveted spot at the event's prestigious gala by performing a work choreographed by guest artist Javi Padilla.
"Presenting work at this conference and receiving the distinction of being selected for the gala performance is like winning a division championship for a college athletics team," said Liz Staruch, associate professor of dance in WCU's Department of Theatre and Dance. "To receive this type of honor speaks to the quality of work by both our students and our dance faculty."
The dance "this is the city of spare parts" was performed by Audrey Bova, Maria Carroll, Kourtney Kukowski, Jenica Narducci, Grace Ten Broeck, Mary Weese, and DenNira Whitley. The adjudicators who selected the piece were professional dancers/choreographers Thomas F. DeFrantz, Christine Knoblauch-O'Neal, and Loretta Livingston.
This is the fourth time in 10 years that a WCU dance work was selected for an ACDA gala. Previous honors went to student Jillian Glace's "Time's Cruel Joke" (2009); student Michael Nguyen's "The Truth Lies in Love" (2010); and WCU faculty Liz Staruch's dance film "The Camera Betrays You" (2011).
The department also presented another original dance at the conference. Student Akasha Alvarez choreographed "Ambiguous Paths," which Christina Dupree, Kaylee Hall, Kelsey Hanchick, Rachael Murphy, Stephanie Russell, Mikey Sanchez and Mijka Smith performed.
Both "this is the city of spare parts" and "Ambiguous Paths" will be featured in the upcoming annual spring dance concert, "Mosiac," held Thursday through Saturday, April 19 – 21, in the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, Performing Arts Center. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. each night with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday only. Tickets are $16; $13 for seniors, students, and WCU employees with ID and can be purchased online or at the box office (610-436-2533). For more information, email TheatreDance@wcupa.edu.
More than 200 faculty and students attended ACDA's three-day conference, coordinated by dance faculty Gretchen Studlien-Webb, Staruch and maria urrutia. New York City-based WCU alumnus Donald C. Shorter, Jr. '03 opened the conference with a performance of his one-person show GENDEROSITY.